A paper presented to the Project Management Symposium on PM: Project Manager Role Evolution, Rome, Italy, 2004.

Updated 7/3/04

"PMI" and "PMBOK" are the registered trademarks of the Project Management Institute.
Published here August 2004.

PART 1 | Introduction | Areas of Project Management Application
Project-Driven and Project-Dependent Organizations
Project Life Cycle Models| Specific Life Cycle Model Examples
Project Management Planning and Control Practices, Systems, and Tools
Managing Risk in Programs and Projects | PART 3

Managing Risk in Programs and Projects

Formal risk management in project management has become a topic of great interest within the past 10 or 15 years. The outcome, schedule, cost, and environmental factors affecting projects are never completely certain, so the challenges are how best to identify and mitigate the areas of greatest risk during the life of any given project.

"The goals of risk management, therefore, are to identify project risks and develop strategies which either significantly reduce them or take steps to avoid them altogether. At the same time, steps should be taken to maximize associated opportunities. In essence, it involves planning which minimizes the probability and net effects of things going wrong, and carefully matches responsibility to residual risks that are unavoidably retained. It is a very constructive and creative process" (Wideman, 1992, p I-2).
"Instead of considering uncertainty as a necessary evil, it should be considered as an extremely important, inspiring and useful factor given its inherent opportunities for making improvements and taking measures against risk. In the author's opinion, uncertainty is likely to hold some of the greatest potential for improving management skills and efficiency today " (Lichtenberg 1990, p 21).

Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) Applications and Project Management

ERP applications (offered by SAP, Oracle, PeopleSoft, and others) provide enterprise-wide information about people and other resources that must be well integrated with project management software applications. Linking ERP with the corporate project management planning and control system is probably the most effective way to integrate all projects with other non-project operations (manufacturing/production, sales/marketing/distribution, field service, corporate staffs, and so on) in project dependent organizations.

To be continued

In Part 3 of this series, I shall discuss:

  • Individual capabilities in project management: What is the state of project management education, training, and certification of individual people who specialize in project management?
  • Project teams: What is the importance of teamwork in project management and how is it best achieved?
  • The "profession" of project management: Is this a management discipline or a true profession?
Project Management Planning and Control Practices, Systems, and Tools  Project Management Planning and Control Practices, Systems, and Tools

Home | Issacons | PM Glossary | Papers & Books | Max's Musings
Guest Articles | Contact Info | Search My Site | Site Map | Top of Page