Risk, Risk, Risk, Can you avoid it? Can you plan it?

I came across an article that talks about managing risk on our projects.  Brad Egeland, who is the author of the article implies that the risk can be mitigated by dedicating a chunk of the project money to the risk.  He also points out that, there are times where we create a risk management plan but don’t follow through with it due to time or budget constraints.  I totally agree with Egeland that well documented risk management process is always going to be a great strategy to follow.  What happens when you don’t have enough money to asses or plan for risk?  Do projects without any budget assigned to risk fail?

In class we have learned that, to manage risk we must proactively attempt to recognize and manage internal events and external threats that could potentially affect the project.  One of the most asked questions on the project is “What could go wrong?”.  Many times we are uncertain of the consequences of our actions until they are completed.  There are times where we can sit down and really ponder about the situation that could potentially put the project at risk.  Usually ideas that put a project at risk are put on the side and quickly forgotten.  Risk management teaches us to be more proactive than reactive.  I think everyone can agree that being proactive could potentially eliminate most of the risks from the project unless we experience unforeseen risks.  At that moment we better have some kind of a contingency plan that will reduce the negative impact of a risk event.  Contingency plan will usually require some kind of a budget.  Depending on the project, the risk assessments could identify additional budget requirements or reserves as some might call them.

Many times I jump into a project without thoroughly assessing the situation for risk.  Risk is not something that we think about everyday.  Most of us usually react to the situation and are not proactively estimating the potential risk.  Once the problem arises, I personally document what went wrong.  I start from the beginning and trace all my steps to find out how,why and where did this go south.  Once I have determined the root cause of the problem I am more inclined not to make the same mistake twice.  The reason many of us jump into the project without looking at the risks is because risk planning takes long time and sometimes is unavoidable.  Some might argue that risk planning should depend on the size of the project.  I would strongly recommend that even a small project should have some kind of a risk assessment.  At the end of the day don’t we all want to be perfect?

If you would like to read more about managing risk on our projects please feel free to read Brads article.  The article could be found at http://blog.aecsoftware.com/2015/04/are-we-really-managing-risk-on-our-projects/