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Project Outline

Discuss why risk management is so important to the success of the selected project in a letter to the project sponsor.

Describe the steps that will be used to develop the Risk Management Plan.

The purpose of this report is to undertake a detail project management strategic planning and risk management based on a particular project selected for this purpose. The main objective of this paper is to carry out the primary roles and responsibilities involved in a proper ‘Risk Management Strategy and Plan’. To achieve this purpose, the study includes a detailed systematic or sequential approach to identify potential risks and develop appropriate risk response, mitigation strategies, monitoring and contingency plans (Dalcher, 2013). The report starts with a brief outline and description of the chosen project and dives into the details of executing the project successfully from the perspective of risk management, mitigation and planning strategies.

Project Description

The particular project selected for this purpose is based on a house building and construction project development scenario. To be more precise, the present study focuses on the fundamental aspects and the major phases of developing a project on building a house. For this purpose, the study is taken forward from the project manager’s perspective and the project scope is defined. This step essentially includes the creation of WBS or work breakdown structure for planning and scheduling the development and construction of the house (Davidson Frame, 2014). However, for a successful WBS creation, planning proper risk management strategy and contingency steps is specifically essential. 

The WBS for the ‘Building a House’ project requires identifying the major components of the primary work that is to be accomplished. After that, the major components or tasks are further decomposed according to their corresponding physical and functional characteristics. The different WBS levels clearly demonstrate each of these components and their corresponding sub-components (Davies & Brady, 2016). Therefore, the WBS includes the major project deliverables, phases, tasks and activities to be considered for the house-building project.

Outline Number

Task Name

Duration

Start

Finish

Predecessors

0

Building a House

149 days

Mon 2/22/16

Thu 9/15/16

 

1

House structure

91 days

Mon 2/22/16

Mon 6/27/16

 

1.1

Materials

33 days

Mon 2/22/16

Wed 4/6/16

 

1.1.1

define layout and materials

7 days

Mon 2/22/16

Tue 3/1/16

 

1.1.2

Managing delivery

8 days

Wed 3/2/16

Fri 3/11/16

3

1.1.3

Onsite storage of materials

18 days

Mon 3/14/16

Wed 4/6/16

4

1.2

Timber parts of structure along with interior and exterior walls

84 days

Wed 3/2/16

Mon 6/27/16

3

1.2.1

Masonry parts of structure including basement walls

19 days

Thu 4/7/16

Tue 5/3/16

2

1.2.2

skeleton works

30 days

Wed 3/2/16

Tue 4/12/16

 

1.2.3

finishes works

18 days

Wed 4/13/16

Fri 5/6/16

8

1.2.4

Cladding

7 days

Mon 5/9/16

Tue 5/17/16

9

1.2.5

Roofing

21 days

Mon 5/9/16

Mon 6/6/16

9

1.2.6

Walls

12 days

Mon 5/9/16

Tue 5/24/16

9

1.2.7

installation of mechanical / electrical

11 days

Wed 5/25/16

Wed 6/8/16

12

1.2.8

Steel parts of structure including major spans

15 days

Tue 6/7/16

Mon 6/27/16

11

2

Scheduling, budget and site management

73 days

Tue 6/7/16

Thu 9/15/16

 

2.1

Feasibility study

9 days

Tue 6/7/16

Fri 6/17/16

11

2.2

hardware and software requirements

14 days

Mon 6/20/16

Thu 7/7/16

16

2.3

Process requirements

11 days

Fri 7/8/16

Fri 7/22/16

17

2.4

Facilities

4 days

Mon 6/20/16

Thu 6/23/16

16

2.5

Equipment

6 days

Mon 6/20/16

Mon 6/27/16

16

2.6

Stakeholder management

13 days

Mon 6/20/16

Wed 7/6/16

16

2.7

Budget planning

7 days

Thu 7/7/16

Fri 7/15/16

21

2.8

Budget preparation

17 days

Mon 7/18/16

Tue 8/9/16

22

2.9

Communication planning

10 days

Wed 8/10/16

Tue 8/23/16

23

2.10

Schedule preparation

17 days

Wed 8/24/16

Thu 9/15/16

24

2.11

Managing change

4 days

Thu 7/7/16

Tue 7/12/16

21

2.12

Monitoring and measuring progress

9 days

Wed 7/13/16

Mon 7/25/16

26

2.13

Procurement

10 days

Thu 7/7/16

Wed 7/20/16

21

2.14

Risk assessment

10 days

Wed 7/13/16

Tue 7/26/16

26



Table 1: WBS task and subtasks levels

(Source: Created by the Author)

Work breakdown structure for house-building project

Figure 1: Work breakdown structure for house-building project

(Source: Created by the author)

Importance of risk management

The project managers need to coordinate properly with the stakeholders in order to establish effective risk management strategy and plan, through which the project manager specifically identifies the strengths and weaknesses, threats and opportunities for the ‘building a house’ project development (Floricel, Michela & Piperca, 2016). For the present scenario, the following are the reasons why risk management is essential for executing the house-building project.

