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Risk Management – Recording Risks (#40 in the Hut A Project Management Primer)
By Nick Jenkins

The simplest way of recording risks is with a table or spreadsheet that lists the risks and their priorities. This can then be regularly reviewed by the project team and action taken appropriately to mitigate or eliminate those risks.

Below is an example of a sample risk table for a project:

Description Frequency/Impact Severity Timeframe Action
Short-term absence of key team members High/Low Major Project Accept
Long-term absence of key team members Low/High Major Project Reduce
Supplier X does not deliver product Y Low/Low Minor Phase 1 Accept
Incorrect scheduling High/High Critical Project Reduce

In the above table, failure by suppliers to deliver some components has been rated as a minor risk. This sort of judgement can only be made on the basis of experience and within the context of the current project. If the supplier is well known and trusted, then the likelihood of them delivering late is likely to be low and hence the risk can be classified as minor.

Labelling scheduling as a critical area of risk is also an outcome of experience. If previous projects of a similar nature have run-over due to scheduling problems then it is highly likely that this project will suffer a similar problem. Here, too, you can see the benefits of having a separate risk management officer since it is unlikely a project manager, however honest, would rate his own scheduling abilities as “high” risk.

Next in the Hut A Project Management Primer:

Change Management – Introduction

Previously in the Hut A Project Management Primer:

Risk Management – Resolution of Risks

Nick Jenkins is an IT manager with 10 years experience in software development, project management and software testing. He’s worked in various fields of IT development in Australia, Britain and the USA and occasionally he learned something along the way. Now he lives on the banks of the Swan River in Perth, Western Australia, and he publishes the odd guide to help aspiring IT professionals. Nick’s website can be found at www.nickjenkins.net.

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