Project Risk Control

Risk is inherent in all IT consulting projects. There are usually so many players and so many variables that something can and often does goes wrong. That's why it is important to examine the potential risks and determine how to deal with them if they actually do come to fruition.

There are different ways to deal with risks. They include:

Risk Acceptance

  • Decide risks are reasonable and acceptable.

Risk Avoidance

  • Reset client expectations in high-risk areas.
  • Propose a phrased effort with follow-up on proposals based on initial results.
  • Become a subcontractor to a partner who is better qualified in the risk area.
  • Walk away.

Risk Sharing

  • Bound vague customer requirements, conditions, and expectations by submitting a complete proposal including scope of work, acceptance criteria, list of deliverables, milestone schedule, and customer responsibilities.
  • Motivate subcontractors: Structure the subcontract to pay for deliverables rather than time worked or use other pay-for-performance approaches.
  • Risk Reduction

    • Schedule early milestones for major risk areas.
    • Do contingency planning for explicit purposes (performance, resources, schedule).
    • Augment technical expertise with outside personnel.
    • Charge for added risk.

    Regardless of your approach, you need to take preventive measures to ensure identified risks are avoided, directive measures to determine whether identified risks are becoming a reality, and corrective measures to actively eliminate problems as they occur. Each of these control measures likely represents an additional cost to the engagement. The challenge then is to adjust your plan accordingly to maximize your profit while still delivering an acceptable solution to your client.

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