Risk management and contingency planning


Project management (no matter for what) requires a budget.

The budget usually has to be approved by the people who will fund your project or the managers or stake holders and they could all be combined.

The budget involves identifying the costs in terms of people resources, equipment and contingency.

Allowed contingency is done differently depending on the company or NGO or government project.

In some companies, when you are working on a project of which you are not absolutely sure of how it will turn out, contingency can be as high as 100%.  For example if the project will cost $1 million depending on all the calculations, you can double it in case something goes awfully wrong.  And believe me, this can happen.

Some companies allow only 10-25% contingency.

The beauty is all that money is added in the budget proposal and approved before you commence the work.  Most times you pray and hope that you will come under budget and within the deadline so that you can look great as a project manager.  It does allow companies to also plan for what might not yet be obvious.

Risk management involves identifying all possible risks and mitigating them before you begin the project.  So it is Risk identification, how to deal with each risk (mitigate it).

You may have seen project proposals or business plan templates where you have to identify the competition, demonstrate how you will do better and this refers to risk in one way or another.  Can you justify managing the risks you have identified?  If you cannot, then the project might not get approved for who would fund something when you are the project manager cannot come up with an explanation of how to handle what comes up?

Then we have BCP (Business Recovery Plan) in case your sytem dies and people cannot use that nice software you built.  What do they do then to recover?  This comes with Business Continuity Plan (BCP again).  How does one continue to conduct business when something goes wrong?  It could be as simple as the entire team catching a bad flu and being off work for days.

One project I worked on in the past, we had a banquet of 400 people sitting down waiting to eat.  The main chef got mad at someone (was not me) and stormed off the job as a crowd was waiting to eat.  Aha!  Anyone can flip burgers on a BBQ so we called some of the stuff to help us make those burgers and hotdogs.  Was totally unplanned by the way but the people were happy to get their food instead of being told there will be no food.

Those who work with software and websites need to always have a back up plan.  The entire server can crash.  The network can go down.  Your phones are ringing off the hook.  Why did you not have your system backed up in different places so that you can activate the back up when the main one goes down?

Check this link out for more explanation on Risk management.  The Internet has many more suggestions on how to handle risk.  Make Google your best friend.

Information you can use

Martha Leah Nangalama

Moncton, Canada

Whatsap +15068716371

All my opinions are mine and mine alone.

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