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We welcome Dr. David Hillson to look at project risk management for business leaders and project leaders through the metaphor of a risk hurricane, which David introduced in his book Taming the Risk Hurricane.
Risk management has become a standard part of the strategic tool kit, providing senior leaders with a forward-looking radar to scan the future and give early warnings of approaching threats and opportunities. However, even best-in-class organizations can falter in the face of extreme risk exposure. Special circumstances demand special responses, and extreme risk exposure needs very careful handling. Routine risk management approaches will fall short, but businesses that demonstrate a high degree of flexibility and resilience will have the competitive advantage and the ability to thrive where others fail.
Definitions are a useful starting point, but what do you really think when you hear the word risk? How does it make you feel? What about related words like "uncertainty," "threat" or "opportunity"? Building on established neurolinguistic theories of word/image association, this session will explore underlying tensions in the way practitioners think and feel about risk. Discover the surprising truth, and compare yourself with your peers. And of course, this episode is relevant to risk management in agile projects as well, just in case you were wondering.
This interview with Dr. David Hillson was recorded at the PMI® Global Conference 2019 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA. We discuss his research and insights into what you truly think about when you hear the words "risk" and "opportunity" using the Bouba/Kiki Effect. This is the kind of information you won't find in the Practice Standard for Project Risk Management but it's so useful when thinking and talking about risk with project stakeholders.
You will see and understand why it's hard to include opportunities in an integrated risk management process and discover your own underlying perceptions of risk, and the implications for your risk management behavior. The insights will change how you think about risk management critical success factors. Enjoy the episode!
We all hold assumptions, then make decisions and take actions based on those assumptions without verifying their validity. Worse is when other people hold assumptions about our work and we don’t know it. This can impact user adoption, timeline, scope, quality, and overall project success. Not to mention personal frustration, stress, and desires to pull out one’s own hair.
Unchecked assumptions can be very dangerous in the workplace. We should be mindful of some common assumptions and actively work to uncover assumptions. Doing so will bolster project work and open up new paths for identifying risks.
Some project assumption examples that Beth introduces us to are assuming a project or task is easier or faster than it actually is, assuming priorities are aligned and haven't changed, and assuming who owns, or is responsible for, what.
Very importantly the paper and discussion also include a section about uncovering assumptions. Here, Beth offers us 5 ideas on how to develop and expand our project assumptions list.
This interview is 23 minutes long. This means that you can "legally" only claim 0.25 PDUs for listening to it. However... if you first listen to the interview and then also read the white paper on which it is based, then you can go ahead and claim 0.50 PMP PDUs!
This episode is sponsored by The Agile PrepCast. Get your PMP PDUs:
Dr. David Hillson and Cornelius Fichtner
This interview with Dr. David Hillson was recorded at the 2016 PMI® Global Congress in San Diego, California. We discuss his paper and presentation My Stakeholders are my biggest risk -- help!. Here are two passages from the paper:
Stakeholders can pose a real risk to our projects—at least some of them can—and project managers and their teams need to be aware of this and take steps to control risks to their project that arise from risky stakeholders. As with all risks, stakeholders present both positive as well as negative risks, and we need robust ways of identifying which stakeholders offer opportunities, and where potential threats might lie.
This paper presents a structured way of identifying risky stakeholders based on a best-practice stakeholder analysis model (The Stakeholder Cube). It explains how risky stakeholders might influence a project based on their power, interest, and attitude. Finally, the paper shows how applied emotional literacy can be proactively used to influence risky stakeholders in order to optimize the outcome for the project.
A risk is any uncertainty that could affect achievement of project objectives. Some of the biggest risks in projects arise from stakeholders, and project managers and their teams need to be aware of these risks and manage them proactively. As with all risks, there are both positive and negative stakeholders, and it is important to identify which stakeholders offer opportunities, and where potential threats might lie—and then act appropriately.
David is retiring and this was his last active participation at a PMI Global Congress in North America. He plans on continuing to attending the EMEA congresses and he has offered to be available for interviews over Skype in the future.
In this interview we talk about managing risky stakeholders, bringing together the disciplines of stakeholder engagement and risk managemetn. You'll hear some useful tips for making sure you're tailoring your risk responses in project management to your project and the stakeholders you work with.
This interview is 26 minutes long. This means that you can "legally" only claim 0.25 PDUs for listening to it. However... if you first listen to the interview and then also read the white paper on which it is based, then you can go ahead and claim 0.50 PMP PDUs!
Today, I don’t have a full interview for you. I have something better. I have a free book on risk management for you:
The free risk management eBook you are going to get is “Managing Murphy -- Essentials of project risk management”. It’s written by Dr Jim Young, PMP, FNZIM (http://www.skillpower.co.nz/) and it is intended to be applicable regardless of your preferred methodology and framework – so you can use the concepts presented no matter if you follow PMBOK®, PRINCE2 or Agile approaches. The book includes exercises to do with your team so it's truly interactive. The exercise on risk responses in project managementis particularly helpful, in my view.
If you use a podcast app to download and listen to our interviews, then the book has very likely already been downloaded by the app for you. It is a PDF document and you should see it as a separate episode of your subscription of The PM Podcast. If not, then please click on the download button above.
You can claim 1 PDU in the "Technical Project Management" category for each hour that you spend reading this book. Please study the PMI CCRS Handbook and search for "reading" in the document to see how to claim your PDUs in detail.
Risk management in project management is such an important area for practitioners and executives, so I'm pleased to be able to share this ebook with you. Why not send the link on to your colleagues as well?
This episode is sponsored by The Agile PrepCast. PDU for PMP®:
Cornelius Fichtner and Dr. David Hillson (We're pointing at Disneyworld on the map)
This interview with Dr. David Hillson was recorded at the 2015 PMI® Global Congress in Orlando, Florida. We discuss his paper and presentation "Weight Loss For Risky Projects". Here is the paper's definition of Risk Obesity:
“Risk obesity” occurs when there is too much risk in the system, resulting from uncontrolled risk appetite (Hillson, 2014). This can affect the business as a whole if strategic risk-taking decisions by the senior management team lead to risk exposure that is greater than the organization can manage. But risk obesity can also occur at the project level, when a particular project is carrying levels of risk that are too high, posing a significant threat to the project’s success.
Each of the characteristics of physical obesity has parallels in risk obesity, where we accumulate excessive risk exposure that threatens the ongoing health of our project, and that may ultimately be terminal. Risk obesity also makes other risk ailments more likely, as high levels of risk exposure challenge the ability of our risk management processes to cope.
The main cause of risk obesity is an uncontrolled or inappropriate risk appetite (Hillson and Murray-Webster, 2012), leading us to take on too much risk without the ability to digest it and deal with it effectively. It is also possible in some cases that there is a built-in tendency to risk obesity arising from the “organizational DNA,” with a corporate ethos and culture that lead to excessive risk-taking.
The good news for projects suffering from risk obesity is that it is both treatable and preventable. This paper provides clear diagnostic symptoms to determine whether a project is risk obese, as well as proven treatment options.
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