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The Importance of High Level Risk Assessment, Research Paper Example

Pages: 2

Words: 586

Research Paper

Standard project documentation protocols dictate that the project charter includes an assessment of the risks involved during development. High level risk assessment is important for managing risk to stakeholders and assessing the health of a given project. To illustrate this fact, we begin with an overview of the application of the Project Risk Checklist.

The Project Risk Checklist demonstrates many of the major concerns of project managers while assessing and managing risk. The checklist helps project managers accomplish certain tasks that risk management hinges upon (Project Shrink, 2010). It makes sure he or she knows who’s who and what their role in the project is (Project Shrink, 2010). It also helps them delineate their fears about the project, their stake in the project, and their hopes for the project (Project Shrink, 2010). From this standpoint the project manager has a sort of bird’s eye view of what is going on with individuals and groups as they collaborate to accomplish the task of developing the requirements of the project.

Perhaps, one of the most important elements of high level risk assessment is managing the overall risks involved in the project. From my personal experience, this has often been risks the client has imposed upon me in terms of scope creep. Every so often you run into a client who is unnecessarily difficult. They want to keep adding and subtracting requirments. They want to modify tasks that have already been done. In the end, they just seem to want to cost you more in resources than they are paying for and not for any real business benefit to anyone. This is one of the main reasons I have personally seen why astute project documentation and high level risk management is important.

Although this problem of scope creep is manageable, it has the potential to derail the project entirely and incur unnecessary costs to stakeholders. Although the primary stakeholder is often the project sponsor, the project sponsor is often the primary problem maker. The stakeholders who suffer most in a creeping scope scenario are the systems analysts and developers, because they usually end up working harder for no good reason. This is the primary reason the project manager should engage in high level risk assessment as I see it. In other words, it keeps the project stakeholders from having to engage in emergency risk management (Gabriel, 2009).

Although perhaps less urgent but no less important is gauging the overall health of a given project. How are we? Are we on the right track? What is our estimated time to completion? What are some of our stickier tasks at hand? What are some of the more elegant ways we can move through them? Is everyone on board with our proposed solutions? Are their more economical ways of completing our project? In other words, high level project risk assessment can help project managers gauge the speed and direction of the project’s momentum (Gabriel, 2009).

In essence, project managers should be so proactive at the organizational level that whatever risks may be extant will be mitigated. With scope creep, the most proactive measure a manager can take is to keep up-to-date documentation in the form of a project charter. That way, if a client chooses to modify the requirements of a project, the charter will reflect the requirments as laid down in the original contract and the project price can be adjusted accordingly.

References

Project Shrink. (2010). Project Risk Checklist. Retrieved from http://www.softwareprojects.org/project_riskmanagement_starting62.htm

Gabriel, P. (2009). Victoria’s state-level emergency risk assessment method. The Australian Journal of Emergency Management, 24(1): 5-10.

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