PMO Risk Management

Andy Jordan is President of Roffensian Consulting Inc., an Ontario, Canada-based management consulting firm with a comprehensive project management practice. Andy always appreciates feedback and discussion on the issues raised in his articles and can be reached at andy.jordan@roffensian.com. Andy's new book Risk Management for Project Driven Organizations is now available.

The PMO is expected to do a lot in an organization, but one of the areas that I don’t see enough PMOs assisting with is the issue of risk management. Although I would never suggest that risk management shouldn’t be happening at the project level, I feel that there are a lot of aspects of risk management where the PMO can provide tangible support to project managers in their risk management endeavors. In this article, I would like to explore some of that support in terms of identification, analysis and response.

Risk identification support
The PMO has a broader perspective than an individual project manager, and can therefore have visibility into areas that a PM doesn’t have access to. When it comes to risk identification, that can have a number of advantages:

  • Risks identified on one project can be communicated to project managers on similar or related initiatives. They won’t automatically apply to all those other initiatives, but they provide a valuable additional resource that can be used during the process of risk identification. This resource can also avoid later projects from “reinventing the wheel” by looking for risks that have already been identified. Similar ongoing initiatives are more current than using historic projects as a potential source to identify risks.
  • The PMO will identify program- and portfolio-…

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