Episode 14 of Project Management Paradise features Mike Clayton speaking on the topic of risk management. Mike comes from the online Pm training company Online PM Courses and is also an established writer in the field of project management. One of the 13 books released by Mike entitled “Risk Happens” provides an in-depth analysis on risk management within projects, which is the focal point of the interview.
Mikes background is in project management, having worked for Deloitte consulting in London for ten years. After partaking in training a number of project managers through physical sessions, he realised a niche for delivering the training online for those that couldn’t access it due to location and time constraints – leading to the setting up of Online PM Courses over a year ago.
Describing Projects as unusual things that we haven’t done before, or at least haven’t done in the same way before, Mike states that risk is simply “uncertainty that can affect the outcome of a project” and “because projects are uncertain, they all have risks”.
With Johnny questioning the subject of managing risk, mike states that if you have a structured risk management process you can anticipate risks and put actions in place to reduce their impact. He describes how the opposite effect of not managing risks will ultimately catch up with you and have a substantial impact on the delivery of the project.
In terms of when to start identifying risks, he believes this should be carried out at the beginning, suggesting that brainstorming with colleagues on their previous experiences can be a good way to list all possible threats.
Clayton reiterates the importance of a risk registrar / log as a primary tool in project management states that he believes a live risk log to be a mandatory tool when managing any project.
Agile is discussed briefly in its relationship to risk management with Mike describing Agile as a response to certain risks where you can articulate what you can with confidence before moving on. Mile believes that Agile is to an extent, a risk management methodology but that some PMs mistakenly believe that it can be used when they are not aware of potential risks.
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