By: Esra Tepeli, Ph.D., PMP
Risk management is a growing concern in project management. Nowadays, we understand more the importance of having a robust risk management strategy. Due to uncertainties, project managers have difficulties reaching project objectives in terms of time, resource, cost, quality and safety. The most difficult part is to identify and assess the uncertainties with their possible impacts on the project objectives. However, “risk” can have another dimension called “opportunity”. For this reason, structuring a risk management strategy that includes not only risk events, but also opportunities will be beneficial for the corporate strategy.
Developing a strong and reliable risk management strategy can be quite difficult for complex projects. Complex projects may have a long and complex life-cycle, multiple stakeholders with a complex organizational plan, and contractual complexities. For these types of projects, identifying and assessing risks is a tough task, depending on the project’s characteristics and the environmental conditions, also feedback on similar risks can be inadequate.
In addition, a gap can be observed in the application of risk management methods in practice. For instance, in the field of construction projects, risk management is underestimated because project managers do not always have enough time to devote to risk management. However, the loss can be very critical for companies if a bad strategic decision has been made due to a lack of risk analysis, especially before the contracting phase.
For complex and strategic projects, it is important for the project stakeholders to identify and assess all the potential risks throughout the project life-cycle and establish an effective risk allocation framework. An objective, reliable and practical risk management process is essential for successful project implementation.
Taking into account the above facts, we have developed a formalized and systematic risk management approach in order to identify and assess project risks in a dynamic way and to take adequate action plans throughout the life-cycle of complex and strategic projects. The findings should enable the project stakeholders to establish a more efficient risk management framework in parallel with project management and to achieve project objectives.
The formalized and systematic risk management process has been developed on the careful analysis of complex projects to ensure its ability to deal with real projects in operational conditions. Besides, the views of a wide range of experts from all major players in complex and strategic projects have also been considered. The process will enable users to identify and assess project risks in a dynamic vision covering the entire project life-cycle, in parallel with project management, and to propose a response plan for risks deemed critical. The identification of risk events is based on a multidimensional and formalized project analysis, which intends to make a more objective, reliable and effective risk identification because each project is unique, has specific factors and needs to be analyzed separately in its case.
In summary, the formalized and systematic risk management process has several added values:
The method and tools were developed in close collaboration with project stakeholders, and their applicability was tested on several projects. The process has been tested by a variety of stakeholders to improve its use under different operating conditions and develop rich feedback for a variety of complex and strategic projects. In particular, the systematic approach for (Risk Identification), proposed in the model, in combination with the multidimensional project analysis received good feedback from practitioners. The ability of the prototype to approach with real context and to provide useful answers, such as a risk response plan, has been verified.
If you are interested in adopting new risk management models and tools in a dynamic and systematic approach, connect with me during my course Formalized and Systematic Risk Management Process for Complex Projects at SeminarsWorld® Virtual on 5-7 October. I look forward to discussing Risk and Opportunity Management with you!
Integrating People, Organizational, and Technical Skills: The Complete Project Manager
By: Randall L. Englund
Success in any environment largely depends upon completing successful projects, and successful projects get done by skilled project managers and teams, supported by effective project sponsors. That depends upon building the Right Set of Skills for Greater Project Success. The integration of knowledge and skills makes the difference in achieving optimized outcomes. A Complete Project Manager integrates key people, team, business, technical, and organizational skills. It becomes possible to apply an organic analog from molecular chemistry and share insights, experiences, and examples intended to motivate action towards embracing an integrated approach to the complete project manager mindset.
While many professionals develop their craft through advanced education and on the job experiences, there comes a time when an enhanced skill set and a new perspective about working with people is necessary to advance to the next level of performance. How do you move beyond this plateau? We suggest a holistic approach to open eyes, minds, … and doors, so that changed thinking can be applied immediately within each organizational environment. The “right” set of skills to achieve “completeness” depends on individual starting points, aptitude, attitude, desires, and supporting context.
