Risk Management and Rose Colored Glasses

There are times when the project manager will be subjected to the long list of potential risks brought to them by their team.  Handling these issues rather than summarily dismissing the item being brought to their attention as input from a hypercritical or doom-centric team member is important for project success and team morale.  If we consistently ignore team members that bring these potential problems to us while they are still potential catastrophes  we will find that the team member will be less informative with risks they see in the course of the project execution.

What we really want to see is cooperation from team members—they present us with risks they have discerned after some modest filtering to ensure we won’t be overcome by panicky noise. In all cases, we want to thank our responsible team member and make it clear that we are adding their discovery to our list of items to be managed. We may even ask them for their own recommendations for risk reduction or elimination. This approach will help us avoid the groupthink of believing we are risk-free and sailing safely when we are about to slip over the precipice of project management ignominy. Even a noisy understanding of the risk situation is better than no risk assessment whatsoever.

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