Shawn Coffman

Practical Risk Management for Project Leaders

There's a lot of material written on the subject of project risk management. When asked, Project Leaders will say it is crucial to project success. However, in my experience, I haven't observed much of it in practice.

Once a risk presents itself, some Project Leaders react well to the situation and drive the activities necessary for resolution. But stakeholders don't want to purely rely on quick reaction times. Also, have you noticed once a risk appears someone buried in the organization always lets it be known that they "just knew that was going to happen". Thank you, hindsight hero!

A crucial step to risk management is the identification of potential risks. One practical and easy activity to incorporate into any project is risk brainstorming. Initially, you can perform by yourself or include a small group. The goal is to identify potential risks to drive a conversation with stakeholders and project team members. Giving them the opportunity to react and provide feedback will begin to raise awareness of potential risks to the project.

Ultimately, finding creative ways to engage people in risk management activities will lead to them investing in project success.