Managing the Managers – Showing importance of Risk Management

Suppose you called a meeting with your project team, various experts and the stakeholders, to start the risk planning process. One of the senior people asks, “Why are we doing this, anyway? It’s your job to deliver this project — are you saying that the project is already in danger of going down the tubes?” How would you respond?

If the organization is following formal PM processes, it would be easy to respond that it is the part of the formal Risk Management which is required to avoid any project failures, and the resistance would be minimum. If the organization is not following any formal PM processes, the resistance would be more and I would tackle the situation by following response/s.

1. I would say that uncertain events that may pose negative threat to the project might lead to project failure and thus financial loss and loss of reputation.
2. I would stress on the importance of assessing all possible risks to the project and listing them down along with their response plans, so that the project team is better prepared to tackle them with least time, effort and cost.
3. Based on data available on previous projects and industry data, I would create a decision tree that would show the EMV for the project option which doesn’t use Risk Management and for the project option that used Risk Management. This would have more impact on the top management as they have some quantitative data in front of them.
I am attaching a sample decision tree that I prepared to present a quantitative analysis of the situation. The decision tree shows the EMV of the possible outcomes and thus the best action to undertake.

Decision Tree