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Project Management Risks – Questions and Answers (Part 1)

By | May 11th, 2015|Risk Management|2 Comments

Project Management RiskTo save all we must risk all”, Friedrich Schiller once said. If he were a project manager today, he might say, “To save all we must manage all risks”. Books, journals, corporate websites, YouTube, and discussion forums burst of information on risk management, because risk is inherent to every project just like uncertainty is inherent to any risk. Risk management is essential if you want your project to succeed. This article answers five questions on project risk management:

  1. What is the best definition of project risk?
  2. What’s the difference between a risk and an issue?
  3. How do you identify risks?
  4. How many risks should be on your risk log and for how long?
  5. How do you manage project risks?

1. What is the best definition of project risk?

One of Oxford Dictionary’s 1000 most frequently used words, risk refers to the possibility of something unpleasant, dangerous, or harmful occurring. This negative connotation of risk is so deeply rooted in many people’s minds that it takes some effort to get used to the project management definition of risk: “an uncertain event or condition that, if occurs, has an effect on at least one project objective,” according to the PMBOK.

Risk can be any uncertain event that, if it happens, will be good or bad for the project. Negative risks become threats to the project, while positive risks become opportunities. Risk management should address both types of risks, minimizing threats and maximizing opportunities.

Project risk is something you can control. You must manage risks if you want your project to succeed. However, be aware that there are risks called black swans that you cannot include in your risk analyses. I’ve explained why these risks are special and what you can do to minimize their consequences in another article.

 2. What’s the difference between a risk and an issue?

A risk is something uncertain, so it will happen or not during your project. An issue is an event that has happened or that you know for sure it will happen, even though you might not know when. A risk that occurs becomes an issue. This might be bad news or good news for you and your project, depending if the risk is negative or, respectively, positive. A positive risk becomes an opportunity for your project—for example, the opportunity to finish earlier than scheduled, or below budget, or anything that you might otherwise consider “lucky”. Both risks and issues have causes and consequences. Risk management is the way to deal with risks while problem solving is the way to deal with issues. (more…)

RationalPlan 4.11 – Improved Online Project Planning and Support for High Resolution Monitors

By | April 20th, 2015|News, RationalPlan|Comments Off on RationalPlan 4.11 – Improved Online Project Planning and Support for High Resolution Monitors

RationalPlan Project Management SoftwareStand By Soft is pleased to announce the release of RationalPlan 4.11. Current version comes with support for high resolutions screens, an improved web-based project management module for the Server product, better support for opening Microsoft© Project 2013 files, custom filters, more predefined roles and much more. Plus starting with this version RationalPlan is also available in Brazilian Portuguese language.

RationalPlan started as an easy to use and straightforward project management software but it evolved into an embedded and powerful system that is now available even as a project management cloud service both for individuals and for companies that need a distributed solution with concurrent access from multiple users.

Important changes for this version

For the online and server side segment the users will get:

  • Improved web-based project management module
  • A project guide
  • More filters and settings
  • New predefined roles (responsible and project manager)

Changes for the stand alone products:

  • Support for high resolution screens
  • Added possibility to change application font size
  • Added Brazilian Portuguese language
  • Improved integration with MS© Project 2013 files
  • Support for creating custom filters and saving filters

Online project planning is now easier to achieve with the new web-based interface from the RationalPlan Cloud solution. Although still in beta users now have interactive Gantt charts, access to manage risks and project details like info, notes, assumptions & constraints. Easy, straightforward and from any place with just a simple access to a web browser. (more…)

Brainstorming – Trendy or Not?

By | January 16th, 2015|Business Management, Project Management, Risk Management|0 Comments

BrainstormingIt’s popular. It’s a classic. Those who endorse it say it’s an effective technique for generating many ideas but not a standalone method, so it should be used with other creative techniques. Those who criticize it say it generates mediocre ideas that are likely never implemented as solutions to problems. But this 60-year old technique called brainstorming – whose effectiveness is an evergreen hot topic among researchers, users, and critics – helps to identify project risks.

Brainstorming – The Definition

According to Merriam-Webster, brainstorming is “a group problem-solving technique that involves the spontaneous contribution of ideas from all members of the group; also: the mulling over of ideas by one or more individuals in an attempt to devise or find a solution to a problem”.

Brainstorming – The Story

A technique with a catchy name, brainstorming has been around since the 1950s when Alex Osborn’s book Your Creative Power was published, becoming a best-seller. This book may be “an amalgam of pop science and business anecdote”, as Jonah Lehrer called it in a New Yorker article that triggered lots of e-ink on discussion forums, but brainstorming is easy to implement and generates many ideas. Besides that, it’s a great team-building exercise, which may also justify its popularity with businesses. A brainstorming session emphasizes the quantity, not quality, of ideas and one of the rules to brainstorming sessions is no criticism so that people do not fear their ideas are rejected by the group and, thus, limit their imagination.

Brainstorming Types

There’s individual and group brainstorming, with individual brainstorming being better for problem solving and group brainstorming better for identifying project risks. Group brainstorming draws from the intelligence and experiences of more people but ideas expressed loudly may be biased since people do worry about others’ opinions even if one of Osborn’s rules for group brainstorming is “no criticism”. Online brainstorming—a sub-type of group brainstorming—uses e-brainstorming tools to help remote teams share their ideas in real time. (more…)

Project Management Glossary Of Terms – Pro — Pv

By | January 5th, 2015|Project Management Glossary|1 Comment

Program Definition Statement (“PDS”)

Program Director

Program Directorate

Program Evaluation and Review Technique (“PERT”)

Program Execution Phase

Program Executive

Program Identification Phase

Program Management

Program Management Office

Program Manager

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Project Management Glossary Of Terms – Pa — Pro

By | January 5th, 2015|Project Management Glossary|Comments Off on Project Management Glossary Of Terms – Pa — Pro

PA

Package

PAR

Parameter

Parameters

Parametric Cost Estimating

Parametric Estimating

Parent Activity

Parent, in scheduling

Pareto Diagram

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Project Management Glossary Of Terms – Z

By | January 5th, 2015|Project Management Glossary|0 Comments

Zero Based Budgeting

Zero Dollar Contract

Zero Float

Project Management Glossary Of Terms – Y

By | January 5th, 2015|Project Management Glossary|1 Comment

Yield

Project Management Glossary Of Terms – V

By | January 5th, 2015|Project Management Glossary|0 Comments

VAC

Validate Contract

Validation

Valuation

Value

Value Analysis

Value Engineering

Value Enhancing Project Strategies

Value Improvement

Value Management (“VM”)

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Project Management Glossary Of Terms – U

By | January 5th, 2015|Project Management Glossary|0 Comments

UB

UI

UML

Unavoidable Delay

Uncertainty

Uncontrollable Risks

Under-allocation

Underrun

Understanding

Undistributed Budget (“UB”)

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Project Management Glossary Of Terms – T

By | January 5th, 2015|Project Management Glossary|0 Comments

T&M

T&E

TAB

Tactics

Tailor

Takeoff

Talent

Target

Target Completion Date (“TC”)

Target Cost

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