Project Management

Risk management entails the incorporation of policies, procedures and practices that facilitate evaluation of a task in terms of its context and objectives. The process of risk management involves several stages that progressively provide insights into the risks and impacts relating to a task. The first step in risk assessment is the identification of risks. Risk identification is the most basic step in risk management since the implementation of corrective measures cannot occur without proper identification of the source of a problem. Upon the identification of a risk, risk analysis commences to determine the impacts of identified risks (Cornrow 2003, p.62). Risk analysis may be qualitative or quantitative depending on the task under evaluation. Results derived from risk analysis guide the adoption and implementation of measures to mitigate the identified risks. Risks beyond in house systems and policies for risk control necessitate the transfer to a third party. It is at this point that consultation with parties such as insurance firms begins. The last step in risks management entails the review of the effectiveness of systems, policies and procedures adopted in response to the identified risk.

A project manager plays various roles in different stages of risk management. The manager evaluates the identified risks and makes decisions that determine the formulation and implementation of systems, policies and procedures to mitigate risks. In decision-making, the manager considers aspects such as the impacts of the current state of capabilities to the management of the identified risk (Bartlett 2004, p.54). In this regard, the project manager can identify challenges in the risk management capabilities and take the necessary action. Identification of the source of a problem enables the project manager to design highly responsive measures. Without the proper identification of a problem, the project manger cannot fully comprehend the impacts a risk. In this regard, a project manager’s prioritization of risk responses may be inappropriate to risk control. The decision of a project manager to avoid, accept, reduce or transfer a risk influences its mitigation.

The process of risk management has several advantages to the process of project planning. First, the process provides group members with a clear overview of their progress towards the attainment of goals and objectives in a particular task (Molenaar et al 2010, p.31). In this regard, risk management promotes the sharing of a common vision among group members. Secondly, risk management identifies dependent variable in project planning and thus provides a framework for the strategic execution of tasks in a project. In this regard, it easier to track changes that conflict with the project’s goals and objectives.

Risk management has several disadvantages to project planning. First, there is a lot of time wastage in the identification, control, mitigation, transfer and review of risks. In this regard, risk management introduces delays in project planning. The need to incorporate policies and procedures derived through risks management into project planning means that updating the project’s progress will take long (Meredith & Mantel 2011, p.250). Furthermore, the complexity of systems, policies and procedures involved in risk management significantly reduces the level of flexibility in project planning because all the stages in planning must be in congruency with risk responses. Another limitation of risk management on project planning concerns the interference with visions, goals and objectives. The need to conform to risk responses during project planning requires extensive analysis of various aspects of risk management and thus may draw someone away from the real purpose of project planning. In addition, overemphasis on risk management leaves little room for the promotion of cohesion between people involved in project planning and thus increases risks relating to aspects of human resource. 

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