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Techniques   »   Risk Management   »   Project Risks


Every day, there are new possible challenges to the successful delivery of your project. Once you are under way, there will be technical glitches, personnel debates and all sorts of other challenges that seek to threaten your project and to introduce the opportunity of a failure. You may classify some of these risks as low; others as medium or high, maybe even very high. You may classify these risks as internal or external or in some other way.

Internal risks may be the experience of the team, changes in the testing and development tools or the choice of operating system. External risks may be changes in legislation, external upgrades to software or operating systems, changes in policy or revised contractual obligations.

Even the most extreme and unlikely risks can occur and as we say it is often the unwelcome unidentified unforeseen that has a fateful tendency to appear. A risk event can have more that one consequence and some very serious outcomes arise from the simplest and smallest events. We all see this with very apparent reality often.

In April 2010 the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig, you may think understandably, relied on its very comfortingly entitled fail-safe Blowout Preventer to activate automatically and prevent escape of oil from its well head. However the rig suffered a massive methane explosion followed by a large oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. The event caused the deaths of eleven crew members and triggered a massive clean-up operation but it of course triggered many other effects. The price of crude oil rose and the value of oil based corporate stock fell.



There were adverse political and public reactions. Furthermore, there were claims of risks to health, ecology, tourism and the local economy as well as threats of legal claims and litigation for years to come: A big outcome from a conventional technical process.

However you choose to classify your risks, there is a risk management philosophy that we follow. This philosophy encourages proactive management, improves governance, identifies risks early, minimizes consequential losses, reduces the effort required to manage incidents and improves the confidence and trust that your stakeholders have in your project.

Thankfully, the way we do this, is simple. The way we do this is to manage risks in our Daily Forum. The Daily Forum is debated elsewhere in the Toolkit. However, the risks are included within this session to ensure they get visibility, to ensure they are managed and acted upon. All risks are recorded and managed inside a project RAID Log.

Let us look at the concept of RAID and the RAID Log.

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