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Negative Risk Response
Negative Risk Response is determining what actions the project will take to address risk threats.
When to use
Once the risk analysis is complete (both qualitative and quantitative), a risk response is prepared for all of the high (red) risks and many of the medium (yellow) risks. Typically, no risk response is required for the low (green) risks.
Whenever a risk changes priority, the risk response should be reassessed.
If a risk response has been implemented in the project plan, but it is later determined to be insufficient to accommodate the risk, additional risk response should be created.
Threat: “A risk that would have a negative effect on or more project objectives.” PMBOK® Guide
There are five approaches to Negative Risk Response. The characteristics of the organization and unique features of the project will determine which approach to use.
Change the project plan so that the risk cannot happen. This requires a change in tasks or resources so that the risky aspect is no longer part of the project plan. Many risks cannot be avoided because the risky aspect of the task is a mandatory part of the project.
This is the most common response. This requires a change in the project plan to reduce the likelihood of the risk or the impact. The most common form of mitigation is to modify the estimate to preposition the risk response in the task estimate or to preposition a risk response task in the project. Another mitigation approach is to create a trigger event early in the project which allows a risk response to be started sooner and at lower impact.
This requires a contract of some sort. Either to insure the project against the risk or to have an outside organization conduct part of the tasks, and therefore be responsible for its completion on time and with the proper quality level.
In this response, the project team refers the risk to the project stakeholders in order to get adjustment to project boundaries or to get their assistance with eliminating the risk factor. This approach should not be used until the first three have been considered and either implemented or rejected.
If you do not select one of the other approaches, you are selecting accept. This approach is appropriate for very small or unlikely risks.
This definition is taken from the Glossary of the Project Management Institute, A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge, (PMBOK® Guide) – Sixth Edition, Project Management Institute, Inc., 2017.
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