Risk of not managing Project Risk

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How many projects do not effectively manage risk?  Many projects start with some form of risk assessment and then populate some form of risk register with the risks that have been found and then too many feel that is the job done.  In parallel it is true that many projects build project plans never to track them.  Both elements lead to a short term comfortable life believing the project will deliver the expected objectives on time and to budget.   The truth is very different.

Project risk management too often is seen as an evil to be policed by the PMO, quality control or central risk management.  If project managers and the wider project team members do not value or understand risk management then many stakeholders will also see it as a blocker to progress and not an enabler of quality delivery.

Organisations are increasingly embedding the management of risk to improve safety, quality and reduce costs.  The more mature environments are actively seeking opportunities to not just avoid cost but realise better revenue and profit.

With better tools like PPM solutions, specialised risk recording tools and collaboration tools like SharePoint the time required to administer a risk log is greatly reduced and the level of reporting and analysis available is more comprehensive and increasingly ease to provide.

Some transferring paper logs and static excel spreadsheet to better tools will aid the management of risks for projects as well as provide audit trails, alerts and some automation (depending on the tool used).

Risk management for a project is not optional extra; tools can help. but the project manager and their team need to own and drive active risk management. People need to drive the process.