Risk Management Justification

For successful accomplishment of the house-building and construction project, it is important to consider carefully some of the major factors that may cause hindrance to the smooth flow of the development process. For example, bad or uncertain weather conditions, unclear and ambiguous objectives, non-compliance with particular construction rules, policies or regulations, operational risks, breaches of information and various other kinds of internal as well as external risks involved.  

With respect to scenario as described above, risk management helps identifying the potential threats and challenges and thereby formulates appropriate strategies and procedures for preventing these identified risks (Hobbs, 2012). In addition to that, it is also essential to execute these formulated strategies at the correct time in a correct manner. Moreover, all of the members directly associated with the project development needs to be adequately aware of the potential risks as well as with the adopted strategies to be able to cooperate with the project team in a proper way. Apart from that, risk management techniques are also significantly important to determine the critical tasks for the project and thereby set appropriate ground rules that facilitate achieving the primary objectives of the house-building project under consideration.

The detailed steps involved in the process of developing a risk management plan for the present project of house construction under concern are described as follows:

Step 1: Establishing the context: the first step deals with identifying the accurate objectives of the stakeholders determine the availability of resources and appropriately recognize the structure that can be adopted for coping with different scenarios that may arise during the development phase (Huemann, 2013).

Steps in developing risk management plan

Figure 2: Steps in developing risk management plan

(Source: Created by the Author)

Step 2: Identifying the potential risks: This step deals with the identification of potential risks by different methods such as by talking to the stakeholders, brainstorming, recognize the major areas of safety concerns that might be faced.

Step 3: Assessment of the identified risks: The risk assessment process involves measuring the identified risks based on their probability of occurrence and potential severity of loss. It essentially helps in prioritizing the risks (Hydari, 2013).

Step 4: Treating the potential risks: This step deals with defining how each of the risks is to be dealt with i.e. the method or course of action to handle the risks.

Step 5: Creating risk management plan: Creation of risk management plan depends on choosing proper measures and controls for mitigation purpose.

Step 6: Implementation of the plan: Implementation specifically deals with actualizing the planned methods for mitigating the impacts of risks.

Step 7: Evaluating and reviewing the plan: The initial plan may need changes or additional information (Young, 2013). For this purpose a constant review and evaluation of the plan is to be ensured.

Brainstorming potential risks for house-building project

The several types of risks that can be faced in this particular project are discussed underneath:

Technical risks: The ‘building a house’ project can significantly involve different types of potential technical risks associated with the design process, need for exceptions in the blueprint design, construction risks such as accidents (Turner, 2012).

External risks: The external risks that this particular project may face can be based on inconsistency in the time, scope or costs, lack of information needed for permits, risks regarding licenses. Late changes or additional needs and requirements in the stakeholder requests, unwillingness of the landowner to sell, changing of priorities, inaccurate assumption at the planning stage, environmental factors and so on.

Organizational risks: Organizational risks can include inefficiency of the workers, losing experienced staff at a crucial phase of the development process, unanticipated workload, and inadequacy of planning time and so on (Rose, 2016).

Project management risks: Project management risks may include unwanted delays caused by the contractors and consultants, potential errors found in the estimation of costs and scheduling process, lack of coordination and communication, lack of control, improper definition of project scope, deliverables or costs.

Performance risks: Performance risks may include inadequate equipment and labor productivity, defects in the works, unsuitability of materials, disputes and conflicts among the labor and so on.

Financial and economic risks: The different financial and economic risks include inflation, funding related issues and so on.

Security risks: Security risks may include threats such as intrusion, corruption, terrorism, and most importantly negligence.

Contractual and legal risks: These types of risks may include delayed resolution of certain major disputes, sudden changes in order negotiations, delay in payments, or extras or contracts or even insolvency of contractor or subcontractors (Randolph, 2014).

Societal and political risks: This type of risks can be environmental pressures, different policies and regulations, non-compliance with laws, safety or labor laws, strikes or public disorders (Randolph, 2012).

