Every business needs a plan to function the way you want, and every project must have a plan as well if you want it to be completed successfully. Some people think that it is vital to have one for every possible scenario, while others go for a vague plan, which changes in the process. It is impossible to deny the fact that you require at least some sort of strategy to lead a business, because it is vital to be ready for those unforeseen circumstances that may happen at any time. The more potential problems you are prepared for, the better you will be able to cope with them to not let your business go down.
It is important to understand that even the most carefully planned project can run into trouble. That is why an effective project manager should have a risk management plan. A risk management plan is a document that describes which unexpected events may possibly occur and how to deal with each of them. A risk is basically any event or condition that can change the outcome of a project activity, and not all of them can be negative. If you know how to act in these situations, there won’t be unwelcome surprises to you or your project management team. To know where to start and how to overcome a problem, you need to be familiar with the types and categories of project risks, understand what to include in the plan, and know the basic ways of handling risks. Therefore, let’s dive into the details and find out what you should learn about when writing a risk management plan.
Types and Categories of Project Risks
To create a perfect project risk management plan that will contain the mandatory backup strategy for you and your team, start with identifying which types of risks you can face. Basically, there are three categories of risks and even more types that you are required to know about. Thus, if talking about the categories, any risk falls into one of the following classes:
- Known risk
The other name of this risk is known known. This is a risk that is already known and mentioned by yourself, your teammate, or another stakeholder. It can usually come up during the stage of project planning when you decide on budget, resources, limitations, and goals. It is a controllable risk that you are able to prepare for if you document it in advance. Therefore, your risk management plan should include it for further analysis.
- Unknown risk
This is a known unknown. It can be unknown from the start and may occur in the process, but you can prepare for it, because this is the one you did suspect about. Basically, you are able to control such a risk and have enough time and resources to be ready for it when it’ll happen. It is possible to deal with these risks if you spend your time figuring out them while you are writing a risk management plan.
- Unknowable risk
Some people also call this type of risk as unknown unknown. You are unable to control such a risk or prepare for it, because it is something out of your reach. A system failure, any unexpected accident, a market crash – anything you can’t be reasonably expected to foresee is an unknowable risk. There is no point in documenting all these risks, and you just need to expect that they may or may not happen.
If talking about different sorts of risks, you should take them into consideration to easier understand how to deal with each of them. Thus, you will be able to get a good idea of the potential problems you could face, evaluate the seriousness of the risks, as well as understand how to mitigate or avoid them. Any business might most likely fall into the following common types of risks:
- Strategic risk
There is no ideal business strategy and yours may start becoming less effective at any time, because you can’t foresee everything. Many factors influence a strategic risk, such as failure to adapt to new technologies, appearance of a new competitor on the market, increment in costs, and others. If you want to decrease the risk, you need to be able to make strategic changes when required and make your business quick and adaptable.
- Technical risk
Any risk based on the performance, quality, and the technologies your company uses impacts your project and hence your success. To avoid this influence, you can turn to experts that offer custom software development services in order to implement software that brings automation to the processes of your company. You can also ask an outsourcing company to include a real-time overview of all business processes. Such a workflow app helps to transfer and designate tasks to the participants immediately to ensure successful outcome.
Source: Workflow Application for Businesses
- Organizational risk
This risk refers to anything that can impact your project’s implementation. Available resources, budget, logistics – literally everything included in the organizational process influences the success of your project. The right option in this case is to find out if you have enough time and staff available to complete your project. Evaluate all the financial processes in advance and check if you even have the needed budget for the product. Listing all the organizational risks and dealing with them at the very start will help you to avoid many issues in the process.
- Reputational risk
Simply put, it is anything that can potentially cause less positive or even negative opinion of your business. Any damage to your reputation can potentially be the last one, which is why it is vital to include such risks to your plan as well. The way your customers, partners, employers, and others see your business defines how long you will be able to stay afloat.
- External risk
As for this type of risk, it contains all impact coming from the outside of your company and your direct control, including your competitors, market, and customers. You have to analyze these factors and list out potential problems that might occur. You can ask your clients if they ever considered using the services of other companies and what may affect their choice. Reviewing local regulations and everything that impacts your company’s field is a must in case you want to continue your project without uncertainties.
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Steps of Creating Risk Management Plan
The process of creating a risk management plan is a necessary task if you want your business to function properly and prepare it for possible unforeseen circumstances. If you want to make your task easier, we recommend you to follow these steps to create a risk management plan successfully:
Step 1. Identify potential risks
To start your risk management planning, you need to understand the most common types and sorts of risks your business may face. You can refer to the classification mentioned above to have a better understanding of where to begin with. Brainstorm with your team and stakeholders to define all the potential bottlenecks from each side and perspective. Let every member pinpoint what they are concerned about and what they are able to fix. This is the starting point, which is why try to define as many known and unknown risks as possible.
Step 2. Evaluate risks and consequences
Probability, impact, and consequences are three main factors that you are required to pay attention to during this stage of creating a risk management plan. A project manager will have to score the factors of each risk to decide which one has to be monitored, identify the urgency of response required, and define which of them is the most dangerous. Having such a structured system will help you to move to the next step.
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Step 3. Assign responsibilities
Once you have a clear idea of what can happen and what your company is able to handle, assign certain team members to the risks that are relevant to their tasks and skills. Thus, each participant has to understand the responsibility for their actions in case they won’t be able to deal with an issue they were assigned to. That is why all possible warning signs and risk triggers should be discussed so that an employee could signify them when a risk becomes real.
Step 4. Define the ways to handle risks
There are several ways that you can opt for when deciding on what to do with each risk. One of the ways that you can choose is to avoid the risk. Sometimes it’s not possible to deal with a risk, so why not change your plans and not face it? When you have evaluated the risk and you believe that it may lead to harmful results, the best course of action may be to avoid it.
Another way is to mitigate the risks. Creating a risk management plan means enhancing your business and covering many hidden pitfalls, and in most cases, you can reduce them. Many outsourcing companies also provide project management software development services that can help you to make the workflow of your team more efficient. The applications that you choose to use eventually will greatly boost the performance of all team members and lead you in the right direction and minimize the potential effect of any risk.
Acceptance is what you can also go for after you have found some minor risks that can simply be dealt with on a regular basis. Just go with the plan if you see that some of the risks don’t have the potential to affect your company negatively. There is also an option to transfer a risk to another company. It means that those aspects of your business that are highly crucial can be handled with the help of insurance.
Step 5. Monitor the effectiveness of you plan
It’s not enough to just write a plan, delegate it to relevant people, and forget about it. It is essential to understand that your business will grow and change as well as outside factors can occur as time goes by. That is why you shouldn’t forget to check on the implementation of your plan occasionally. Maybe, there are some risks that require reevaluating, while others may already be irrelevant. Verify all the possible changes.
Any project may contain some level of risk, and it is impossible to prevent all potential negative events that can happen. The duty of a project manager is to create the risk management plan to cover the ones that can be dealt with to minimize the amount of issues and strengthen the business strategy. Creating a risk management plan for a project is some kind of backup for you and your team that can save your company money, time, resources, and even more. With such a plan, you are always step ahead of issues and step closer to success.
If you want to implement project management software that can help your team to work more efficiently or want to get free consultation, contact us and our experts will turn your idea into reality.