What is a Risk
a risk management plan for an information management project and want
some practical suggestions to ensure rapid project delivery?
A risk management plan defines the process that will be followed to
identify and resolve project risks.
What is a
Risks are events, which, if they occur, may have a positive or negative
impact on the project objectives
What is an
Issues are risk events or risks, which have occurred, and
require resolution to minimize the impact to project objectives.
you are planning a vacation. You are going to fly to the west coast,
rent a car for two weeks, travel a bit and then return. You heard
that your airline might go on strike. This
is a risk! You know that it might happen and you now have a chance to
mitigate the risk.
might decide to minimize the risk by investigating train schedules, or
other airlines, or car rentals. If a strike occurs, you can still go
and achieve your objectives of having a good vacation.
Now suppose you fly to the west coast as planned and the airline goes
on strike before you can return. You now have an
issue that you must resolve.
So how do we
good risk manager will be constantly aware of project risks that might
occur and will attempt to have a mitigation strategy ready in the event
that the risk becomes an issue.
we document in a risk management plan?
The risk manager will ensure that all risks are reviewed and mitigated
before they become an issue
- Which member of the team will manage and update
issues and risks;
- The frequency of which risks and issues will be
reviewed (at least once per phase);
- Where the risk & issues Log will be
- The escalation path for resolving a risk.
Information management projects usually classify risks and issues in
the following categories:
include things like:
management risks/issues include thinks
- New technology, the project team learning curve
may be longer than expected;
- Technology changes, the solution is planned for
one set of technology and it changes part way thru the project; and
- Process, the team is not fully versed in the
process or it may change causing issues.
risks/issues include things like:
- Resource allocation, a project resource is over
committed and may miss milestones;
- Scope change, may require project plan change
and losing committed resources to other projects;
- Requirements traceability, a missed
requirement was only discovered during development or QA testing;
- Methodology, business owner and IT sponsor
cannot agree on managed exceptions to approved software development
a critical tool may be down for an extended period, e.g. documentation
repository, metadata repository, or access was not requested
time and there is a waiting period to have the access request approved;
- Team experience, lack of experience on process,
methodology or tools may cause delays.
include things like:
- Financial projections and level of effort, team
may provide inaccurate estimates which impact budget;
- Project independence, other projects may get
higher priority for key resources leaving a project gap; and
- Economy, may dictate reduced resource levels.
- Contractors may not produce as expected and
contractor change is required part way thru the project;
- Regulatory changes may change priorities and
cause rework; and
- Vendor-vendor relations may impact project
- Risks are events, which, if they
occur, may have a positive or negative impact on the project
- Issues are risk events or risks, which
have occurred and require resolution to minimize the impact
to project objectives.
A good risk
management plan will ensure that all risks are reviewed and
mitigated before they become an issue.