Project Risk Management – How To Build Management Support

Dick Billows, PMP
Dick Billows, PMP

Convincing managers and executives to support, fund and participate in Project Risk Management is often difficult. These decision-makers usually think risk management involves lots of long meetings and tons of paperwork. They view it as wasting large amounts of time and money. Project managers need to change the decision-makers’ thinking. You need to persuade these leaders that a minimal investment in project risk management is worthwhile. To do this, you start by gathering some data from a few failed projects. This data will let you identify the causes of your organization’s project failures. Then you can discuss the causes and explain them as risks that were not identified early, assessed properly and responded to quickly.  Risk Management Main Page

If you make a reasonable case to the decision-makers, you can justify a short meeting devoted to risk management for the new project.  You can schedule a lunch and invite the most knowledgeable project stakeholders to attend. You ask them to contribute their experiences on similar projects.  The key to a successful first risk management meeting is to keep things short and efficient. The goal is for the group to identify one major risk the new project faces. Next do a quick assessment of the likelihood and impact, and plan one or two risk responses. The responses are ways to lessen the risk’s impact on the project. All this can be done during a lunch.  Small Project Risk Management

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You need to have the right people involved in identifying the risks and discussing ways of responding to them. Your aim is not to perform a complete risk management process. You’re simply demonstrating to these decision-makers that a little bit of time invested in risk management can pay big dividends. Remember that risks can be positive as well as negative. So don’t fail to raise the issue of positive risks; things that can shorten the duration and reduce the cost. Risk Responses

Watch the video where Dick Billows, PMP discusses project risk management techniques. It covers risk analysis and ways of developing risk responses, then justifying them to the users.

Advanced Risk Management