The different risk identification technique applied for identifying the above risks essentially involved recognizing the sources of risks using SWOT analysis. The SWOT analysis helps in pointing out the potential threats as well as the weaknesses for the present project.

SWOT analysis for house building project

Figure 3: SWOT analysis for house building project

(Source: Created by the Author)

Other than ‘Brainstorming’ and ‘SWOT analysis’, three more procedures were adopted for this purpose. These are discussed below:

Interview notes: The interview sessions conducted by specialists can yield the sources of business risks from different management levels with respect to their individual concerns.

Workshops: This particular risk identification method deals with arranging for workshops, meetings with a group of employees and staffs for identifying risks and their potential impact on the organization.

Questionnaires: This technique deals with developing questionnaires to that focuses on the issues and concerns of the staffs to understand the risks and threats involved in the operating environment of the project.

Risk matrix for grading the identified risks

Likelihood of occurrence

Level of severity

LOW

MEDIUM

HIGH

LOW

3

2

1

MEDIUM

1

3

2

HIGH

3

2

1


Table 2: Risk matrix

(Source: Created by the Author)

The risks identified for this project have been prioritized depending on the risk matrix as demonstrated above.

Risk Description

Occurrence

Severity

Rank (Prioritization)

Status

Physical risks (natural catastrophes, geotechnical conditions, weather conditions, accidents etc.)

Medium

High

2

---

Financial and economic risks (inflation, funding)

Low

Medium

3

---

Societal and political risks (non-compliance with laws, public disorders)

Low

High

1

---

Project management risks (delays by the contractors and consultants, lack of coordination and communication)

Medium

Low

3

---

Contractual and legal risks (payment delay, changes in order negotiation,  disputes)

High

Low

2

---



Table 3: Risk assessment

(Source: Created by the Author)

Risk Name

Risk Description

Risk Likelihood Ranking

Risk Impact Ranking

Risk Impact Description

Risk 001

Physical risks including bad weather situations, natural catastrophes and other geotechnical conditions

Low

High

The project cannot be progressed unless the impact is reduced, severe damage may be caused

Risk 002

The financial risks may include inflation, fundraising problems

Medium

Medium

The quality of the project

Risk 003

The project management risks may involve errors in schedule and cost estimation, delays or lack of communication and coordination among them team members

High

High

The smooth execution of the project is significantly disrupted, deliverables are not properly met

Risk 004

Performance risks essentially involves lack of experience and skills among the workers

Low

High

The construction phase involves major flaws that may result in faulty design or development of the house structure

Risk 005

Security risks such as intrusion, corruption, terrorism

Low

High

Project development can be entirely hampered or postponed

Risk 006

Unanticipated workload, internal conflicts, sudden change in mission

Medium

Medium

The project execution is significantly disrupted and risk mitigation process is applied to reduce the impact

Risk 007

External risks such as stakeholder miscommunication, change of priorities, inaccurate planning, supplier disputes

High

High

Immediate risk mitigation is undertaken otherwise the project fails in the long run

Risk 008

Social and political risks such as labor strikes, public disorders, non-compliance with laws

Medium

Medium

The project may be postponed or kept on hold, certain phases may be significantly affected


Table 4: Risk matrix for grading the identified risk

(Source: Created by the Author)

Risk description

Risk response

Associated action

Physical risks (natural catastrophes, geotechnical conditions, weather conditions, accidents etc.)

Avoidance (elimination)

No activity is performed

Financial and economic risks (inflation, funding)

Reduction (mitigation)

Methods are incorporated to reduce the severity

Societal and political risks (non-compliance with laws, public disorders)

Retention /Accept

The loss already occurred is  to be accepted

Project management risks (delays by the contractors and consultants, lack of coordination and communication)

Transfer / Share

The risky area is shared with a third party

Contractual and legal risks (payment delay, changes in order negotiation,  disputes)

Retention / Accept

The loss already occurred is  to be accepted

Security risks (corruption intrusion etc.)

Transfer / Share

The risky area is shared with a third party


Table 5: Risk response strategy

(Source: Created by the Author)

Inputs to risk response strategy planning are essentially the following:

Risk management plan: The risk management plan involves the specific method descriptions starting from risk identification, response planning, monitoring and control.

Prioritized list of quantified risks: The risks are listed according to their order of priority from high to low risks (Morris, 2013). The probability and impacts of the individual risks associated with them are included in the risk response planning process.

Risk thresholds: Risk thresholds are developed and referred to, in case of understanding the potential of the organizations, and identifying the acceptable degree of risks that can be allowed that influences the risk response planning strategies.

