Project RIsk and Mitigations

Effective Opportunity Management for Projects: Exploiting Positive Risk

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Author:David Hillson
Publisher: CRC Press
Released: November 19, 2003
Type: Hardcover
Pages: 340
ISBN:978-0824748081

This book is currently under review, more details will be added when available

The publisher says:
Do you want to gain business benefits, achieve project objectives, and maximize opportunities? With step-by-step guidelines, this book unveils a revolutionary approach to the management of project opportunities by expanding the traditional risk management process to address opportunities alongside threats-offering valuable tools and techniques that expose and capture opportunities, minimize threats, and deal effectively with all types of uncertainty in your business and projects.

Identifying and Managing Project Risk

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Author Tom Kendrick
Publisher: American Management Association
Publication date 1st Ed. February 2003
2nd Ed. January 2009
3rd Ed. March 2015
Pages 400
ISBN 978-0814436080

As the title implies, this book discusses identifying and managing risks on projects. Although the book is written in a very generic manner, it has a decidedly high-tech flavor. This partly due to the fact that the author worked at Hewlett-Packard for twelve years.

Kendrick's coverage of risk, or more correctly uncertainty, is complete in a general sense focusing a majority of his discussion on risk in projects due to poor planning and change management processes. Two chapters of the book deal with quantifying risk, but the math is kept simple as he recommends using commercial products to the brunt of the work.

A Pretty Bar Graph

Businesses exist to make money. To improve operations they create various initiatives with promises of improving the bottom line. Projects, though, cost money. They do not make a profit. The dichotomy in a strapped economy to spend savings on projects to improve future profits usually results in the conservation of cash. Many an argument has been had over whether it is better to run improvement projects, burning precious cash and heading off the competition, or taking the traditional approach and wait for times with better cash flow. Subsequent to 2008's financial folly, it is well known that most companies sat on their reserves and waited. That action may have some unintended consequences that are in the midst of surfacing.

Project Risk Management

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Author:Bruce T. Barkley
Publisher: McGraw-Hill Education
Released: July 2004
Type: Softcover
Pages: 229
ISBN:978-0071436915

This book is currently under review, more details will be added when available

The publisher says:
"Risk Management—A Clear and Uncomplicated Approach to Business and Project Risk—Here is risk, simply put, with practical stories and cases.

"Barkley's approach to project risk management includes and enhances the current Project Management Institute Body of Knowledge on risk. Clearly spelling out simplified steps and useable risk matrix format, making risk management a team-based art as well as a science, Project Risk Management shows you why do risk and how to:

The Mythical Man-Month: Essays on Software Engineering, Anniversary Edition

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Author:Frederick P. Brooks Jr.
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
Released: August 1995
Type: Softcover
Pages: 336
ISBN:978-0201835953

Not too long ago I had coffee with fellow tweep, Peter Kretzman, at the Zeitgeist Coffee in Seattle. We had a wonderful conversation and shared stories, philosophies, and impressions. In the process we stumbled upon a common literary love—The Mythical Man-Month by Frederick Brooks. I read it for the first time last summer and Peter reads every few years. We both extolled the virtues of the book and lamented at the fact that so many of the items Brooks brings up continue to plague us today.

Sunday, 03 October 2010 00:00

The Politics of Risk

Cartoon on Risk

Risk is a risk in itself. It is risk for you if you dare bring it up. Have you ever identified the risk, in writing, that your boss' inherent inability to make decisions is going to sink the project? How about the company loss of market share will require laying off half the project team? Or, that the project manager has never had a successful project? These are CLMs (career limiting moves). Even mentioning such common risks as a company's inexperience in the project's domain is too risky to put in the risk register. It is as if management enjoys blissful ignorance and relishes the firefight that ensues. Cowboy mentality. Identifying risk, modeling mitigation plans, and compiling contingency are too boring compared to the thrill of disaster recovery.

Sunday, 05 September 2010 00:00

Why We Are Always Late

schedule with Identified Padding

Why is it that tasks always seem to be late? No matter how much time we allot, there never seems to be enough to complete a task on time. There is one overreaching reason pervasive throughout the enterprise—poor time management. To accommodate the continual barrage of supposedly urgent tasks, we heavily pad estimates. Excessive padding triggers numerous negative work patterns. The extra time and over confidence in estimates allows people to accept other unrelated tasks, introduce low priority features, and strive for perfection. It is unfair, however, to saddle the individual with the entire problem; the work-place culture reinforces and rewards the behavior.

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Filling Execution Gaps

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