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Risk Characteristics
By Abhilash Gopi


Changes in a situation can result in new risks. Such changes include replacing a team member, undergoing a reorganization, changing the scope of the project.

Time based

In this case, the probability of the risk occurring at the beginning of the project is very high (due to the unknown factor), and diminishes along as the project progresses. In contrast, the impact (cost) from a risk occurring is low at the beginning and higher at the end.


Within a project, many tasks and deliverables are interdependent on each other. These delay in these tasks will have a cascading effect on the other related tasks, and the result could be a domino effect.

Magnitude Dependent

The relationship of probability and impact are not linear in this case, and the magnitude of the risk makes a lot of difference. For example, consider the risk of spending $1 for a 50/50 chance to win $5 versus the risk of spending $1000 for a 50/50 chance of winning $5000. Since the probability of loss is the same in both cases (50%), the opportunity cost of losing is much greater in the later case.

Value Based

Risk may be affected by personal, corporate or cultural values. For an example, completing a project on schedule may be dependent on the time of the year and nationalities or religious beliefs of the work team. Projects being done in international locations where multiple cultures are involved may have a higher risk than those done in a single location with a similar kind of work force.

About Abhilash Gopi In his own words

I got smitten by the Project Management bug when I was working under K.U. Harsha, my first Project Manager and have been lucky since then to work under democratic managers (Purushottam Sitla, Rekha Varma). I could learn on-job from these wonderful managers and has been equally successful in applying these principles.

I am currently working as a Senior Test Manager with Cordiant Technologies, Kochi, India. Cordiant ( is an Offshore Product Development Services provider for ISVs and Web Startups and its innovation is spearheaded by our President & CEO, Dennis Paul.

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