University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee School of Continuing Education
Project Management Monthly: January 2013: Tips and Tricks
Manage Project Risks

The success or failure of a project can depend heavily on your ability to quickly and efficiently identify and mitigate risks. Without thorough planning, even simple issues can evolve into serious threats. Fortunately there are a number of strategies that can make risk assessment easier.

  • Use tools like work flowcharts, project comparisons and breakdown structures to determine likely trouble spots during your project’s lifecycle.
  • Conduct accurate qualitative analysis by ensuring your estimates and assumptions are sound. Make a list of assumptions you need to be true for your project to succeed. Are you depending on an unproven technology? That could become a problem later on, so what’s your contingency plan should that technology breakdown?
  • Understand your quantitative data and make sure your sources are trustworthy and accurate. If your data is bad, then anything that depends on that data will be resting on an unsteady foundation.
  • Plan your response to each risk, including who on your team will be responsible for containing those risks. This prevents the project from collapsing simply because one person assumed another would take care of a problem.
As companies demand increasingly complex products faster and cheaper, project managers will have to contend with even more variables to ensure customers receive high quality deliverables. Simple risk identification strategies can help contain issues and solve the most challenging problems before they happen.

Learn more about Managing Project Risks in an in–depth course this March at the UWM School of Continuing Education!


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