The popular managerial acronym VUCA (volatility, uncertainty, complexity, ambiguity) can be useful in identifying and categorizing risks, but a complementary framework known as VUCA-Prime is more helpful in shaping appropriate responses to those risks by focusing on vision, understanding, clarity and agility.
Managing risk is not exclusively about minimizing it. Risk is also about maximizing rewards. Here, a lead project manager shares some thoughts on “playing it safe” to stay on track and avoid issues versus “taking a plunge” to pursue an unexpected opportunity.
Most organizations and leaders have succumbed to the sunk cost fallacy — sticking with a project or team member based on the time and money already invested, even though there is no sign of a turnaround. Being aware of this phenomenon is the first step in making sure ego does not trump rational decision-making.
Project managers and organizations need to be mindful of the public stakeholders who might be affected by their initiatives in social, environmental or economic ways. They need to listen to their concerns and prioritize them alongside the potential benefits. This is the intersection of risk management and sustainability, and the cost of not practicing it can be enormous.
When a risk does not affect project objectives but could still impact another part of the organization, it should be “escalated” to the appropriate owner to ensure that it is recognized, understood and managed. Here is an overview of this key risk response strategy in practice.
Project costs receive serious scrutiny from executives and stakeholders who use ROI and other financial metrics to judge organizational performance. Here is a checklist of questions to help project leaders and their teams determine the best available options for responding to project cost risks and issues that may arise.
Project teams in regulated industries must get compliance requirements right — a company’s reputation and legal standing depend on it. Here are eight best practices to help PMOs, product owners and business analysts to better understand complex regulatory environments, interpret rapidly changing regulations, and develop clear, complete requirements.
Whether a risk facilitator takes control of a workshop, encourages collaboration or plays a support role, the approach should take into account the risk identification techniques being used by the group. Here is guidance on which style works best with six common risk identification techniques.
Assumptions can introduce significant risk to projects. Whether assuming someone is responsible for a task or all implications of a change are understood, they lead to scope creep, delays and outright failure. Use this collaborative spreadsheet as a risk mitigation exercise to uncover assumptions about your initiatives before they do serious damage.
Risk facilitators play a critical role in the risk management process, leading discussions that identify, assess and develop responses. To be effective, facilitators not only understand risk principles and processes but also projects and people. And they are adept at three facilitation styles, knowing when each is most appropriate.