Risk Management Plan - Project Management

The primary goal of the risk management process is to identify risks, document their impacts, and develop plans to reduce their impacts or take advantage of the opportunities presented. All of this information is collected and documented in the risk management plan.

Listed below is a recap of the steps you'll take to assemble the risk management plan. The risk management plan encompasses all of the elements of risk identification, analysis, and response planning that we've talked about in this chapter. You can use this as a checklist or reminder of how to complete the risks management process for your next project.

  1. Identify the risks.
  2. Analyze risks to determine the probability of the event occurring.
  3. Analyze risks to determine the impact on the project if a risk event occurs.
  4. Calculate an overall risk score and determine which risk events need detailed response plans.
  5. Create detailed response plans and assign resources to carry out the plan in the event a risk occurs.
  6. Create a contingency plan.
  7. Document everything in the risk management plan section of the project notebook or on the project's intranet site.

The risk management plan should make up one section of your project notebook. You may want to consider creating a spreadsheet or a chart, similar to the one shown next in Table. This directory lists the risk by number and name, indicates whether a plan exists for the risk, shows where the risk plan can be found (references a page number in the notebook or a website), and tells who the responsible party is for carrying out the risk response. Use the following chart as a template for your risk directory, and make this one of the first pages of the risk management section.

Table Risk directory

As the project manager, it's your responsibility to make certain that risk events are monitored throughout the life of the project and that the risk response plans are carried out when necessary. Always be on the lookout for risk events ready to occur. One way to do that is to pay attention to risk triggers. Risk triggers warn you that the risk event is getting ready to happen. If dark gray, snow-laden clouds start gathering over the mountains the morning of the meeting, it's likely that the snow is going to fly. This risk trigger signals you that the risk event is about to occur.

risk triggers

Symptoms that signal that a risk event is about to occur.

Risks exist on all projects. Don't skip the risk management process because not taking the time to identify and document the risks could end up killing the project, not to mention your reputation as a project manager.

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