Below are a few steps which you can take to help reduce the amount of project risk.
Clarify the deliverable – Often projects get started without clearly defining what the deliverable should be. The first step to a successful project and minimizing risk is to clearly document a projects deliverable, vision, objectives, and scope. Only after defining these attributes can you really know what has to be achieved and by when.
Identify Risks – After documenting a clearly defined deliverable, all of the potential risks associated with the project should be identified. A risk is any event which may have a negative impact on the project. Examples of risks might be “do we have enough resources”, “is there an extra application on the server rebuild we are not accounting for”, or “third party may not have their piece installed on-time.”
Accountability – Depending upon the size of the project, it may be impossible for one person to be responsible for all the risks associated with a project. The PM should assign accountability to members of the project team and make them responsible for those risks. The team should monitor those risks and report back to the PM on a regular basis. The team should also be aware of potential risks that may arise during the project and report those to the PM as well.
Reduce Risks – Now that we have identified all of the potential risks associated with the project, we must put steps in place to help minimize them. So if your risk is that a “third party may not have their piece installed on-time” then set an earlier due date for the third party. Or see if you can strike some sort of deal with the third party which penalizes them for a late installation.
Monitor Risks – As the project progresses, check the status of the identified risks to ensure they are being monitored closely. Ask some important questions:
- How likely are these risks to occur?
- Is the level of risk reducing?
- Are their any new risks developing that i should be aware of?