Godzilla Could Mess it Up
Project planning is the most important aspect of a projects’ life cycle, dictating the likelihood of the project attaining prescribed goals and meeting a successful outcome. As stated by PMI in “The Project Management Body of Knowledge Guide”, “stakeholder influences, risk and uncertainty are greatest at the start of the project.”
Thorough and robust organizing and planning requires a detailed and well thought out description of risks that could impact project outcome. These risks once identified are screened for likelihood of occurrence, the nature and magnitude of their impact, and estimation of cost to mitigate.
At MATRIX PMO, our Project Managers develop realistic and meaningful risk registers that put in place proactive mitigating actions to address risk at the earliest sign of realization. MATRIX Project Managers develop risk registers and mitigating actions in a detailed and methodical manner.
Define Project and Stakeholder requirements to be attained around which risk is to be developed.
Seek customer input. The project sponsor or “customer” input to risk development is critical.
Seek input from Subject Matter Experts involved each phase of the project lifecycle. This should include design, procurement, material handling and storage, transportation, security.
Seek input and assign accountability to key participants involved in the execution phase. This aspect of risk development is critical and should be facilitative and collaborative.
Identify key project Milestones that indicated progress toward project completion.
Develop and assign leading indicators that track achievement of progress toward each Milestone. Leading indicators should provide timely and forward-looking indication of progress so that deviation can be identified early and when low in consequence.
Schedule risk realization milestones to maintain visibility and comprehension of risk status.
And finally, seek historical information for aspects of the project or risks that may have been developed, experienced, or addressed previously. Recurrence of previous lessons learned is painful.
The risks identified in the risk register should be realistic and measurable. Estimates should be developed for all mitigating actions to be taken in advance or in response to risks that are realized. The estimates of cost should have bearing upon the development of project contingency.
MATRIX Project Managers develop project risks at a level of detail to align with the project schedule and schedule activities. This ensures that each risk identified is realistic and can be monitored against the project schedule for timing.
Although it may look good and feel significant, limiting project risk development to only the biggest and baddest things that could happen does not support project success. Although it might happen, the arrival of Godzilla to mess things up should be left to the movies.