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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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Foreword to this edition

I am surely in a large majority in welcoming this new and substantially revised edition of the 1997 classic on risk management by Chris Chapman and Stephen Ward, two eminent authorities on the subject.

As mentioned in the book, Chris Chapman and I have worked together on a number of strategic consulting assignments and with Stephen Ward and others have collaborated in the development of RAMP and other risk management initiatives. From this I have gained a high degree of respect for Chris and Stephen’s deep and wide understanding of risk management in all its forms.

Like the earlier editions, this book is wide ranging and thorough in its treatment of all aspects of the subject, particularly in regard to project risk management. It responds to the need for an update to reflect this fast developing field of risk management.

I am delighted to see that the focus has moved on to management of opportunities as well as risks, and that the book emphasises the crucial importance of uncertainty. Chris and I may differ on the precise definition of ‘uncertainty’ (which I describe as ‘incomplete or imperfect knowledge’ —i.e. lack of required information for decision making), but we are at one in believing that to date risk management has unduly and prematurely concentrated on identifying and analysing risk events. A much better return from the effort involved is first to assess systematically the information needed for decisions in pursuit of objectives; and only after ...

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