Project Management

Risk and Consequence

PMI Los Angeles Chapter

Aaron is the former editor of

Risk management expert Dan Patterson shares thoughts and best practices on the subject too many project teams continue to misunderstand or neglect at their own peril.

In a recent white paper on risk management, project management veteran Dan Patterson, Ph.D., PMP, asks, "How many project decisions are made without formally evaluating potential consequences?" The answer, judging from project failure rates, appears to be "too many." In an economic climate where budgets are tight, resources limited and competition fierce, Patterson makes the case that implementing formalized risk management is more important than ever.
Patterson, who earned his Ph.D. in Project Management from the University of Nottingham, U.K., in 1997, and is now executive vice predident for Pertmaster, shared more of his thoughts on risk management with ProjectsAtWork.
Why isn't risk management at the forefront of so many projects?
Patterson: Historically, people have focused on the negative aspects of risk. And one of the reasons people don't do much risk management is because they don't like to do a self-assessment of things that can go wrong. But there is a growing recognition that risk is not always bad, that risk can be in the form of a threat or a potential opportunity. It makes it easier to do risk assessment if you also focus…

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"More than any time in history mankind faces a crossroads. One path leads to despair and utter hopelessness, the other to total extinction. Let us pray that we have the wisdom to choose correctly."

- Woody Allen