Risk assessment

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    Julie Voce

    Please watch this 4-minute Dilbert parody video on why projects fail.

    Reflect on the “key failures” that you identified for your project in Activity 5.1.

    • What could have been done in advance to mitigate the failures?
    • Were there any other issues that affected the project but were perhaps not “key failures”?

    Jisc recommends project managers complete a Risk Log (or Risk Register) to identify issues that might affect the success of the project and to look for early warning signs that indicate an issue is about to occur. The Risk Log  provides a means of recording the identified risks. It should be reviewed at regular points during the project as some risks might disappear and others might manifest.

    Look at the headings of a Risk Log below and consider how would you complete one using your previous project example.

    • Category — e.g. skills, staffing, management, resources
    • Risk — presented in a structured format
      • Condition — ‘There is a risk that…’
      • Cause — ‘Caused by…’
      • Consequence — ‘Resulting in…’
    • Likelihood — What is the likelihood/ probability of the risk occurring?e.g. using a scale of 1-5, where 1 is Very Low and 5 is Very High
    • Impact — What will the impact be if the risk occurs? e.g. using a similar scale as Likelihood
    • RAG Status — RAG (Red, Amber, Green) status, based on the product of the probability and impact
    • Risk Management Approach/Mitigating Actions — What are the agreed response actions?
    • Early Warning Signs — What ‘trigger’ might alert you to the fact that the risk is about to occur?


    You might also want to find out whether your institution has a risk register for projects and how you might use that in your work.

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