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5. Project Risk Management Basics under-pin the concept of Holistic Risk Management.

Whenever you are engaged in project planning you tend to follow the fundamental risk management process steps, whether you do so intentionally or in more of an ad hoc manner.  You develop a plan to meet a set of objectives, and if your detailed plan is unable to satisfy all objectives you have to re-plan a bit.  This is particularly endemic of complex, highly scrutinized projects which attempt to “do more with less.”  The re-planning process usually entails coming up with ways to address elements of the plan which have a fair amount of uncertainty associated with them.  If you can somehow adjust the schedule to address the uncertainty earlier, or change a product requirement to ease the uncertainty, or add some scope with the intent of ensuring that the uncertainty will not create a major set-back if it materializes as a serious issue later in the project, you should be able to get closer to a compliant plan.  You might also seize an opportunity to help enable a cost, schedule or technical benefit.  The process just described encompasses the major steps of project risk management basics – identifying risks and opportunities, analyzing their potential impacts, and developing response strategies to counter negative impacts and bolster positive impacts.  If you formalize this process by structuring how the team will plan for, manage and control project risks throughout the project life cycle you will likely improve your chances of “doing more with less” and succeeding in completing the project to stakeholder expectations.  Supplementing this process with the use of PM tools and techniques which are considered “best practices”, ensuring the project manager and key team members have the right set of competencies, and ensuring the organization as a whole is equipped with the types of assets and resources necessary to enable the team to succeed, will take you closer to that state of holistic risk management which is espoused in my book, “Project Risk Management: A Practical Implementation Approach,” and which I contend facilitates “doing more with less” – through continuous improvement.