Be Clear About Your Assumptions

Assumptions: we all make them.  Some times stated. Sometimes implicit. Occasionally, utterly unaware that we made an assumption. They are in all projects and can be found in all project planning decisions. If we don’t make assumptions we can’t plan – uncertainty will get in our way. Read more of this post


The risk of success

Risk management in projects is often seen as the work done to avoid something going wrong: risk management methods, review plans and products for failure, identification and documentation of the risk, the analysis of costs and impact, contingency plans in place for when things go wrong.

Are you looking for the risk of success?
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The PMO role in risk management

The links between project risk management and the organisation’s risk management mean that some project risks could be dealt with at organisation level more easily.  It is in both the project manager’s interests and the boards to get these processes to join up effectively.  A good PMO (Project Management Office) who really understand risk management and organisational context can help by spotting themes to talk to corporate risk managers about. Read more of this post

What is risk management?

Risk management identifies possible events that may have an impact on a project and provides a framework process to manage those.

There are a number of methods and approaches to risk management. While there are differences in terms ways of reporting and management approaches, the processes for what happens in a project are similar in practice they tend to follow these steps: Read more of this post

Risk Management – beyond the project

The UK Combined Code for corporate governance  says “the board’s role is to provide entrepreneurial leadership of the company within a framework of prudent and effective controls which enables risk to be assessed and managed.” (A.1) Read more of this post

Sarbanes Oxley Act and Risk Management

Sarbanes Oxley Act (SOX in the USA) gets blamed for all sorts of controls inflicted upon project. It has also been used by many business software providers as an excuse to sell their wares.  However, the cost of this additional requirement on an organisation must have some return on investment. Read more of this post

risk management and scope creep

How do you define your scope? Is it the domain (area of a market or knowledge area) you are working in or the products and outcomes you must deliver? The second option is the safest to protect against scope creep. However, to monitor or change the project’s vulnerability to risk, remembering the first option helps awareness of the context for risk identification. Read more of this post

Building a relationship or giving a bribe?

The laws on bribery in the USA have been quite strong for around 10 years and have changed the way large global companies have viewed corporate gifts and “facilitation” fees. One company I worked with went as far as mandating that their strict anti-corruption policy on this would be posted in the main reception of all their buildings – something they did not do for any other policy. Read more of this post

Risk Management for Communication

One area of communication planning work that can be forgotten is dealing with the response.  Some communications will provoke an adverse reaction. Others asking for feedback will get a greater response than expected.  Read more of this post

Too Much Success

Project Managers do risk management to improve their chance of success.  We want to avoid things that could stop the project being derailed.

Unfortunately, many projects don’t spend much time actively managing the risks they’ve identified.  That is worse than not doing risk management at all: it builds a false sence of security and projects fail with the team saying, “yeah, we had that risk on our risk log”. Read more of this post