Project risks could occur at any time. These risks could damage the work and reputation that a business has worked to build. To manage these risks, project managers develop a risk assessment plan, which tries to identify a risk before it actually occurs (Stanleigh, n.d.). Taking this step lessens the damage that the risk could cause. Below, is an example of risk mitigation and risk management.
Project Risk – Recognized in Advance
When I was working on fundraising project for a non-profit, I identified a risk in advance of it occurring. This identified was an inoperable printer, which is classified as a technical risk (Mar, 2013). This technical risk would pose a huge challenge for the non-profit since they rely on it extensively during their annual fundraiser. Without a functioning printer, they would not be able to print tickets to the event or schedules to the event. Without tickets, the fundraiser would not be able to proceed.
How I Mitigated the Project Risk
Since I am a technical person by nature, I make it a habit to check technical equipment prior to using it. As this was a fundraiser for the non-profit, they planned to use their workhorse printer to print tickets. They use this printer only once a year. After plugging in the printer, I realized that one its parts were outdated and needed immediate replacement. Ordering a printer part takes two weeks. This was problematic since the fundraiser was in a week. To mitigate this risk, I called local printer repair shops to find out if they had the missing part. One printer repair shop had the need part.
Project Risk – Not Seen in Advance
During the project, one risk that we were not able to predict was the lack of food during the event. This procurement risk (Mar, 2013) was unforeseen because there was no way to predict accurately the number of people, who would show up at the event. Besides the printed tickets for large donors, the non-profit also allowed free walk-ins on the day of the event. The fundraiser takes place on a golf course, so the non-profit provides refreshments throughout the entire event. A record number of people showed up so the non-profit did not have enough food on hand to feed everyone.
Effect of Unforeseen Risk on the Project
The effect of running out of food during the fundraising served to damage marginally the reputation of the non-profit. They are renowned for the food that they serve at the event almost as much as the fundraiser itself. To remedy this risk, I suggested that the ono-profit visit a large restaurant to find out if they had catering service. When the non-profit’s executive director visited the restaurant and explained the situation, he was able to work out a deal with the restaurant. As a result, the non-profit left with their good reputation intact at the close of the fundraiser.
Lesson Learned from Unforeseen Risk
The unforeseen risk at the non-profit’s fundraiser taught me to try to predict possible risks and then create a backup plan or Plan B for them. In risk management, known risks could be so simple to locate and plan for that one does not consider unforeseen risks (Stanleigh, node). These unforeseen risks could be just as damaging – or potentially more damaging – than the known risks. For risk avoidance, I advised the non-profit to create a method for crowd control in the form of participatory bracelets that would account for free spectators at their fundraiser (PM4ID Staff, n.d.). In this way, they could try to avert the procurement risk of running of food at their event.
Mar, A. (2013, March 11). 130 Project Risks (List) - Simplicable. Retrieved July 16, 2015, from http://management.simplicable.com/management/new/130-project-risks
PM4ID Staff. (n.d.). 11.2 Risk Management Process. Retrieved July 16, 2015, from http://pm4id.org/11/2/
Stanleigh, M. (n.d.). Risk ManagementThe What, Why, and How. Retrieved July 16, 2015, from https://www.bia.ca/articles/rm-risk-management.htm