How much risk management to do

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Posted by APM on 14th Apr 2011

On 8th October 2010 the APM Risk SIG ran an event in Glasgows West End that was attended by over 60 people.

Jo Langley (BMT Hi-Q Sigma) did a workshop style presentation on ensuring that risk management is an early consideration in a project and that it is firmly and clearly written in to the contracts to ensure that the desired level of risk management is undertaken and reported to the customer. This also ensures that the culture is set up early with both sides of the project being bought in to the need to carry out good risk management.
Bryan Barrow (Perfect Programme Management) presented on ensuring that the correct level of risk management is embedded with the project team to ensure that it isnt seen as a burden by the project team but a helpful tool to ensure that the project meets its best possible outcome.

Mark Warner (Network Rail) presented on the way that risk management is used within Network rail. Risk analysis is performed on a regular basis as the timescales for repairs to tracks are so important to ensure that the least disruption is causes to passengers as possible. This is incentivised with penalties but it is in everyones best interests for the work to complete on time and the information from risk analysis is used by management to decide whether a project can be finished within the required timescales and if not whether that project should be carried out at all or whether another approach is required.

Tony McDonald (LSC Group) presented on how risk management is used within the future submarine project taking into account the difference in culture between MoD and industry, as well as the differences amongst the various companies involved on the industry side.

The group split into smaller groups to discuss what they believed to be the main factors in deciding how much risk management to do. Three main areas of consideration were considered:

Is Project budget the only measure of assessing the scale of Risk Management to apply?
Why would you recommend a level of Risk Management to be implemented?
What are the benefits and disadvantages?

A summary of these workshops were captured and can be found along with the presentations.
The main lesson that came out of the days discussions were that the level of risk management that has to be done on a project depends on the appetite of the project team but it must become firmly part of the culture. It must be decided at the beginning of the project what level of risk management will be undertaken to ensure maximum benefit.

The presentations from the event can be downloaded below

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