List of potential responses: The risk identification process requires categorization of individual risks with respect to their probability, impact and particular nature.

Risk owners: Project stakeholders play the major role in the decision-making process of risk response planning (Muller & Soderlund, 2015).

Common risk causes: Other than the input factors as mentioned above, it should also be checked whether or not more than one risks are generated by the same source i.e. a common cause.

Tools and techniques to plan risk response for the identified risks: The tools and techniques for formation of the risk response strategy are described below-

Avoidance: Risk avoidance specifically deals with eliminating the portion that was causing the risk to occur (Levin, 2013). Risks events are thoroughly assessed for obtaining required information. The project plan is to reduce the scope, requirements, or specification.                                    

Transference: Risk transference deals with outsourcing the specific risks to third party and share the risks. It may include passing responsibility or shifting liability (which is called outsourcing).

Mitigation: Certain risks are handled with mitigation techniques (Indelicato, 2013). The probability or impact is to be reduced by taking measures such as implementing new course of actions that intend to reduce the specific problems.

Acceptance: Risk response also involves another type, namely, risk acceptance. A contingency plan is applied for taking the particular course do as to formulate the most suitable response strategy (Lippe & vom Brocke, 2016).

Outputs of the risk response strategy development and application:

Risk response plan, also known as the risk register, includes the identified risks, risk descriptions, the areas or components of the projects that will be affected by the particular risk as well as the particular project objectives that will be affected by the identified risks.

Apart from the risk register, it is also necessary to identify the risk owners and thei corresponding roles and responsibilities that have been assigned to them. outputs of the risk response planning further involves the residual risks, secondary risks as well as the contractual agreements made by transferring outsourcing certain risks to the third parties (Mir & Pinnington, 2014). Apart from that, in case of the acceptance risk response plan, the contingency plans are also a part of the output.

Risk response strategy forming also involves allocating risk owners to- each of the individual risk. This process has to be performed carefully as it is a very crucial task to select the right owner for the type of risk.

Risk register updates also result from applying the risk response strategies (Mastrofini, 2013). The risk register is updated with proper description of the actions associated with the particular risk response.

Project management plan updates are also considered one of the outputs of the risk response strategies. These updates specifically decides how the individual risk will be treated and based on that, the plans and strategies are modified.

Project document updates are made after identifying the necessary areas for improvements on the managerial aspects (Leybourne, Warburton & Kanabar, 2014). These updates mainly result from identification of managerial risks.

Risk related contract decisions are usually related with making contractual agreements among the third parties for planning suitable and appropriate risk response. Risk management can further consider establishing subcontracts with proper roles and responsibilities. Apart from that, it also helps deciding whether or not to choose a particular contractor for the house building project.

Purchasing and procurement planning refers to the decision, whether or not to purchase certain raw materials for the development purpose. This mainly involves the reviewing of risks associated with purchasing or production decisions (Floricel, Michela & Piperca, 2016). The beneficial factor of the risk response strategies is that, the risks can be directly transferred to the sellers or third parties, or the suppliers of the raw materials required for the development process. Updates to the procurement management planning and documentation can also result from risk response planning.

Task description

Project Chartering Committee

Client Representative

Project manager

Technology

Team

Risk manager

Risk planning

ü   

ü   

ü   

ü   

Risk identification

ü   

ü   

Risk analysis

ü   

ü   

ü   

Response planning

ü   

ü   

ü   

ü   

Monitoring and control

ü   

ü   

ü   

ü   


Table 6: Risk responsibility plan

(Source: Created by the Author)

The risk monitoring and control is discussed with the specific inputs, tools and techniques and outputs (Ponnappa, 2014).

Inputs: inputs for monitoring and controlling risks are essentially as follows:

Risk management plan

Risk response plan

Communication plan

Additional risk identification and risk analysis

Changes on project scope

Tools and techniques: tools and techniques applied for control and monitoring risks:

Risk response audits

Risk reviews

Performance measurement and evaluation

Earned value analysis

Outputs: usually the outputs of this step are as follows:

Change requests

Updates to the risk response strategy matrix

Risk database

Corrective actions

Workload plans

Updates to the checklist of risk identification

Risks WBS of Building a house project

Building a house project risks WBS

Figure 3: Building a house project risks WBS

(Source: Created by the Author)

Tasks

Subtasks

Employees

Duration (days)

