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Topics: Risk Management
Identifying Risks in the project
To gather possible risks in the project, we may have interviews, brainstorming sessions, checklists, Assumption Analysis, Ishikawa diagrams, NGT, etc...
But, Which questions do you ask the stakeholders to identify the risks in the project?
Some are:
1. What are the things that we are not doing do you think we should do? Why
2. What are the things that we are doing do you think we should not do? Why
3. What element of the present process do you think is an unseen benefit?
4. What element of the present process do you think is an untraced threat?
More similar questions?
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You will not be able to ask questions if you do not make your work before that. The work means to perform elicitacitation. You have to take knowledge about the domain, about the business which is running in that domain, about the pains stakehodlers in that domain/business are facing. Tools? PESTLE, Porter Five Forces, Solution Selling just to name something.
You can add a SWOT tool.

With This you explore many risks in your enterprise and your project with some answers.
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1 reply by Peter Rapin
Aug 17, 2020 5:13 PM
Peter Rapin
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Typically a project is the result of a SWOT (Strength, Weakness, Opportunity, Threat) analysis and one can refer back to that analysis in the risk management initiative. S and O will provide some ideas on potential project benefits; W and T will lead you to potential risks. Knowing your S and W will also play into mitigation strategies. (rely on your S, strengthen your W.

A project specific SWOT analysis is also useful as you suggest but keep in mind that the corporate and project specific SWOT analysis need to be kept separate.

One of the most useful tools for risk management is lessons learned. This applies to internal as well as external lessons - previous projects, personal experience and networks, mentors, independent consultants, industry practice, stakeholder knowledge... Your project need not start from scratch.
Akash -

It is a good idea to have some sense of the scope of the project using tools such as a WBS or story map as that can focus identification on what needs to be delivered.

One good question to ask stakeholders is "How would you cause this project to fail?" as that might help to elicit some higher severity negative risks. Similarly, you might ask "How might we get a much better outcome with this project than we'd expected?" to surface some positive risks.

Kiron
Thanks all of you for great replies.
Aug 16, 2020 4:23 PM
Replying to Jean-Claude Greco
...
You can add a SWOT tool.

With This you explore many risks in your enterprise and your project with some answers.
Typically a project is the result of a SWOT (Strength, Weakness, Opportunity, Threat) analysis and one can refer back to that analysis in the risk management initiative. S and O will provide some ideas on potential project benefits; W and T will lead you to potential risks. Knowing your S and W will also play into mitigation strategies. (rely on your S, strengthen your W.

A project specific SWOT analysis is also useful as you suggest but keep in mind that the corporate and project specific SWOT analysis need to be kept separate.

One of the most useful tools for risk management is lessons learned. This applies to internal as well as external lessons - previous projects, personal experience and networks, mentors, independent consultants, industry practice, stakeholder knowledge... Your project need not start from scratch.
When dealing with risks, and risk management, I always spend a little time to learn and understand what the tolerance for risk is in the organization. Having a better understanding whether the organization is "risk averse" vs "risk tolerant" can help narrow the questions being asked. I often times ask "What do you believe are the key risk areas with this project"? I.e Reputation, Safety, Quality, financial etc....

My follow-up question is usually "What do you believe the impact level is" I.e Negligible, Moderate, Significant, or Major to those areas if the risk occurred?
Thanks everyone for your inputs.
From a session at my local PMI conference a few years ago:

- What is it about the project that keeps you up at night?

Mark made a good point about understanding risk tolerance. It's been my experience that few people want to spend a lot of time discussing risks early in a project or when things are going well. If you spend a lot of time asking different questions to identify risks, there is a risk you might lose your audience. Spend time on the critical few questions, and then make sure they are addressed appropriately (probability,impact [qualitative and quantitative], priority, response, owner...)..
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1 reply by Peter Rapin
Aug 18, 2020 12:07 PM
Peter Rapin
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One of the reasons that you may lose your audience is that risk management can be very negative. But it doesn't have to be. In your discussions alternate between adverse risk and opportunity. They are both part of the same process but opportunity for project enhancement tends to be overlooked.
Aug 18, 2020 10:38 AM
Replying to Aaron Porter
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From a session at my local PMI conference a few years ago:

- What is it about the project that keeps you up at night?

Mark made a good point about understanding risk tolerance. It's been my experience that few people want to spend a lot of time discussing risks early in a project or when things are going well. If you spend a lot of time asking different questions to identify risks, there is a risk you might lose your audience. Spend time on the critical few questions, and then make sure they are addressed appropriately (probability,impact [qualitative and quantitative], priority, response, owner...)..
One of the reasons that you may lose your audience is that risk management can be very negative. But it doesn't have to be. In your discussions alternate between adverse risk and opportunity. They are both part of the same process but opportunity for project enhancement tends to be overlooked.
...
1 reply by Aaron Porter
Aug 28, 2020 10:05 AM
Aaron Porter
...
It's been a while, but the experience I was thinking of had more to do with a specific group of people that were resistant to anything that took them away from what they considered their actual work. Once I got them engaged in the process, they were open to a deeper dive. If they had felt bombarded with what they considered irrelevant activities, they never would have engaged, and might have derailed the project - I witnessed them do that to another project manager when he attempted to lead them through a scoping exercise on a different project.
Thanks everyone.
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