Planner is your perfect project risk management tool

Project risk management can be a challenge.  Planner is designed to help you with do it better.  This page provides guidance about how to use Planner effectively for project risk management.  Planner can be downloaded for free from here.

project risk management; risk management

Creating a new Risk

The Risk model uses the idea of Cause, Event and Effect. This is to encourage you to analyse the risk in more detail.  Cause is considered the name of the Risk and sits at the top of the form.  Event and Effect can also be collected but are optional.

A category and status must be picked for your risk from the available list, a default option is displayed. The contents of these lists can be altered in the File – Manage Lookups form, if this hasn’t been disabled by the template creator.

An Owner is required, either select from the pick list or type a new name in (this list is the resources list for this file and if using task and issue tabs as well will be shared across all three).

This is the minimum data set and you can now Create although we would recommend first rating your risk for better project risk management.

Rating a risk

Planner uses the idea of Inherent Risk (what the risk is rated as when it is first identified) and Residual Risk (what level the risk is rated as once any responses have been complete).  When working on a new risk these two measures are tied together so changes to the Inherent Rating are reflected in the Residual rating, once responses are identified and planned the Residual Rating can be unhooked and its values Identified directly so that there is a risk gradient between Inherent and Residual.

In PIAB default templates the Risk Rating is calculated based on three factors:

Impact – the significance of the risk occurring.  This is grades Negligible to severe with a 1-5 scoring associated with the terms.

Probability – the likelihood of the risk occurring.  This is selected as a % between 0% and 100% in 5% increments.

Proximity – how close is the potential risk event (a closer event is more of a problem as it is more difficult to manage.  This is selected as a term from Long Term to Now with values of 1-10 being associated to the terms.

The overall risk rating is a multiplication of the three factors and as such can range from 1×0%x1=0 through to 5×100%x10=50.

If you can put a monetary value on the risk occurring that can also be completed in expected value (there is no linkage between this and the impact selection made with the slider).

Your template creator may have changed your risk model so the selection options are different but the calculation model will be the same.

Updating a risk and Responses

If following a basic approach to Risk Management then as the understanding of the risk and its impacts develop, or are changed by your actions you can simply adjust in the Inherent sliding scale and keep notes on the risk and actions in the Comment tab.  Of course status changes on the general tab are also helpful.

If following a more sophisticated Risk Management approach then in addition to the comments you should use the Responses tab. You can identify and monitor multiple responses to a single risk. Create responses and manage these, updating them as they are managed to their result.  With this approach it is more usual to leave the Inherent rating untouched and to decouple the Residual rating. You then update only the residual rating to reflect changes.  That way the progress and success in addressing the potential risks can be identified.

You can use Planner in a mode where both the Risk and Issue tabs are active.  Then you will be able to copy a Risk to the Issue area.  Further you can also have an Issue copied into the Risk area.  This is helpful when an item was initially misdiagnosed. Alternatively when an anticipated Risk actually happens and it is then therefore an Issue.

What can I do with my risk data?

It is common to use Planner standalone or as a template from Community Edition. In these circumstances you can analyse your risks using views and export or print your results as required.

When using a PIAB commercial product your data will be available to be shown at project, programme or portfolio level.  In these cases your risk information will be combined with data from other projects.

If using Small Team or Enterprise Editions you will be able to generate risk lists based on chosen criteria.  These can be accumulated across all plans in the system. The system can also then send people reminders based on the status and content of their risks by email.