Risk Management Project Management Is a Practical Essay

Excerpt from Essay :

Risk Management

Project management is a practical and academic field of growing importance as deadlines in the business world grow ever more rushed and profit margins grow ever slimmer. The need to maintain tight efficiency and cost control over all elements of a project is quite strong and growing stronger as competition in most industries grows more fierce, and this is exactly why project management is so increasingly useful. It is by establishing certain parameters and ensuring that they are adhered to throughout the different phases of a given project that effective project management enables controls over costs and timelines in a manner that increases profitability and minimizes risk exposure to the project's stakeholders.

Risk Management in Project Management

In the context of project management, risk management refers to determining the potentials and uncertainties of all possible courses of action, quantifying these risks and their effects in some manner, monitoring the emergence and/or fruition of risks and responding to and controlling these risks and their effects (Project Perfect 2000). Risk management is thus the aspect of project management that predicts the likelihood of various uncertainties and recommends planning suggestions based on these identified likelihoods and the potential for failure or success (Project Perfect 2000). This definition and understanding of risk management already makes it clear why it is such a useful area within the broader tasks of project management, but its relevance can be explored still further.

Effective project management does not merely keep project elements within specific parameters, but must also plan these parameters and all project tasks in a realistic manner in order to continually achieve in-bounds performance. If risks were not accounted for properly, effective and realistic courses of action that led to efficient and reliable actions could not be achieved and project management would be a failure form its inception. There are, of course, many skills needed by project managers that wish to remain effective in their jobs and maintain careers in the field, but none of the tasks of a project manager would truly be effective without having been built on a solid assessment and response to the various risks attendant with each and every phase of project completion.

Specific Issues

It is easy to demonstrate the importance of risk management in effective project management practice by simply imaging some scenarios in which risk management would need to be applied. In an expansion project for a manufacturing concern, for example, there are many different factors that must all be accounted for in the same basic expansion plan, and there is always some chance that various elements will prove to be incompatible. Effective risk management accounts for these possibilities and includes ample budget and time allowances for adjustments based on the likelihood of incompatibilities and the potential costs of correcting them. Sudden spikes in material costs, labor shortages, and other hindrances to the project must also be accounted for and risks effectively quantified for the projects parameters to be efficient (PMIS 2001).

Project Manager and Team Member Tasks

A large part of risk management and of project management generally is assessment based on current trends and knowledge as well as a prediction of future trends and events that will impact the success of any given project and/or organization (Tusler 1996). Project managers must maintain an ongoing and ever-adjusting engagement with risk analysis, assessment, response, and monitoring (Project Perfect 2000; PMIS 2001). Specific tasks that project managers must utilize to achieve the larger objectives of risk management include an ongoing awareness of industry trends obtained by reading industry literature, careful monitoring and control of resources and operations proposed and/or necessary for the project and effectively communicate perceived risks and the recommended courses of action in quantifiable and persuasive means (Tusler 1996; Project Perfect 2000).

Other team members also play a major role in effectively and efficiently managing the risks in any given project. Bringing all problems and potential risks to the attention of…

Sources Used in Document:


PMIS. (2001). Buffering against risk. Accessed 2 December 2010. http://www.focusedperformance.com/articles/bufrisk.html

Project Perfect. (2000). Risk management basics. Accessed 2 December 2010. http://www.projectperfect.com.au/info_risk_mgmt.php

Tusler, R. (1996). Project risk management. Accessed 2 December 2010. http://www.netcomuk.co.uk/~rtusler/project/riskwhen.html

WNR. (2010). U.S. oil spill panel urges increased safety steps. World News Report. Accessed 2 December 2010. http://www.einnews.com/unitedstates/newsfeed-united-states-risk-management

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