Risk analysis and management

In many projects, risks are identified and analyzed in a random, brainstorming, fashion. This is often fatal to the success of the project, as unexpected risks arise, which have not been assessed or planned for and have to be dealt with on an emergency basis, rather than be prepared for and defended against in a planned, measured, manner.

Risk Analysis and Management is a key project management practice to ensure that the least number of surprises occur while your project is underway. While we can never predict the future with certainty, we can apply a simple and streamlined risk management process to predict the uncertainties in the projects and minimize the occurrence or impact of these uncertainties. This improves the chance of successful project completion and reduces the consequences of those risks.

Very early in the preparation and planning stage, it is essential that potential risks are identified, categorized and evaluated.

Let’s present the structured Risk Management process followed at AFRITAM that helps avoid crisis situations and incorporate learning from past mistakes. It highlights that effective and early risk identification and management secures the achievement of project objectives, leading to reduced rework costs.

Risk Management Plan

The organization-mandated risk management framework is reviewed and tailored to define the project risk management plan when the project is initiated. The risk management plan includes these definitions and guidelines:

·       List of possible risk sources and categories

·       Impact and probability matrix

·       Risk reduction and action plan

·       Contingency plan

·       Risk threshold and metrics

Risk Identification

Risks are to be identified and dealt with as early as possible in the project. Risk identification is done throughout the project life cycle, with special emphasis during the key milestones.

The following are the tools and guidelines that we (AFRITAM) use to identify risks in a structured and disciplined way, which ensures that no significant potential risk is overlooked.

  • Documentation Reviews.
  • Information Gathering Techniques.
  • Brainstorming.
  • Delphi Technique.
  • Interviewing.