As Theodore Rubin said, “The problem is not that there are problems. The problem is expecting otherwise and thinking that having problems is a problem.” This quote serves as a reminder of the importance of risk management. In any project or endeavor, it is natural for issues to arise. However, instead of being surprised or caught off guard, it is better to be prepared when problems do come up.
Risk management is both an art and a science. To effectively manage risks, it is important to understand your organization’s culture and approach to risk management. Some groups may view early identification of risks as negative thinking. If you find yourself in such an environment, the challenge is to discuss and plan for risks without being labeled as negative or unsupportive. Even if some team members see brainstorming as a lack of faith, it is essential to move forward and identify potential threats and opportunities. The same people who discourage risk management are often the first to blame the project manager when issues arise.
To avoid such situations, make a habit of identifying potential risks and being prepared for them. Ask your team about what could happen during status meetings and other conversations. Doing so lets you stay ahead of potential issues and have a plan in place if things go wrong.
It is easy to envy others whose projects seem to be going smoothly without any problems. However, they are not just lucky; they are smart. By practicing effective risk management, you too can have successful projects and avoid unnecessary stress and setbacks.