My project team and I had embarked on a massive renovation to our company's main movie theater. It was one of the largest projects we'd done to date. And it was one of those "your job is on the line if something goes wrong" type of projects.
Such a big project brings some very big potential risks. My project delivery team and I made a list of possible risks plus a list of planned responses. Should one of the risks actually manifest, we knew exactly what to do.
As you may have guessed by now, this huge project that couldn't go wrong went very, very wrong.
Our team realized one thing while planning: We know that we don't know. Irritating as that phrase is, it may keep you from ruining what would be an otherwise successful project.
We knew that even our collective genius may not be enough to avoid disaster. But rather than spend the time creating mitigation plans for unpredictable risks, we created a mitigation plan for the actual risk of not knowing what could happen.
The plan included an eight-step process tailored to how the project team operates and how we run our projects. This gave us a standard procedure to follow if trouble arose. And when it did, we used that mitigation plan. There was no need to worry. Everything was under control, even for a risk we hadn't specifically planned for.
Because of this project, my team and I still always assume an "unplanned for" risk is on the horizon. We always give our due diligence to risk management and create responses for risks we can specifically identify. But then we review our eight-step plan to ensure we're all prepared for the unknown.
Do you have a risk-management response-mitigation plan in place for risks you know you don't know?