Month: March 2016

A strong connection of Assumptions, Constrains and Risk Management

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Hello to everyone,

during the “Identify Risks” process the Risk Team is trying to find Threats and Opportunities concerning the Project using a number of Tools & Techniques (see previous post). The result of the all effort is to fill the Risk Register by using the “Metalanguage form” or the “Cause-Risk-Effect Format” as is mentioned in PMBOK and Practice Standard for Risk Management both by PMI.

So how you will find the “Causes” of Risks?

A good way to Start is by reading carefully 2 papers that you already have in hand during that stage: The Project Charter and The Scope Statement! Both of them are containing the Constrains and Assumptions of your Project.

In pages 76 & 77 of “Practice Standard for Risk Management” by PMI you can find the following guide about dealing with Assumptions and Constrains:

Assumptions and Constraints Analysis
This technique requires three steps:
1. List assumptions and constraints for the project
2. Test assumptions and constraints by asking two questions:
     a. Could the assumption/constraint be false?
     b. If it were false, would one or more project objectives be affected (positively or negatively)?
3. Where both questions are answered “Yes”, generate a risk, for example in the form:
<Assumption/constraint> may prove false, leading to <effect on objective(s)>.
The results can be documented in table form, as shown in below table:


A good friend and respectful Risk Manager Miss Neetu Verm (Management Consultant and Corporate Trainer) posted a great article about how to deal with Assumptions check it in the following link:

“Assumptions ,Assumptions Analysis and Assumptions Testing”

Check out also:

a. Beginning of the 6th PMI-RMP® online Prep course March-April 2016

b. Opinions of participants 

Get informed for our new courses at :


a. PMBOK & Practice Standard for Risk Management by

b. Neetu Verma, MBA,PMP®,PMI-ACP®,PMI-RMP®

Note: “PMI”, “PMP”, and “PMBOK Guide” are registered marks of the Project Management Institute, Inc.

The beginning of the 6th PMI-RMP® online Prep course March-April 2016 is a fact!

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The beginning of the 6th PMI-RMP® – Risk Management Professional online prep course is a fact.

The seven participants, located in Abu Dhabi (United Arab Emirates), Nicosia (Cyprus), Athens (Greece), Kosovo (Serbia) and Naples (Italy) , are gaining deep knowledge concerning Risk Management but also are starting to prepare for the PMI-RMP exam according to the PMI® standards. The seminar will be concluded after 9 training sessions through Human Asset’s Group company synchronous training platform.

But the preparation and support doesn’t stops here. For the following weeks after the completion of the course, the participants will receive a lot of study material and mock tests through the asynchronous training platform of Human Asset Group Company in order to be successfully prepared for the PMI-RMP exam and acquire the certification.

Get informed for our new courses at :

Note: “PMI”, “PMP”, and “PMBOK Guide” are registered marks of the Project Management Institute, Inc.

Identify Risks (Threats & Opportunities).

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Hello to everyone,

in the early stages of a project, we have yet to discover the risks. There are numerous tools and techniques that can help you, your project team, and your stakeholders identify risks such as:

  • Information Gathering Techniques (e.g., brainstorming, interviews, Delphi Technique)
  • Diagramming Techniques (e.g., context diagrams, flowcharts)
  • SWOT (i.e., Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats)
  • Pre-Mortem. Describe a hypothetical failed or challenged project to your project team. Have your team identify the risks and determine risk responses. See more
  • Assumption Analysis. Ensure that assumptions are reviewed, understood, and documented.
  • Prompt List. This is a list of categories that prompts stakeholders to identify additional risks in each category.
  • Checklist Analysis. This is list of potential risks used to help identify additional risks.
  • Document Reviews. Review documents for the project and related projects.
  • Delphi Technique: How to perform “Delphi”

You may use a combination of techniques. For example, you might do a brainstorming exercise and follow up with review of a checklist or prompt list.

