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Friday, June 22, 2012

Documentation Reviews

In the previous chapter, we saw all the tools & techniques that we will be using in this “Identify Risks” process at a very high level. In this chapter we are going to take a detailed look at the first item in that list “Documentation Reviews”

What are Documentation Reviews?

This technique looks at all the project plans & documents and performs a structured review to determine the following:

1. Are all the plans consistent with the Project Requirements?
2. What are the assumptions made within those plans?
3. Are the Plans thorough? – Do they cover everything that they should?
4. Do plans even exist?

As you must have figured out by now, the answers to these questions are indicative of the risks that are just waiting to happen.


If the Quality Management Plan for the project is missing, imagine how poor the quality of the project outcome will be and how many risks we will be forced to face because of it? (For point no. 4)

If the plans are not consistent with the project requirements imagine how many problems we will face? Let say as per the customer requirement the product must be available for use on or before the 1st of January 2013 and as per our plan, the project is going to complete only on the 15th of January 2013. Isn’t that a ticking time bomb just waiting to explode? (For point no. 1)

The point on Assumptions is a no-brainer. Any assumption is an inherent risk that will occur if our assumption turns out to be false. If I assume that you will be coming to office tomorrow and have planned to get some work done by you, it is a risk I am taking. What if you don’t show up to work due to some reason?

Experts say that most projects that fail, fail due to lack of proper planning. This essentially means that our project failed due to poor Risk Management. Are you wondering why???

If Risk Management had been conducted in a proper way, all those gaps in planning would’ve been identified and we would’ve taken steps to fill those gaps and push the project towards success. So, it is safe to say that the success or failure of a project can be directly attributed to how effectively risks are managed by the project manager.

Prev: Overview of Tools & Techniques in risk identification

Next: Information Gathering Techniques

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