Tuesday, April 20, 2010

The Secrets to Successful Risk Reporting

[Editor's note & full disclosure: Method123 Ltd. has provided EGO blog with some free MPMM software licenses. Please write a comment below on why you want to receive this giveaway and I will announce a winner on May 1, 2010. UPDATE 05/03/10: I will announce the winner on my 8th blogiversary on May 7. UPDATE 05/10/10: The first published comment will be the winner of this giweaway.]

What is risk reporting and what is its importance to the success of a project? Risk reporting is basically a phase in the project management cycle wherein risks are predicted and then properly communicating it to the members of the team as to determine what the best ways are to handle or fix the problem. This is constantly done throughout the entire project life cycle to regularly keep in check and manage the risks, costs and resources. It is also an avenue for project leaders and its team to summarize the risks encountered and the progresses made in managing the risks. This type of reporting is very important to a project as this would help curb any severe setbacks that may deter the success of the project. To have your people report the risks would assist the project manager tin recognizing which tasks in the project need attention, so that he or she may create a contingency plan in a way that would control the threat without affecting the project’s resources.

How does one succeed in risk reporting? First and foremost, a project manager should delegate a risk officer in every division who will take on the responsibility in reporting any problems that may surmise. The risk officer should have the ability to discern what to report especially if the risk is very sensitive. Bring into play project management software or risk reporting software that would provide you with an area to easily record the risks and then helps in analyzing each one of them. It will allow you to prioritize what tasks needs to be done first to minimize the risks and what can be easily completed. You may also make use of a Gantt chart which basically graphs the project schedule, showing the breakdown, hierarchy and sequential dependencies of each task. It provides you with a general idea of what is important, what tasks are needed to be done to go on to the next task. Risks can be predicted through the chart as progression is recorded and once a project manager sees any delay in schedule, he or she can appropriately plan how to fix it.

Project planning software that offers risk management would also help in allocating your resources properly in accordance to the needs of the project. It helps in balancing the costs as well as the probability of a risk. It provides you with risk possibilities and potential costs and how they may occur, helping you decide what next step to take giving priority to more important and precarious factors. Doing this manually may prove to be more dangerous especially for larger accounts. It is best to use a project planning software that would give you the best solution in managing risks. Project tracking software is also another solution that should be considered. This kind of software will ultimately track the progress of your project, providing you with a comprehensive analysis of the development of the project, if it’s in agreement to the goals and objectives and if costs, schedule and resources are followed.

Jason Westland has been a project manager for the past 15 years. He has recently published a new book called “A Project Management Life Cycle” and owns his own project management software company. If you would like to find out more about Project management templates visit his website at Method123.com