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Friday, June 15, 2012

Risk Management Plan – An Introduction

The Risk Management plan is the heart and soul of Risk Management. It guides the project team in carrying out risk related activities in the project. In this section we are going to learn in detail about this valuable piece of document that will be used by the Risk Manager throughout the project’s lifecycle.

Let us start off with the Purpose of the Risk Management Plan.

The purpose of the Risk Management Plan is to define how risks will be managed, monitored and controlled throughout the project.

It details how risk management processes of the Project Risk Management knowledge area will be carried out, thereby increasing the chances of success of the project processes. The risk management plan is a subsidiary of the Project Management Plan which you might already know is a collection of various subsidiary plans and components. Do you remember the earlier chapter on the Project Risk Management knowledge areas?? The Risk Management Plan is created during the first process namely “Plan Risk Management”.

It is easy & fairly common to confuse the Risk Management Plan with the Risk Response Plan. The Risk Response Plan only explains how we are going to handle/respond to all the risks identified for our project. But, the Risk Management plan is the overall guide based on which all risk management activities are taken up in the project.

The Risk Management Plan defines the guidelines based on which we manage risks in our project. The Risk Management Plan is our treasure map for conducting all the risk management activities in our project. Having a good understanding of how to take-up risk related activities among all members of the project is vital for the success of the project. The risk management plan can be greatly useful in achieving this understanding.

The Risk Management Plan is created/developed during the early stages of the Project itself. Actually speaking, the earlier the better… The risk management plan creation begins almost immediately after the project is started and is usually completed during the early stages of project planning. Below is a simple illustration of this create risk management plan activity.

As you can see – there are 3 steps in this process:
1. Obtain Necessary Resources
2. Conduct Planning Meetings &
3. Generate the Risk Management Plan

By Resources, we are not only referring to people but also to all relevant items like standards, policies, templates etc. that will be used in creating the risk management plan.

The creation of the Risk Management Plan is a complex and critical activity and needs to be covered in greater detail. This chapter was just the introduction. Let us dig into the details in the next few chapters…

Prev: Section Summary - Understanding Risk Management

Next: Inputs to create the RM Plan

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