It is a given that Risk and uncertainty are natural component of the project work. Let’s not fall into our own illusion – if they are not managed properly in any project – especially a large ICT one – we will certainly run into trouble.
However, there are ways a good project manager can mitigate and manage risks. It follows that if a team has a well prepared risk management process installed, then it will be possible to identify and deal with all the project’s risks in the right way. If risk can be managed well, fewer issues will come up and that project team will be prepared for all possibilities with a reasonable amount of happening.
We believe that we can manage the risks that may affect us by following the steps described below:
Immediately on day 0 – go and create a risk register for your project in a spreadsheet format and populate it with all hypothesized current risks on your project getting input from all of the the project’s key team members and stakeholders. At this stage it is essential to cycle through all the inputs that are important to complete the project and if possible go and ask each stakeholder ( seriously, I mean every one of them ) if they have any concerns or if they see any potential problems. Essentially, we need to identify risks that are related to our requirements, technology, materials, budget, development resources , quality, suppliers, regulative and legislative issues etc.
It also goes without saying that once we start to identify the risks, we also do need to balance the corresponding side in positive risks and opportunities. A good way to do this is to include all possibilities that in a way that could affect our project positively. What if too many subcribers turned up to join our streaming service etc ? Be ready to capitalize on this opportunity and plan for it in any way possible. Plan for problems but be prepared for a time when opportunity knocks.
It is equally important to establish how likely a risk is to occur on a scale and then determine the impact of each risk according to a number of factors such as quality of work delivered, project cost and time. Then we will focus our attention on those with the highest potential impact and likelihood of happening . After this we need to identify what can be done to lower the likelihood and impact of each one. A fishbone analysis may be the best way to get to the root cause by asking why and how – the root cause analysis. Next step will be to estimate how much it will cost the IXIR team for that risk’s impact and then add the cost of the risk response to our overall estimate as a contingency cost.
A good way I learned from my own experiences is that – it is essential to assign an owner to each risk and never leave a risk factor unattended. Have each angle covered … No exceptions otherwise the blame game will be on immediately after the first wave hits. Make sure that the person you choose is the one who is most suited to deal with this particular risk and who can monitor it.
Finally, like with the project cost management, a risk management plan must be a living thing and cant stay dormant. For this reason have your stakeholders to attend regular meetings at specific intervals to identify new risks and to monitor the registered items.