Project Management

The Money Files

A blog that looks at all aspects of project and program finances from budgets, estimating and accounting to getting a pay rise and managing contracts. Written by Elizabeth Harrin from

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Recent Posts

What is Depreciation?

Standardising the Language of Risk [Video]

What is Project Cost Control?

How to Reduce Complexity on Projects

Benefits of Risk Management [Video]

Standardising the Language of Risk [Video]

Categories: risk

Standardising the language of risk

How do you talk about risk? Do you talk about negative and positive risk, or threats and opportunities?

And do your colleagues use the same terminology? As a project manager, we need to be able to have conversations about risk – and make sure that the people we are talking to understand what we are talking about! That can be hard to do if you don’t have a standard risk language – terminology that everyone in the business understands.

In this video I talk about the benefits of standardising the way you and your team talk about risk because. With standard vocab you can gain better buy in for your risk management actions because people get what you want to do.

It also allows for comparability between risks between projects, programmes, portfolio and the enterprise level. By all using the same definition of ‘major’ to describe a risk assessment, for example, you ensure that everyone understands the same thing.

This video talks about how to have a conversation about standardisation, and what you can do as a project manager even if you think you aren’t in a position to influence corporate standards on risk.

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Posted on: January 06, 2020 08:59 AM | Permalink | Comments (8)

Benefits of Risk Management [Video]

Categories: risk

risk managementWe all know we have to do risk management on projects. And beyond that, our businesses should have enterprise risk management in place, because… well… it’s the right thing to do.

However, if you’ve ever had to convince a project sponsor that it’s worth spending time on risk in a project board meeting, then you’ll know that sometimes not everyone feels the same way about risk management.

When you need to have conversations with your stakeholders and teams – and perhaps even the leadership in your organisation – about why risk management is a worthwhile endeavour, then this video will help.

I talk about the benefits of managing risk at an enterprise and project level. Specifically, we do risk management:

  • Because it meets mandatory requirements
  • For assurance
  • For effective decision making
  • For process efficiency.

Watch the video below and then let me know – what are the benefits of risk management that are the most important to you?


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Posted on: December 10, 2019 08:59 AM | Permalink | Comments (4)

3 Ways to Think About Risk [Video]

Categories: risk

Getting a handle on risk is so important when it comes to keeping your project under control.

There are plenty of different ways to categorise and think about risk, and today’s video considers three ways you can group risk:

  • Hazard risk
  • Control risk
  • Opportunity risk.

Watch the video below and then let me know – do you agree with these categories, or do you use a different way of bundling your risks together?

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project risk

Posted on: November 05, 2019 03:47 PM | Permalink | Comments (4)

Does your project need insurance?

Categories: insurance, risk

does your project need insuranceInsurance is something we think about naturally for our homes, cars and even our lives. But should you be considering it on your project too?

Insurance is a risk response strategy to help you mitigate the impact of what might go wrong on your project. Typically, we do talk about positive and negative risk, and while I’m sure you could probably find a firm to insure you against positive risk, you are far more likely to consider insurance as a support strategy for negative risk.

What could you insure?

Through a broker, you can pretty much insure against anything. However, organising specialist, one-off insurance for a very specific, unique, circumstance is potentially a lot of work (and expense) so you would only want to do that if your project was large enough to support that effort.

However, you can more easily insure a range of other, more ‘regular’ things on your project. For example, event cancellation due to poor weather or low attendance rates. In this situation, you’d get a pay out from the insurance if you had to cancel the cycle race you’d organised (for example). This would help you offset the costs you had incurred organising the cycle race, like catering vans, first aid teams, water for the cyclists, security and so on – all costs you’d still have to pay because you’ve booked them and probably can’t cancel them with such short notice.

Travel insurance

Another type of insurance to consider for your project team is travel insurance. If your team is travelling a lot for work, it would be worth checking that your company offers insurance for employees travelling for business.

This would cover them if they lost their laptop or other work items while away for business. It could also help cover the costs of travel arrangements if their flights were cancelled, or they were unable to travel.

Other insurance for staff

If you are a sole proprietor or a small business owner – and many project managers do work independently as contractors or in small consulting firms – then it’s also worth considering other types of insurance that cover you and your team as individuals.

For example, in the UK you can get director’s insurance, that covers the business in the case that the director is unable to carry out their duties, say, due to illness.

You can also organise health insurance for the team. Depending on where you are in the world, healthcare costs can be really expensive. Insurance will help offset those costs, and help an employee get back on their feet (and back to work) more quickly.

I should add that I am not a financial advisor, and the points above are given simply to give you ideas of how to consider the part insurance could play in your business and on your project. If you don’t have anything set up yet for your team, it’s worth asking the question of your Finance team or Director. Get some proper advice from a financial advisor.

Think about whether insurance is a viable option for your risk mitigation strategies and if so, you may be grateful one day for having it set up!

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Does your project need insurance

Posted on: June 25, 2019 08:59 AM | Permalink | Comments (5)

3 Levels of Risk Management

Categories: risk

Risk management is so important when it comes to ensuring your project stays on track – both in terms of budget, which is what this column mainly talks about – but also in generally.

The graphic below shows the three levels of risk management to consider on your project (and beyond). If you aren’t working at the portfolio management level in your organisation, you can still take these into consideration because you can work with those who are managing your portfolio. Ask the right questions and help keep your project on track!

three levels of project risk

For more on this idea, check out this article.

Posted on: June 01, 2019 01:55 PM | Permalink | Comments (12)

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