The second process in the Risk Management knowledge area is Identify Risks. Below is the PG KA mapping,
As the name suggests, this is the process of determining which risks may affect the project. While identifying risks, you shouldn’t worry about how unlikely the risk probability is or how meager its impact will be. This is an exercise for later.
You should be able to figure out the inputs for this process on a single reading. When it comes to tools and techniques, there are plenty,
Information Gathering Techniques
Your first step towards identifying risks is to gather as much risk related information from the team as possible. You can do so in the following ways,
- Delphi Technique
- Root Cause Identification – This is also termed as Root Cause Analysis (RCA) in certain texts. Going at the root of the risk is pretty important because the root cause might be the possible reason for several risks. For instance missing the coding end date milestone due to open defects may have several risks associated with it like jeopardizing an inter-project dependency as well as missing your planned project end date. So if you see that the coding end date might be missed you already know the two risks that could materialize
There are several other ways to find risks in your project but these are the ones that you are likely to use and see in the PMP exam
This involves taking a look at the project plans, OPAs, requirement documentation and every other relevant artifact that you can possibly use to find risks
Assumptions have a tendency to be ambiguous. It is thus important to go over the project’s assumptions and ensure everyone is on the same page. Wrong assumptions are a definite source of risk
Remember the Risk Breakdown Structure (RBS)? It is possibly the best place to start off with the checklist analysis. If there are any other checklists that you have used to find the project risks, take a look at them again just to ensure you aren’t missing out on something
Remember the positive risks or opportunities we talked about previously? How about you go over the strengths of the project and the project team to find out some opportunities? Similarly, you will be able to uncover more risks once you go over the weaknesses. A SWOT analysis is a well rounded tool for unwrapping the project risks
Did you notice how we are going the extra mile to ensure all possible risks are uncovered? The more you know about risks associated with the project, the better off you will be. There are some other tools that can come in handy here. Remember the Seven Basic Quality Tools? Fishbone diagram and Flowcharts from the Quality side can be used to identify risks as well. Finally, lets not forget the experts since Expert Judgment is also an effective tool for identifying risks.
Once you have identified risks, you are going to put them in the Risk Register which happens to be the only output of this process.
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