Risk Monitoring and Control (graded)
What methods have you seen used or have you used to monitor and control for risks?
How effective have these methods been in controlling risks? What are some general
symptoms for a project beset by risks?
Known Risks – are risks those have been identified and analyzed, making it possible to plan
response for them. For example, you know that one of your employees will go for leave
during your project; therefore you already plan to replace him or her with someone.
Unknown Risks – are those risks that cannot be managed proactively, which suggests that the
project team should create a contingency plan. For example, you do not know if any of your
employees may go for leave, but you made a contingency plan in case if anyone leaves.
Some of the general symptoms for a project beset by risks are –
– There would be some deviation from the original project planning and it can show up in the
– The project will be behind schedule. This is one of the most common symptoms that one
could find in the project beset by risks.
– The project would have exceeded the budget. This is another common symptom. Project
manager needs to spend money on troubleshooting or to fix the problems or issues arising in
– The project’s key components are not working. This is a risk factor especially for complex
projects, where all the components are interrelated.
– Poor communication between the project team members, key stakeholders and client.
– No adequate tracking and progress monitoring happening in the project. This is also a sign
that project might fail or has serious issues.
Deviations from plan (as identified during the monitoring and controlling process)
should be examined for root causes as well as seriousness of the root cause. All, What
happens if you do not proactively monitor and control throughout the project life cycle?
The project will be at a very high risk of failing; lack of proactive monitoring and controlling
will prevent the project manager from identifying any type of deviation from the initial plan,
which will then open the project to a wide range of unidentified risks that turns into
problems. The project will suffer and cause continuously problems and the PM will be held
accountable for not monitoring the project. This will cause more problems for the project life
cylce that could have been preventing if it was monitor timely. Without monitoring the
process, you will likely not understand the impact the deviation will have to the project. In
the case of risk, a deviation could increase the probability of the risk to occur, or its impact to
the project. Without control, these risks could cause the project to be late, over budget, or the
product could not meet specification. Being proactive helps to reduce the impact and allows
you to pursue those project opportunities that are important. Monitoring the risks allows the
PM to staying informed and prepared to deal with such risks. By not monitoring or
controlling risks throughout the project’s life cycle the PM is not aware of these threats. In
some cases the PM might be able to take action that would minimize the impact of the risk or
prevent it from escalating. If the PM was not monitoring the risks the PM would not be able
to take such action. Any deviation from the original plan should trigger an immediate action
plan to correct them. Because any such deviation would cause the project cost overrun or the
project schedule slippage. There are always some root causes behind such deviation. It is
project manager’s responsibility to understand those root causes and try to fix them as and
when they occur. Project manager always has to keep an eye to spot any such deviation
otherwise if unnoticed for a prolonged duration, it can completely jeopardize the project
success and project objectives may not be met. The biggest issue and reason why projects fail
is because they do run out of money, which means that the project went over budget because
all the risks aren’t identified. Also because the PM does not have a good control over what
activities are complete and which ones are taking how much money. Monitoring the project
scope and control ovr the budget will help complete the project on time. To not proactively
monitor and control risks throughout the project life cycle, particularly when a plan has been
devised is like setting up and paying for insurance and not using it when you need to. If we
don’t proactively monitor and control throughout our project’s life cycle, costs can get out of
hand in a hurry. If the project deviates from the plan, it’s critical to isolate why as soon as we
can so we can go back to the client about making changes in a cost effective manner. The
project can get very behind schedule or can end up far over budget if the PM and project team
do not actively monitor the project throughout it’s lifecycle. There was an old saying we used
when I was in the US Navy. “You get what you Inspect, not what you Expect”. That being
said it is obvious that a project must be monitored from beginning to end if the risks involved
are to be managed adequately.
If there is no close monitoring throughout the duration of the project, the likelihood of the
project being breached is highly likely. These needs to be examined by the risk and project
team then re-examined to resolve the issue ASAP. When there is breach and no follow
through plan, this can hurt the duration, budget, and deadline of the project. Monitoring and
close observation from start to finish needs to be implemented in any project at this size. If
you do not monitor and control the risk, you are basically setting the project up for failure. If
the project has to be finished then not monitoring and controlling can cause the project to be
severely over budget. In the project problems start to pile up and then as a project manager
you find yourself reacting to the situations instead of following your proactive plan that
should have been used to counter the risk. An old professor once said to my class that
problems are not fine wine they do not age well with time. Unmonitored risk will result in a
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