Preparing for Risks


I’m supposed to be on the other coast right now. But since I start from Boston, and this Nor’easter has taken over, I’m going nowhere fast. When I planned the trip and the client work, I’d allowed about a half-day of slack in the travel. That’s normally enough. Not this time 🙂

When you manage your work, how do you prepare for risks? Aside from Murphy’s Law (Whatever can go wrong will, at the worst possible time), do you actively solicit risks from the project team? If you’re not a project manager, do you think about the risks on your part of the project and bring them to your project manager’s attention? If not, I recommend you do.

There are lots of risks that are surprises, such as this snowstorm. When I booked my travel, this was just another weekend in December. It’s hard to prepare for risks like this one, although I tend to book early-in-the-day flights as a way to manage the normal air travel risk.

But there are lots of risks you can foresee, understand, and plan to manage. If you haven’t yet read Waltzing With Bears, take the time to read it. DeMarco and Lister help you identify relevant risks and plan for dealing with them.

And, in case I’m bumped from my flight tomorrow, I’ve already started identifying alternatives. I hope I won’t need them, but I’m ready. Risks are a fact of life, and everyone needs to identify them and manage them. Preparing for risks is prudent.

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