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Project Risk Identification and Mitigation Action Planning

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Project risk assessment is a standard technique that has become commonplace in recent years. Project Risk spidergrams or radar nets are one way in which project risk is depicted.

project risk

The technique allows project teams and their business sponsors to understand the factors that could negatively impact the successful delivery of the project. Project managers then can develop appropriate risk mitigation action plans, once each risk has been assigned an appropriate probability of occurrence.

Risk identification and mitigation must be practical. It requires a constant balancing act between not spending unneeded money and being ready to move rapidly, when and if required.

An initial risk assessment that captures the risk impact and probability estimates of a group of relevant enterprise players is more useful than one which is based simply on the perceptions of project team members. Risk mitigation action plans scrutinized by experienced outside individuals not associated with the project or the enterprise are more likely to be robust.

Roelf will work with project managers to ensure both. He can facilitate the process by which initial subjective estimates of risk probability and impact are converted into effective measures of potential risk. He can also help ensure that the risk mitigation action plans receive effective scrutiny (“wire-brushing”).


Willis Corp is involved in a multi-site implementation of a new
communications technology which has both hardware and software components. The project involves multiple vendors whose delivery and installation schedules needed to be coordinated. The installation at each Willis’ thirty six locations is “no go back”. Putting in the new equipment means removing the old communication equipment.

Vincent, the project manager, has prepared an initial risk identification radar net. It is based on the perceptions of his project team leads. Vincent is concerned that it does not adequately reflect the experience of his vendors’ project leads.

Roelf introduces Vincent’s team to Delphi techniques for preparing risk likelihood and impact estimates. Using an Internet based survey tool, Vincent’s team rapidly collected a wider set of risk estimates that involves senior staff at all of the project’s vendors.

The results shows that the project team had under and over estimated risk on various factors. Roelf rapidly facilitates a series of short workshops that develops a robust, business value based mitigation action plan. The vendors are committed to it because of their involvement.


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