Chapter 10

Venturing into the Unknown: Dealing with Risk and Uncertainty

In This Chapter

Coming to terms with risk and risk management

Taking a closer look at risk – risk analysis

Deciding how to handle risks and taking action – risk management

Drafting a risk management plan

Getting some tools to help with a few risk management techniques

It’s sad to hear about good projects that have failed – but it happens. It’s even sadder when you find out a bit more and see that a project was killed off by a problem that the Project Manager could easily have foreseen, controlled or even prevented. Don’t let your project be unnecessarily damaged or even destroyed by something that with a bit of effort – and sometimes not that much effort – you can get a handle on. This is the realm of risk management. The good news is that the basics aren’t that difficult; in fact, you do risk management nearly all the time just to get through the day.

All projects need risk management, even the very small ones. However, some projects are clearly higher risk than others and justify more effort. Often the larger, more complex and longer your project is, the more risk management you need, but that doesn’t let small projects off the hook. The highest-commercial-risk project Nick Graham has ever encountered was also one of the smallest: a six-week project with just two staff in a finance company in the City of London. If that project had failed, it would have seriously damaged the company’s reputation in the ...

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