While we all know risk management is integral to a successful project it’s unsurprising that failure to manage risks effectively are still a key cause of project failure.

Whilst risk management is a defined process with an input and an output all too often project managers will constrain themselves by just doing a part of the process and forgetting the rest (all to often leading to disastrous results!)

So in this lighthearted look at risk management what are the 10 steps you need to do if you really want to screw up your risk management process?

1/ Don’t capture your risks

Capturing risks is easy, brainstorm your thoughts with your team and capture them on a risk register. Don’t have one? You can download a risk register here.

2/ Don’t estimate the financial impact of a risk being realised

All risks carry financial consequences – can you estimate what yours are? Once you have are they in your budget? Have you assessed the cost of your mitigation?

3/ Don’t involve stakeholders in the risk management process

If you really want to screw up the process don’t involve anyone else in risk planning after all on your own you won’t know all the likely risks and probably won’t be privy to mitigation opportunities

4/ Don’t manage mitigation activities

Capture your risks but then don’t mitigate them – perfect – wait for them to blow up and sabotage your project.

5/ Don’t make senior stakeholders aware of your risk exposure

Hiding all your problems is a perfect way to not get extra funding or resources you may need to protect your project. Then when the risks are realised you’ll be sacked for not making your boss aware.

6/ Don’t review your risk log regularly

Risk profiles don’t change so why bother regularly reassign your position? Duh…..

7/ Don’t retire risks when they have been mitigated

You’ve fully mitigated your risk? So hey let’s leave it on the risk register and still claim that budget for possible impact.

8/ Don’t bother incorporating lessons learned from other projects

Think other project managers may have experienced risks? Might they have found ways of dealing with them – nah.

9/ Don’t bother looking outside the organisation at potential risks

All risks come from inside your organisation! External suppliers, customers, environmental, political, etc etc never influence project outcome – or do they?

10/ Don’t underestimate the schedule impact of your risks

Finally expect risk mitigation takes no resource and zero time to do – it absolutely doesn’t impact your teams ability of the rest of your project.

(Ok ok – you got me we don’t really want you to screw up your risk management and clearly these 10 steps are designed to prompt you into thinking about how you can make your process a success)

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