7 Ways to Identify Risks

There are numerous ways to identify risks. Risk Managers must use a combination of these techniques. For example, the project team may review a checklist in one of their weekly meetings and review assumptions in a subsequent meeting. Here are seven popular risk identification techniques:

  1. Interviews. Select key stakeholders. Plan the interviews. Define specific questions. Document the results of the interview.
  2. Brainstorming. I will not go through the rules of brainstorming here. However, I would offer this suggestion. Plan your brainstorming questions in advance. Here are questions I like to use:
    • Project objectives. What are the most significant risks related to [project objective where the objective may be schedule, budget, or quality]?
    • Project tasks. What are the most significant risks related to [tasks such as requirements, coding, testing, training, implementation]?
  3. Checklists. See if your company has a list of the most common risks. If not, you may want to create such a list. After each project, conduct a post-review where you capture the most significant risks. This list may be used for subsequent projects. Warning – checklist are great, but no checklist contains all the risks.
  4. Assumption Analysis. The Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) defines an assumption as “factors that are considered to be true, real, or certain without proof or demonstration.” Assumptions are sources of risks. Project managers should ask stakeholders, “What assumptions do you have concerning this project?” Document these assumptions and associated risks.
  5. Cause and Effect Diagrams. Cause and Effect diagrams are powerful. Project managers can use this simple method to help identify causes of risks. If we address the cause, we will reduce the risk.
  6. Nominal Group Technique (NGT). Many project managers are not familiar with this powerful technique. It is brainstorming on steroids. Input is collected and prioritized. The output of NGT is a prioritized list of risks.
  7. Affinity Diagram. This technique is a fun, creative, and beneficial exercise. Participants are asked to brainstorm risks. I ask participants to write each risk on a sticky note. Then participants sort the risks into groups or categories. Each group is given a title.

Variety is the spice of life. One sure way to bore your project team to death is to use the same risk identification technique repeatedly. Mixing it up occasionally will help your team think in new ways and improve the identification process.

Note: “PMI”, “PMP”, and “PMBOK Guide” are registered marks of the Project Management Institute, Inc.

8 Ways to Improve Your Risk Management

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Hello to everyone,

below you can find 8 reasons why project risk management becomes ineffective and what you can do to gain better results.

  1. Failure to identify risks early. Some project managers wait until things are out of control before they exercise risk management. Identify and evaluate risks early in new projects.
  2. Failure to focus on the risks that matter. Some project managers start their projects with gusto. Their risk list is longer than War and Peace. However, no one knows which risks matter. When project managers fail to evaluate and prioritize risks, team members become overwhelmed and fail to take action. Be sure to prioritize the risks.
  3. Failure to involve high-power / high-interest stakeholders.Powerful stakeholders have a way of showing up late in the game and disrupting project flow. These people have no evil intent. Once they discover the project, they seek to minimize impact to their interests. Identify, engage, and communicate with key stakeholders early and consistently.
  4. Failure to capture risks in a consistent format. Have you ever looked at a risk register and found yourself frustrated? That’s usually because the risk descriptions are inconsistent. Use this simple syntax: Cause -> Risk -> Effect.

5. Failure to evaluate whether the risk responses are effective. Until we take action to manage risks, nothing else matters. Once we respond, we must evaluate the effectiveness of our actions. Are we getting the results expected? Evaluate responses and tweak the response plans as needed.

6. Failure to engage risk owners. Some project managers try to own ALL the risks. For example, a project manager with no information technology background may address software development risks. Identify and recruit risk owners who have the ability to develop and execute effective risk response plans.

7. Failure to make risks specific. Risk statements are often vague (e.g., we may lose business). As a result, no one understands the root issues. Try digging deeper by asking, “Why?” Each time you receive a response, ask why again until you discover the root cause. Then rewrite the risk statements with greater specificity.

8. Failure to focus on the objectives. Team members can drift in their conversations concerning risks. Individuals sometimes jump from one topic to another and lose sight of the original goal – to identify and manage risks. Ask team members and other stakeholders to keep their focus on the project objectives and related risks.


Note: “PMI”, “PMP”, and “PMBOK Guide” are registered marks of the Project Management Institute, Inc.