Chapter

1

Why Project Risk Management?

Those who cannot remember the pastare condemned to repeat it.

—GEORGE SANTAYANA

Far too many of today’s projects retrace the shortcomings and errors of earlier work. Projects that successfully avoid such pitfalls are often viewed as “lucky,” but there is usually more to it than that.

The Doomed Project

All projects involve risk. There is always at least some level of uncertainty in a project’s outcome, regardless of what the Microsoft Project Gantt chart on the wall seems to imply. Modern projects are particularly risky, for a number of reasons. First, they are complex and highly varied. These projects have unique aspects and objectives that significantly differ from previous work, and the environment ...

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