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Topics: Risk Management
Urgency, Proximity and Dormancy as risk prioritization factors
Dear Friends,

Need some clarity on Urgency, Proximity and Dormancy as risk prioritization factors. For me its confusing. Request some insights on this with examples please.
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These are all related to timing of the risk being realized. Basically, is the train miles away or round the corner, and is the big hungry wolf sleeping or wide awake...

Kiron
@narendera yadav -Some projects classify risks as within 7 days; over 7 days. That's example of proximity .
Bird hits are something a pilot can never escape, because it takes less than a second to react. Thats example of urgency.
If you update cost baseline, only once in 3 months, you might allow risks to lie latent for too long and suddenly one fine morning find an explosive situation. Thats dormancy - a risk that lies latent for too long.
Urgency = How far is the risk
Proximity = How much time will you have to act after the risk has occured to save the project
Dormancy = How long will it take for for the impact to show up and be discovered
Let us consider a real-life example for this question.
Project: Sustain global health index
Risk: Covid-19 infection
Highest impact: Death

Urgency: When the virus was first identified in 2019, China had the highest urgency towards addressing the risk while other countries far away from China thought it was just another regional disease and had other problems to deal with and therefore urgency to address the risk was low for those countries.

Proximity: How soon is the risk expected to occur for it to impact project objectives? The proximity for China was the highest when the virus was first identified in Dec 2019 as it had only few days to take immediate actions to save as much people as possible.

Dormancy: The idle time after a risk has occurred before realizing its impact. The Covid-19 was declared a pandemic in Mar 2020 but there was a period of time in certain countries when lock downs were not mandated. The risk had already occurred and countries thought they still had the time to address the risk before implementing lockdowns, but the impact was catastrophic.
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2 replies by Mayukh Das and Mohamed Abdulla
Dec 24, 2020 3:57 AM
Mayukh Das
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Great analogy ! Loved it
Sep 20, 2022 11:27 PM
Mohamed Abdulla
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I am a little confused: If proximity is the amount of time passed since the risk occurred before that risk will impact one of the projects factors/objectives, then why do we consider the proximity "High" for those cases where the time is very "Less". Shouldn't the proximity be "Low" if time is "less", and "High" if time is "more"?
Dec 23, 2020 8:53 PM
Replying to DINESH KUMBAKONAM SRINIVASAN
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Let us consider a real-life example for this question.
Project: Sustain global health index
Risk: Covid-19 infection
Highest impact: Death

Urgency: When the virus was first identified in 2019, China had the highest urgency towards addressing the risk while other countries far away from China thought it was just another regional disease and had other problems to deal with and therefore urgency to address the risk was low for those countries.

Proximity: How soon is the risk expected to occur for it to impact project objectives? The proximity for China was the highest when the virus was first identified in Dec 2019 as it had only few days to take immediate actions to save as much people as possible.

Dormancy: The idle time after a risk has occurred before realizing its impact. The Covid-19 was declared a pandemic in Mar 2020 but there was a period of time in certain countries when lock downs were not mandated. The risk had already occurred and countries thought they still had the time to address the risk before implementing lockdowns, but the impact was catastrophic.
Great analogy ! Loved it
Thanks for your question. I copied the below excerpt from my book "Bullet Dodging - A Risk Management Handbook for ICT Projects":

• Urgency of the risk – how soon a risk response needs to be applied to treat the risk
• Risk proximity – the amount of time between the present and when the risk could occur
• Dormancy – The amount of time that might pass after a risk has occurred before its impact is noticed; a short amount of time signifies low dormancy
A couple of videos from the Risk Doctor (Dr. David Hillson) and I about this topic:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XoiWqh_3t_g
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KkcLNH1OsWI

Urgency: response time
Proximity: impact time
Dormancy: Discovery time

Also check out The Risk Doctor Video channel on YT:
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJ7xvaDM2FhtsnufxW0WhzQ
Dec 23, 2020 8:53 PM
Replying to DINESH KUMBAKONAM SRINIVASAN
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Let us consider a real-life example for this question.
Project: Sustain global health index
Risk: Covid-19 infection
Highest impact: Death

Urgency: When the virus was first identified in 2019, China had the highest urgency towards addressing the risk while other countries far away from China thought it was just another regional disease and had other problems to deal with and therefore urgency to address the risk was low for those countries.

Proximity: How soon is the risk expected to occur for it to impact project objectives? The proximity for China was the highest when the virus was first identified in Dec 2019 as it had only few days to take immediate actions to save as much people as possible.

Dormancy: The idle time after a risk has occurred before realizing its impact. The Covid-19 was declared a pandemic in Mar 2020 but there was a period of time in certain countries when lock downs were not mandated. The risk had already occurred and countries thought they still had the time to address the risk before implementing lockdowns, but the impact was catastrophic.
I am a little confused: If proximity is the amount of time passed since the risk occurred before that risk will impact one of the projects factors/objectives, then why do we consider the proximity "High" for those cases where the time is very "Less". Shouldn't the proximity be "Low" if time is "less", and "High" if time is "more"?
Beyond the excellent comments above, trying to add something, let me say that if you are working taking the PMI standards as the basement then my recommendation is going to "The Standard for Risk Management in Portfolios, Programs, and Projects". You will find the definitions inside there. Perhaps you did it.
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1 reply by Mohamed Abdulla
Sep 21, 2022 9:40 AM
Mohamed Abdulla
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Indeed it is by definition in that guide. What I had in hands was a printed material from my PMP study which did not mention the extra details as found in the "The Standard for Risk Management". Those Bubble Charts now makes sense. Thank you Sergio.
Sep 21, 2022 6:18 AM
Replying to Sergio Luis Conte
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Beyond the excellent comments above, trying to add something, let me say that if you are working taking the PMI standards as the basement then my recommendation is going to "The Standard for Risk Management in Portfolios, Programs, and Projects". You will find the definitions inside there. Perhaps you did it.
Indeed it is by definition in that guide. What I had in hands was a printed material from my PMP study which did not mention the extra details as found in the "The Standard for Risk Management". Those Bubble Charts now makes sense. Thank you Sergio.

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