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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 the first edition

All projects involve risk – the zero risk project is not worth pursuing. This is not purely intuitive but also a recognition that acceptance of some risk is likely to yield a more desirable and appropriate level of benefit in return for the resources committed to the venture. Risk involves both threat and opportunity. Organizations that better understand the nature of risks and can manage them more effectively cannot only avoid unforeseen disasters but can work with tighter margins and less contingency, freeing resources for other endeavours, and seizing opportunities for advantageous investment that might otherwise be rejected as ‘too risky’.

Risk is present in every aspect of our lives; thus risk management is universal but in most circumstances an unstructured activity, based on common sense, relevant knowledge, experience and instinct. Project management has evolved over recent years into a fully-fledged professional discipline characterized by a formalized body of knowledge and the definition of systematic processes for the execution of a project. Yet project risk management has, until recently, generally been considered as an ‘add-on’ instead of being integral to the effective practice of project management.

This book provides the framework for integrating risk management into the management of projects. It explains how to do this through the definition of generic risk management processes and shows how these processes can be mapped onto the ...

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