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From our readings in the PMBOK® Guide, we have seen that a number of methods for
risk identification exist. Please choose one of the methods—one not chosen by another
student if possible—and describe the method, how you have seen it used in the industry,
and its pros and cons.
Are there any other methods not listed that you have seen used for risk identification?
The lecture indicates that the following list of tools are used for risk identification per the
8.Flow diagraming techniques
An additional method not listed is the Assumption Analysis which is to do a win/lose
analysis. "It focuses on events that might be detrimental to the project. It considers events a
project manager wants to occur but might not occur, and events a project manager does not
want to occur but might occur."
I think that Interviewing is another method of risk identification which is not listed. We can
interview project participants, stakeholders and subject matter experts to identify risks.
Interviews are one of the main sources of risk identification data gathering. Participants in
risk identification activities can include the following:
- Project manager
- Project team members
- Risk management team
- Subject matter experts from outside the project team
- End users
- Other project managers
- Risk management experts.
While these personnel are often key participants for risk identification, all project personnel
should be encouraged to identify risks.
From my own personal experience, I think other ways to identify risk is my speaking with
team members, researching the current environment, reviewing old documentation, and
surveys. Sometimes when working with other team members you get a broader perspective of
the current environment and what needs to be looked at closer. When project managers are
reviewing documentation and laying out the project plan, sometimes they get sidetracked
with other issues and miss major parts that could make or break the project. When working
in a group environment, it's best to get more individuals involved, and to make sure nothing
Other forms of risk identification methods are the following:
1.Checklist and Survey
3.Insurance Policy Review
6.Procedures and Policies Review
9.Financial Statement Analysis
10.Loss Data Analysis
When it comes to identifying risks, i believe that one should tailors the search methods to the
project. While some methods might be helpful for one project, it can be a total waste of time
for another project.
I like the lessons learned method best. As much as we strive for risk avoidance as the idea it
is virtually impossible to achieve so at times something happens and if we reflect on why and
how something happened, what the cost was, if it was avoidable and how it could have been
avoided then that information is just as valuable, sometimes even more valuable, than all of
the theories in the world. I have to agree because risk avoidance is a difficult one and we all
have to work together to avoid something from happened and that consist of time and effort.
However when that time and effort have been put into this it will not happened again because
of the lesson learned.
What are some other ways to identify risks on a project?
From a marketing or product perspective, focus groups can be utilized as a risk evaluation
process. For example, if you're rolling out a new product or redesigning a current product,
using what you isolate as your core or key demographic can help alleviate risk concerns
about the product. Will people buy the new product? What's the downside to it? If it's a
redesigned product, will anyone be turned away by the changes? Figuring this out before
going into full scale production is important from a cost perspective.
According to PMBOK another way to identify risk is SWOT analysis. I have engaged in a
handful of SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) analysis meetings.
These are very helpful when trying to plan for the future and identify possible risks. The
hardest part of these meetings is always trying to identify your weaknesses and forecast
possible threats. Self-reflective exercises like these can be a great way to implement
A SWOT analysis is a very good way to approach risk, especially on a larger project where
failure or even delay can impact the health of an organization. At my employer we do a
SWOT analysis every year as part of business planning in which all employees are initially
apart of. Every current employee take part in the brainstorming of teams and then all that
information is compiled and defined to allow the managers a chance to work with useable
data. The last two years the SWOT was done with a focus on internal and external definition
for our customer base. I can say that we found some internal risk as I think back in which
small miscues in various process steps would lead to large and costly mistakes. We also
found points in cross functions process that where not understood when other departments
where working on projects, thus creating unknowns and hidden roadblocks a project manager
would have very little chance of seeing.
Another way to identify risks is using checklists. They are important because they are based
on historical knowledge and documentation. This is information is accumulated from