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Risk management in projects: the real reason

‘Risk management’ can quickly turn into template-filling, and into long debates about what counts as ‘a risk’; that is, into bureaucratic busy-work. None of which moves you or your project toward success. But you and your sponsors know that project management, and project success, are all about risk. That’s why they have you as project…

Worst case analysis: When, why, and how

What is the reasonable worst case? Consequence and likelihood for the reasonable worst case Acceptability of the reasonable worst case Acceptability of other cases Question for risk experts You’ve come up with a risk: a way in which something uncertain may affect achievement of your objectives. You want to assess your risk for consequence or…

When do the consequences follow from a risk event?

The standard view: Consequences follow at the end of the risk scenario Another view: Consequences follow at the end of the planning period Consequence scales in each view Other ways that the view matters Conclusion Question for experts Something unexpected happens. The immediate effects are alarming. There are also long-term effects. Which are the ‘consequences’…

Risk consequences and enterprise success

‘Consequence criteria’ ‘Objectives’ Choices about consequence criteria Representing ‘all’ dimensions of success in consequence types Ignoring success in consequence types Conclusion Sidebars: Reasons for ignoring success Representing selected success dimensions other than the main purpose Representing only the unique purpose in consequence types Consequence types that carefully step around the main purpose In the last…

Risk impact scale vs. achievement of objectives

My last post argued that objectives are preferred outcomes from an activity, and that risk consequences are the differences in outcomes that the activity might reach, given the uncertainties. The key word was are. Not predict, indicate, or link with, but are. By ‘outcome’ I meant the achievement or non-achievement of organisation objectives. I also…

Risk management and middle management, Part 2: Where you come in

Part 1 set out the basic reason to look at risk management for middle management. This is where you come in. I’m working on a how-to guide for managers. The guide is about risk in ‘business planning’ for the work unit within a large organisation. It’s a how-to guide, and a why-to guide, because the…

Risk management and middle management, Part 1: What and why

Every middle manager does some ‘risk management’: at least once a year, when submitting an annual plan for the unit. Risk specialists know that risk management should be a lived daily practice, and that doing it once a year is a pointless ritual. Yet that happens in my world. In my world, the work unit…