I have yet to see an example of a violation of the six constraints “rule-of-thumb” – whereby a change to one project constraint (Scope, Cost, Schedule, Resources, Risk or Product Quality/Technical Performance) does not impact at least one of the others (reference: PMBOK® Guide, fifth edition, p. 6). The first action we tend to take when risks materialize (or issues surface) and we have to re-balance our project plan, is to determine if we can somehow “absorb” the resultant added risk. Accepting more risk seems to always be the easiest remedial action to take, yet the down-stream ramifications of doing so without careful consideration can jeopardize team performance – this is especially critical in the scenario where the team is expected to “do more with less” and team performance is highly scrutinized. As an example, PMs are expected to solve problems caused by issues, which most of the time leads to changing the future tasks (e.g., reducing future task durations) to show that the project can still remain on schedule. Even in the event that the plan was established with enough schedule buffer, the action to eat into the buffer may only add a small amount of risk, but the result is that you end up with less remaining buffer and greater risk, nonetheless. Earned Value Management (EVM) systems tend to expose these risks, potentially prompting stakeholder inquiries regarding other options to consider – like changing Scope, Product Performance Requirements, or Resources – the more difficult changes to make. In my book “Project Risk Management: A Practical Implementation Approach” I provide examples of various other options to consider.
The objective of this series of posts is to provide insights into the breadth of Holistic Project Risk Management, especially as it relates to satisfying an organization’s objective to “Do More with Less” – which, if done well will improve the organization’s business success. The plan is to provide 2 posts per week over the course of 10 weeks. Thus, there will be time in between topics to comment and/or reach out to the author for clarification or further requests. Past posts will be assembled and stored on the Build2Scale.net website for future reference.
My text book “Project Risk Management: A Practical Implementation Approach” can be purchased via the following link: