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Friday, June 8, 2012

Risk Management & the PMBOK Guide


Are you PMP certified? Or have you read the PMBOK Guide? If so, you would already know that Risk Management is one of the 9 Project Management Knowledge Areas. The Risk Management Knowledge area of the PMBOK Guide will be a valuable resource in your preparation for the Risk Management Professional certification exam. Our exam preparation will closely follow how the PMBOK guide covers Risk Management.

If you are not PMP certified yet or do not have a copy of the PMBOK guide, don’t worry. In my earlier series on the PMP Certification exam preparation, I have covered the area of Risk Management in great detail. If you go through the chapters on Risk Management there, you should have more than enough information to proceed with your RMP exam preparation…

Risk Management Processes – As Per the PMBOK Guide

As per the PMBOK Guide, the Risk Management Knowledge Area is split into 6 distinct processes. Below is a short description of those processes with a link to learn more details about it. Those links contain the details regarding each of these processes from the PMBOK’s Perspective. That will be the basis for us in understanding the details that we will be covering in future from the RMP Exam perspective. So, spend some time and go through those chapters so that you establish the minimum level of knowledge required to easily progress towards the RMP Certification Examination.

The Risk Management Knowledge area includes the following Processes:

1. Plan Risk Management – Risk management planning is the process used to decide how the risk management activities for the project at hand will be performed. You can learn more about this Plan Risk Management process by Clicking Here
2. Identify Risks – The Identify Risk Process is the process where we actually identify all those uncertain events that might affect our project or its outcome. You can learn more about the Identify Risks process by Clicking Here
3. Perform Qualitative Risk Analysis – This is the process where we assess the Probability of the Risk event occurring and the Impact of the same. At the end of this process we will have a prioritized list of risks that we need to analyze further. You can learn more about the Perform Qualitative Risk Analysis process by Clicking Here
4. Perform Quantitative Risk Analysis – This is the process where we take the prioritized list of risks and apply mathematical analysis on them. You can learn more about the Perform Quantitative Risk Analysis process Clicking Here
5. Plan Risk Responses – This is the process where we will be deciding how we are going to handle the risks identified & analyzed in the previous processes if they occur. You can learn more about the Plan Risk Responses process by Clicking Here
6. Monitor & Control Risks – This is the process where we monitor the identified risks and identify & respond to new risks as they appear. You can learn more about the Monitor & Control Risks process by Clicking Here.

The whole Risk Management activity progresses step by step through these 6 processes. This is exactly how this blog is structured too. An important point to note here is that, the output of each of these processes serves as the input to the subsequent process. We will start with Plan Risk Management and progress towards Monitor & Control Risks…


The Risk Management Plan


The Risk Management Plan is the heart of our Risk Management activity and it is the artifact based on which we will be taking up each and every activity of Risk Management. The Risk Management Plan (we will call it RM Plan going forward) is a component of the Project Management Plan. We will be using the following as inputs to create the RM Plan:
a. Cost Management Plan
b. Schedule Management Plan
c. Communications Management Plan
d. Project Scope Statement
e. Organizational Process Assets &
f. Enterprise Environmental Factors

Don’t worry if you think I haven’t given much detail about the RM Plan creation here because there will be a whole section dedicated to it in future…

Key Inputs & Outputs of these Risk Management Processes

The RM Plan is the key output of the Plan Risk Management Process. As outlined in the previous paragraph on the Risk Management processes, the Identify Risks process takes this RM Plan as input and creates the Risk Register as the output. Each of the subsequent processes will take this Risk Register as input and then add or update it with more details and pass it on as input to the next process. This means that the Risk Register is going to be updated multiple times as it goes from Identify Risks to the Monitor & Control Risks process.

Along with the Risk Register, the Monitor & Control Risks process also uses Performance Reports (from the Report Project Performance process) and the Work Performance Information (from the Directing and Managing Project Execution process) that are created during the general Management of the Project. Also, any changes that may be suggested as output of this process will be submitted and put through the Perform Integrated Change Control process.

Prev: What is Project Risk?

Next: Understanding the Project Environment

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