Norveld Nugget — Risk Management Plan

Murphy’s law says that anything that can go wrong will go wrong, and at the worst possible time.

Managing risk is one of the main jobs of project management and one of the least understood. You can’t eliminate risk, and you can’t ignore it. But you can’t worry about it all the time either, or you’ll never get anything else done—and that becomes your biggest risk! How you identify, plan for, and handle risks to your project is central to keeping your project on track.

When the unexpected happens, tempers rise, knees jerk, and rash decisions can derail your project. If you fail, are you ready to lose business, be sued, or both? Probably not.

So what do you do?

  • Scramble to react?
  • Hold hurried meetings?
  • Grasp for solutions in the fog of the moment?

Wouldn’t you rather have a plan that gives you space to step back, stay on track, and respond intelligently? This is the Risk Management Plan. Many project proposals have a section on risks, but honestly, it’s boiler plate and nobody ever looks at it again anyway—no wonder people panic when unexpected things happen.

A good Risk Management Plan is its own thing, done in the calm light of day. By anticipating obstacles and planning responses, guess what? You’ve just reduced your project risk—by a lot. And you’ve avoided panicking your stakeholders.

As a project manager, I know I’d rather hear “well, we saw that coming” than “I don’t care how you fix it. JUST FIX IT!”

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