Project Risk and Success
A not unreasonable question to ask at this stage is: What is the point of it
all, and where do "Risk" and "Success" fit in, the two most challenging hurdles
for the project manager?
The management of project risk has evolved over several decades into a major
industry, with an extensive array of risks having been identified and how to deal
with them. However, in our view, there are two basic risks that weigh far above
all the others, and that are not always even mentioned. These are:
- The first risk is the risk to project success through failure
to apply appropriate project management tools and techniques to the conduct of
the project through its life span.
- The second is the risk to product success through failure to
create a product that delivers the required performance, works well, and with which
the clients and customers are satisfied.
Of the two, we believe that the second is by far the more serious. Our thinking
is that for most projects, that is, with the exception of certain types of product,
time and cost failures will eventually be buried in previous years reports and
documentation. However, Quality shortcomings in the product will
be evident and felt throughout its life.
The matrix diagram shown in Figure 1 illustrates the
potential for project/product failure through failure of either or both Product
Methodology and Single Project Management.
Figure 1: Project Management vs. Product Development
The Likelihood of Success Matrix
Notes: "Success" in project management has many dimensions, but for
purposes of Figure 1:
- Project Management Success means: Project objective, i.e., product
delivered on time, within budget, and hence carefully tracked, as well as scope
changes carefully controlled and documented.
- Product Success means: Product performance delivered
as required, works well and clients and customer satisfied.
16. The exceptions
visualized here are any projects in which the delivery date is paramount, such
as any prior announced public occasions or performances, or the delivery of any
part that is tied to such a condition.
17. Unless otherwise reworked to conform to requirements.