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A Quick Introduction to Project Risk Management
By Maria Peer

Project Risk management is planning for the possibility that a problem will occur by eliminating the probability that the problem will arise during the project, evaluating the impact if the problem does arise and preparing solutions in advance.

A good project manager measures risks in advance. Even with a clear plan something will go wrong that keeps you from completing the project successfully. Therefore risk and constraint analysis have to be carried out – taking only a few minutes of time in a small project but turning out to be a project of its own in a large project.

Risks and constraints should be documented in a SOW (Statement Of Work).

The goal of the risk and constraint analysis is to establish the feasibility of the project within the economy, politics and laws, and organizational structure that limit your business.

All the risks in a project can be categorised as follows:

  • Known risks – risks you can identify by drawing on your or your stakeholder’s experience.
  • Predictable risks – are based on work with other similar products, e.g. staff turnover, economic changes
  • Unpredictable risks – happen beyond the control of the project manager or team.

Risk areas include

  • Funding – you may not get the full amount of capital that your project needs
  • Time – tasks are taking longer than originally planned. You risk running out of time.
  • Staffing – you can’t find the right staff in the marketplace
  • Customer relations – if the customer doesn’t have the time to work with the project team and assist in defining the attributes of the solution

About Mag. Maria Peer (in her own words)

My professional career first led me to my favourite field – the fashion sector. Working as assistant of a purchasing manager in a mail order company I covered a lot of ground: Creating and editing texts of catalogues, ordering garments from Hong Kong to Brazil, calculating items, researching the competition, negotiating with suppliers and choosing samples for the next season’s collection, assessing slideshows and the selection of the best photos for catalogues and brochures etc.

As a managing director of a Tourist Board in Tyrol I got to know the Tyrol and fell in love with this beautiful province of Austria. Over six years I represented hotels and private accommodation owners, cable car and chair lift companies, tour operators and skiing schools on joint marketing activities. I was also involved in planning and organising cultural and PR events. Fortunately I was in a position to travel a lot – via attending
tourist fairs e.g. BIT at Milano, ATB in Vienna and other Austrian towns as well as trade fairs in many European cities.

Now as a teacher of commercial subjects at BHAK Perg I can make use and sense of all my previous work, professional and personal experiences. I like that synergy and overall perspective I am able to offer to my students. I could not train others in things I have not experienced myself in some way. Coaching Matura projects is work I love to do. The theoretical background of project management is critical and vital for the success of student’s work. That’s why I’ve put a lot of effort on preparation of lesson plans and lessons. Maria’s professional blog can be found at http://lessons.lerntipp.at/.

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