Budget

Totals

Ground works

$66,000

Concrete works

5

16

$43,000

Excavation

2

14

$23,000

Landscaping

$43,568

Pool

7

13

$12,000

Yards

5

24

$12,000

Gardens

6

17

$19,568

Materials

$46,050

Delivery

24

$24,900

Storage

20

$21,150

House structure

$73,361

Steel

5

23

$12,100

Masonry

9

30

$13,124

Timber

2

11

$24,903

Project management

$23,234

Interior

$34,243

Services

$12,123

Electrical

2

11

$12,120

Security

8

10

$10,000

Cladding

$60,150

Roofing

10

20

$31,000

Walls

12

25

$29,150

 

$3,23,372


Table 7: Budget updates

(Source: Created by Author)

Stakeholder

Messages

Vehicles

Frequency

Communicators

Feedback Mechanisms

Project Sponsor

Communicate updated project status

Weekly PMO status report

Monthly

Project Management Team (Project Manager)

E-mail, In-person or shared drive

Project manager

Previous day checkpoint achieved

Board meetings

Weekly

Project Management Team

Tele-conference

Project Team

Providing top down communication and resolution of the issues in team

Team meetings

Daily

Project Team members

In-person in a conference room

Project chartering committee

Correspond status and escalate the issues that need potential resolution.

Weekly executive report

Weekly

Project Sponsor administrative members

In-person or shared drive


Table 8: Communication plan

(Source: Created by the Author)

Conclusion

The report thoroughly included the risk management strategy and planning activities required for undertaking a project based on ‘building a house’. The construction of the house and its different tasks and activities related with the major components of house building and construction are also described. The house construction project essentially involves potential risks that might crop up during the execution of the house construction and development project. In addition to that, the paper also focuses on the specific steps involved in risk management plan such as identification of risks through brainstorming, assessing and prioritizing risks, developing response strategy and plans. Finally, the project also involves the control and monitoring plan for ensuring successful accomplishment of the entire project of ‘building a house’. The combination of strategies are important for preventing certain risks by taking adequate measures against such threats as identified in the report with respect to the particular project selected for this purpose.

References

Dalcher, D. (2013). The IT Project Management Answer Book. Proj Mgmt Jrnl, 44(5), e1-e1.

Davidson Frame, J. (2014). Reconstructing Project Management. Project Management Journal, 45(1), e2-e2.

Davies, A., & Brady, T. (2016). Explicating the dynamics of project capabilities. International Journal Of Project Management, 34(2), 314-327.

Floricel, S., Michela, J., & Piperca, S. (2016). Complexity, uncertainty-reduction strategies, and project performance. International Journal Of Project Management.

Indelicato, G. (2013). Total Quality Management for Project Management. Proj Mgmt Jrnl, 44(4), e1-e1.

Indelicato, G. (2016). Agile for Project Managers. Proj Mgmt Jrnl, 47(1), e4-e4.

Levin, G. (2013). Project Management for Non-Project Managers. Proj Mgmt Jrnl, 44(5), e2-e2.

Leybourne, S., Warburton, R., & Kanabar, V. (2014). Is project management the new management 2.0?. Organisational Project Management, 1(1), 16.

Lippe, S., & vom Brocke, J. (2016). Situational Project Management for Collaborative Research Projects. Proj Mgmt Jrnl, 47(1), 76-96.

Martinsuo, M. (2013). Project portfolio management in practice and in context. International Journal Of Project Management, 31(6), 794-803.

Mastrofini, E. (2013). Project management template / Project management facile con le mappe mentali. PROJECT MANAGER (IL), (16), 47-47.

Mir, F., & Pinnington, A. (2014). Exploring the value of project management: Linking Project Management Performance and Project Success. International Journal Of Project Management, 32(2), 202-217.

Morris, P. (2013). Reconstructing project management. Chichester, England: Wiley-Blackwell.

Muller, R., & Soderlund, J. (2015). Innovative approaches in project management research. International Journal Of Project Management, 33(2), 251-253.

Ponnappa, G. (2014). Project Stakeholder Management. Project Management Journal, 45(2), e3-e3.

Randolph, S. (2012). Fundamentals of Project Management, Fourth Edition. Proj Mgmt Jrnl, 43(4), 81-81.

Randolph, S. (2014). Maximizing Project Value: A Project Manager's Guide. Project Management Journal, 45(2), e2-e2.

Rose, K. (2016). Project Sponsorship: Achieving Management Commitment for Project Success. Proj Mgmt Jrnl, 47(1), e1-e1.

Turner, R. (2012). International Journal of Project Management, Editorial January 2012. International Journal Of Project Management, 30(1), 1.

Young, T. (2013). Successful project management. Philadelphia, Pa.: Kogan Page Ltd.

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