April 09, 2019

Risk Analysis Doesn't Have to Be Scary

I'm working on a project and we're having an important phone meeting on Friday. The Project Manager (my friend) was talking with me about some things that could go wrong. What if the clients postpone the call (again)? What if they don't like who we're proposing to do the work? What if the partner on the call goes off on a different agenda that doesn't further the purpose?

My friend was spit-balling ideas and worries. "No problem," I said. "You're doing a risk analysis and that's the perfect thing to do at this time." I suggested we talk about the very worst case scenario that could happen – just to get that out of the way. My friend laughed.

We realized that even if the worst happened, we could deal with it. Even thinking about the worst possible thing happening was balancing. What if these things did happen? Would we survive? (Of course!) Would the world fall apart? (Well, no.)

Doing a risk analysis in a project involves a few more steps but this is a good start. It's also a great way to get perspective on a project and deal with what could go wrong... or very right!