Risks are both threats and opportunities which can hinder or help project success. Proper risk management can save you from later firefights to bring things back under control. Here are five tips to improve risk management and/or reduce project risks:
- Don't skip or skimp on risk management. Larger and more complex projects need to have more robust processes that begin to examine risks earlier than simpler projects.
- Look at the possible internal project risks (e.g., poor designs, budget excesses) as well as external possibilities (e.g., bad weather, regulatory change impacts). Consider creating categories for classification to guide the process. The project life cycle needs to be a category.
- Make sure the risk management process is ongoing. Project changes generate new threats and opportunities, so the process needs to be appropriately repeated.
- Risks hard to quantify need special attention. Don't dismiss or ignore them - work hard to quantify or prioritize. If you are unable, consider avoiding or transferring those risks.
- Remember that cognitive biases can affect thinking. Don't make unfounded assumptions, involve the team, and encourage open and transparent communications about risk.
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