Summary of Identifying and Managing Project Risk

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Identifying and Managing Project Risk book summary
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Rating

9

Qualities

  • Innovative
  • Applicable

Recommendation

Author Tom Kendrick has clearly steeped himself in the analysis of projects and project risks. This book is, if anything, almost too comprehensive. It draws on an extensive database of project experience and passes along detailed observations, facts and circumstances relating to project risk control. Because the style is somewhat hard to follow, you have to pay attention to understand how these observations and experiences relate to managing a project and its risks. Sometimes the author detours to trees when the issue is the forest. Nonetheless, this book absolutely belongs on every project manager’s shelf. As a lagniappe, the author provides an interesting history of one of the most important projects in modern history - the construction of the Panama Canal. As a metaphor for every project, it works nicely. Almost every "don’t" and every "do" of project management happened during the construction of the Canal. If you are enthralled by how projects unfold - or in charge of one - getAbstract recommends this book to you. You’ll even love the detours.

About the Author

Tom Kendrick has more than 25 years of project management experience, including 12 years as part of the Hewlett-Packard Project Management Initiative. He is a Project Management Institute certified PMP-99 and he earned an MBA at the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania.

 

Summary

Project Risk Management: Why?

Projects are risky. In fact, every project has some degree of risk. The best way to understand this risk is to look at projects which have already been completed. Good risk management practices grow out of experience. Fortunately, you don’t have to have the experience yourself. A study of project history can allow you to learn by vicariously living the experiences of others.

Risk is the product of the magnitude of loss multiplied by a factor representing the probability of the loss occurring. Institutions manage macro risks by collecting and analyzing large amounts of data in order to understand the statistical characteristics of risk. But for most project managers, the population has only one member - the project currently under management.

For example, the manager of a technical project may be coping with a variety of risk factors, including insufficient staff, inadequate funding and unreasonably tight deadlines - and that project, with all of its challenges, becomes his sole focus.

While statistical metrics and portfolio approaches are not irrelevant to him, they are far from sufficient in this context. He needs as much ...


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