The practice of identifying positive and negative conditions that may occur within the project and impact project objectives.
When to use Risk Identification
As soon as the Project Charter has been prepared and the project boundary conditions are determined, risk identification should start. Initially it is based upon the project assumptions. As project planning begins, areas of uncertainty in the plan are risks. Once the project progresses to execution, the project Core Team should be regularly identifying risks based upon what they have seen occur on the project. Risk identification does not end until the project is complete.
There are many techniques that can be used for risk identification. What is most important is that you are doing it. The techniques just aid the Core Team to identify risks that they may have overlooked. The techniques include:
Expert judgment – each Core Team member should apply their experience to identify risks
Project documentation reviews – gaps and uncertainty in documents such as Project Charter, requirements documents, and project plans
Information gathering – interviews and Delphi techniques are used to gather information for subject matter experts not on the team
Check lists and databases – lessons learned experiences from other projects are often codified in checklists and databases
Assumptions testing – considering the impact to the project if a planning assumption is not valid, or only partially valid
Diagramming techniques – Pre-morten diagram is used to identify possible causes that could create a positive or negative impact to the project, swim lane diagram is used to identify possible organizational handoff risks within the project
SWOT analysis – strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats – construct to consider from several points of view what may happen on the project.
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