Project Risk Management


This two-day program focuses on qualitative project risk management — how to find the real risks when you are doing something that has never been done before. You will learn about the importance of distinguishing cause and effect and about the difference between a risk and a problem. You will also learn how to write risk descriptions that get an appropriate response from management and how to use range estimates to overcome unreasonable cost and schedule targets. Approximately 70% of class time is devoted to casework and experiential learning.

Key Learning Objectives

Upon completion, you will be able to:

  • Describe the difference between risks, problems, and issues.
  • Explain the difference between a risk response and a problem response.
  • Write risk descriptions that produce an appropriate management response.
  • Plan for very high probability risks.
  • Determine which project risks require a response.
  • Recognize conceptual biases that interfere with good risk management.
  • Monitor risks throughout the project.

Detailed Topical Outline

Core Concepts
Risks, problems, and issues
Risk and opportunity
Project risk management options: information, flexibility, progress

“Guaranteed” risks
Inadequate budgets
Unreasonable schedules
Scope creep
Lack of stakeholder agreement

Identifying risks
How to write an effective risk statement
Using checklists and taxonomies
Stakeholder interviews

Prioritizing risks
Understanding risk severity
Expected monetary value: what it is, when to use it
Weighted extremes: what it is, when to use it
Probability-impact matrix: what it is, when to use it
Multiple factor assessment: what it is, when to use it

Responding to risks
Types of responses: accept, mitigate, or avoid
Mitigation options
Guidelines for estimating reserves and contingencies
Choosing among response options
Using expert judgment and decision trees

Monitoring risks
Using a risk register
Triggers and symptoms
Support systems

Case study exercise

After this program, you’ll say, “I can manage project risks!”