Without talking about the millions of websites and documents knocking concerning this discuss Risk Management, I wish to attempt to give a simple view through the perspective of somebody who has to handle risk day to day across major projects. This can be real risk management, on the job.
Obviously, “Risk” and “Risk Management” can have variations of the same general meaning based on the circumstances or context which it really is applied, but in principle, all risk management follows basically the same process.
So, exactly what is a Risk? A risk might be any impact on an expected or planned outcome that changes that outcome. In child-talk, it’s anything that could hold you back getting what you need or expect.
Here’s a vital note: Risk hasn’t happened yet. In case the outcome has now changed because of a risk “happening” then it’s will no longer a Risk, it’s a concern and needs to be managed differently.
So basically – A danger can be something, anything, that may happen which will impact or change a desired or planned outcome. There are numerous alternative methods to state this that, as simple as the notion is, it can easily get confusing. I want to provide you with a good example;
“Whether it rains today then the field trip needs to be cancelled” – the risk is it may rain. The impact would be that the planned trip will need to be cancelled. Risk Management is recognizing the chance potential analyzing the probability and impact and either mitigating it or preparing alternative options that will allow the initial plan to achieve success.
On some of my projects in Asia I’ve had to seriously consider the impact of rain on project outcomes. I had been on one job in Korea, Seoul, where we possessed a short time to advance a banks’ trading office from an old building which had been sold off, completely to another building. The previous building owner declared bankruptcy and sold from the office block. The brand new owner, the us government, kicked everyone on short notice. We had 3 months to discover a new building, fit it all out and move 200 staff including 120 trading positions.
This really tested my teams Risk Management ability. This is a working business, the sole window to move the 200 staff was spanning a weekend – after trading stopped on Friday evening and before it going on Monday Morning. You know what, we enjoyed a Typhoon heading in, and for people who don’t learn how things operate in Asia – Typhoons are given warning signals while they approach through the local authorities.
Each signal indicates a degree of “threat” and even chance of a direct strike. As being the signal rises in strength the threat (and danger to life and property) becomes imminent and public services turn off. Folks are told to visit home or stay off of the streets and, for many hours to a few days, everything grinds to a halt.
I had a stressful time managing risk from the hour. The choice to roll back the relocate to the old office or proceed and hope we got all things in ahead of the typhoon hit 39devspky a 15 minute review, every a quarter-hour for your first 1 / 2 of the weekend. That had been management du risque like I never had to manage before. Risk Management is crucial to project work.
So, the concept of “What exactly is a Risk” should, I really hope, be graphically clear now..? Risk Management is the procedure of managing risk mainly because it pertains to specific circumstances. The strategies, tools and procedures utilized to manage risk are quite pragmatic and common-sense. But everyone knows that there’s no such thing as “Good Sense” so the easiest way to get yourself a consistent framework around managing risk is usually to learn some best practices based upon industry proven templates and methodologies.
I’m not here to push one methodology or best practice against another. We have my personal preferences based on my industry and experience nevertheless i know and possess seen various other project managers use varying techniques and tools in Risk Management, all valid and a lot of them efficient at performing.
Inside a follow up article I am going to talk more specifically about Project Risk Management. I’ll share some templates and examples and hopefully stir up some discussions too. There’s no one right way to do Risk Management but there is a regular framework that ought to be followed and there are many very good industry standards in Risk Management space.