Many people are not aware of the need for them to change their thinking and how this mindset inhibits their performance. In time it becomes necessary to adopt, adapt, and apply a different approach, leading to more consistent, timely, and quality results. This can happen because project managers apply necessary leadership, influence, sales, and negotiating skills that had previously been overlooked or underapplied. With the conscious application of these skills, project managers get recognized through achieving business outcomes that had before now eluded them. The goal is to achieve greater levels of personal satisfaction and professional advancement.
The missing ingredients that will move professionals from good to great are the next generation of skills, mindsets, and processes that transform your performance as a project manager or sponsor. To become a more Complete Project Manager means integrating key people, team, business, technical, and organizational skills. Develop the leadership, learning, means and motivation (L2M2) to advance both personally and professionally.
The PMI SeminarsWorld® session on “Integrating People, Organizational, and Technical Skills: The Complete Project Manager” offers the opportunity for participants to share insights, experiences, attitudes, examples, stories and passion to motivate action. Now being offered virtually, participants immediately begin to apply these practices up, across, and down the organization, especially in politically charged situations. The goal is to assess and then integrate the knowledge and skills that make the difference in achieving optimized outcomes, increased satisfaction and bottom-line results. Close the talent gap between what is possible and what actually can be accomplished. This becomes real through a complete project manager mindset that is applied regularly, focused on integrating concepts and skills to create value.
My belief is that all leaders need to create healthy environments for people to consistently and sustainably achieve project success. Sponsors can do a better job of guiding and supporting project teams, and project managers can expand their people skills. My approach includes the behavioral, technical, business, leadership, influence, negotiation, political, conflict and change management aspects that create an environment for project success. The goal is to get greater, optimized results from projects underway or contemplated in the organization. An organic approach learns from nature and implements project, program, and portfolio management through tapping the inherent power of people to work in harmony, have fun, and be more productive. My co-facilitator (and co-author) is Alfonso Bucero. Alfonso believes in and demonstrates passion, persistence, and patience as his motto for everything in life. We bring complementary styles, experiences, and insights that we thoroughly enjoy sharing with others. Both of us come from practitioner backgrounds and now work with project professionals in all industries and functional areas, world-wide. Our goal is to create the right environment to “grow” people to produce their best work.
Completeness taps your passion, persistence and patience. Achieving outstanding projects and organizational skills requires passionate belief in your project. That takes time and dedicated effort. A complete project manager needs to persist, much like an infectious mosquito, to all project stakeholders and use your patience to get those results.
In contrast, many or perhaps most of us are incomplete when it comes to skills that lead to consistent project successes. As a consequence, project failures are all too common. We suffer from missed deadlines, insufficient resources and support, missed commitments, surprises, unhappy team members and customers, career stagnation, unfulfilled dreams and aspirations, perhaps even depression. We think we are doing our job, after all, we were trained as professionals, but we appear myopic and blind to the bigger picture. Struggles are all too common. We are victims of politics, disappointed that our ideas are not accepted, and do not get others on our side. Strategic goals are a foreign concept. No wonder we are stuck on a plateau. We often feel incomplete because of our continuous desire to improve. We strongly believe that continuously moving forward needs to be cultivated by every project manager.
There is hope. When operating in our strengths, regardless of being introverted or extroverted, quiet or loud, we can get along with others, share the credit, and complement each other. When we pair up with people and team members who possess complementary strengths and skills, we become more complete. Opposites can thrive in exquisite harmony.
It seems that the only constant thing in our society during the 21st century is change—technical changes, paradigm shifts, project manager behavioral changes. We need always to be ready to change. We can do so because of a belief that all of us are excellent. Today is a wonderful day to start; if you dedicate time and effort to open your mind and face new possibilities, tomorrow will be even better.
This organic molecule serves as an assessment tool and a summary of the complete project manager skillset:
We look forward to interacting with like-minded individuals to engage in continuous learning and productivity. Join us at SeminarsWorld®