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How to Manage Project Opportunity and Risk: Why uncertainty management can be a much better approach than risk management by Stephen Ward, Chris Chapman

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Chapter 11

Evaluate all the relevant implications

‘Five to one against and falling . . . four to one against and falling . . . three to one . . . two to one . . . probability factor of one to one . . . we have normality . . . Anything you still can’t cope with is therefore your own problem.’

—D. Adams, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.

Evaluation of all the relevant implications of uncertainty is central to clarity efficient development of insight about the nature of project uncertainty, which is in its turn central to the understanding of effective responses to manage that uncertainty in an opportunity efficient manner. In this sense the evaluate phase is at the core of understanding uncertainty in order to clarify its implications and plan responses to it when this is appropriate.

The evaluate phase does not need to be understood at a deep technical level in order to manage simple forms of uncertainty. However, some very important concepts, like statistical and causal dependence, need to be understood properly at an intuitive level in order to manage any uncertainty effectively. An understanding of what is involved when probability distributions are combined is part of this. This chapter endeavours to build on earlier chapters to provide for everyone interested in uncertainty a basic intuitive understanding with a minimum of technical detail that goes beyond a basic foundation. Those who want to play an active role in managing subtle or complex uncertainty should see this ...

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