Author : DAOUDI Samir | Context : MSc Software Engineering – IT Project Management

Whatever the type of project is? And independently of the project managers’ experience, all the projects face risks and might be affected seriously by these unexpected situations. The risks exist in all situation simply because there are too many random factors and incontrollable events that might cause serious disruptions to the project. During the project development, different conflicts might raise between different actors in the project (Project Manager, Team members, Stakeholders, Managers …etc.). And these conflicts are the results of unexpected situations as delays or extra budget requirements, which all happen due to wrong estimation or any risks (Pandian, 2007).

The project managers should have a proactive approach when dealing with risks, as it can significantly minimize the impact of these last and avoid the surprising effect. For the proactive approach, the project managers should try to anticipate all possible predictable risks with the probability of each one and the impact of such risk on the project. This is not an easy task as everything is based on predictions and estimations. However, some risks are easily predictable than others (Schwalbe, 2011).

What is risks’ management software? Risks management software provides a centralized system to identify risk, evaluate their impact, probability, and the vulnerability they pose to organizational assets, linking them to mitigating controls and managing their resolution. In general they are platform for simplifying, automating, measuring and reporting risk at every level of your organization. Our risk management software exhibits significant flexibility, allowing users to tailor inherent risk factors and risk assessment, as well as risk treatment plans based on organizational needs(McManus, 2004).
Different solutions have been developed for this purpose and are widely used by different organizations. All these solutions are generally deployed at the company level generally as web application, accessible (internally) by the different actors (project manager, team members, end users …etc.), and sometimes, it might also be accessed by external third parties (especially in case of offshore and distant collaborators).
On of the most important advantages of using such solution is to keep a central repository for the different projects’ risks, especially if the company is undertaking different project simultaneously (which is the most common). It can help to have a central focus point with standards in term of risks handling and reactions. This approach also gives to senior managers a global overview and a wide dashboard for the situation of the different projects.
However, the project risks management software is not as simple as that. Vendors of such solutions try to make the software fully configurable, hence an extra level of complexity in setting the correct parameters and trainings are required, and companies face generally a rude reject of such very complex solutions by the project managers. In addition to its complexity, sometimes the costs of installation, support, licensing and configuration is important that the senior management do no see a clear added value from investing in such solutions (McManus, 2004).

I personally think that for companies which undertake different project in different fields and in which it is important to keep an eye on what is happening in the different projects and the risks estimation for each one, it can be helpful to use a risk management software even if the effort spent in installing, configuring and training the staff can be significant. The ROI of such investment can be seen in long term.

References:

– C. Ravindranath Pandian(2007). Applied Software Risk Management: A Guide for Software Project Managers. ISBN: 0-8493-0524-1

– John McManus (2004). Risk Management in Software Development Projects. ISBN:0-7506-5867-3.

– Kathy Schwalbe (2011). Information technology, Project Management. ISBN: 978-1-111-22175-1.

Originally posted 2013-10-06 18:03:52.

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