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Project Risk Management: 5 Case Studies You Should Not Miss

Software Project Management   -  

May 21, 2024

Table of Contents

Exploring project risk management, one can see how vital it is in today’s business world. This article from Designveloper, “Project Risk Management: 5 Case Studies You Should Not Miss”, exists in order to shed light on this important component of project management.

We’ll reference some new numbers and facts that highlight the significance of risk management in projects. These data points are based on legit reports and will help create a good basis of understanding on the subject matter.

In addition, we will discuss specific case studies when risk management was successfully applied and when it was not applied in project management. These real world examples are very much important for project managers and teams.

It is also important to keep in mind that each project has associated risks. However through project risk management these risks can be identified, analyzed, prioritized and managed in order to make the project achieve its objectives. Well then, let’s take this journey of understanding together. Watch out for an analysis of the five case studies you must not miss.

Understanding Project Risk Management

Risk management is a very critical component of any project. Risk management is a set of tools that allow determining the potential threats to the success of a project and how to address them. Let’s look at some more recent stats and examples to understand this better.

Understanding Project Risk Management

Statistics show that as high as 70% of all projects are unsuccessful. This high failure rate highlights the need for efficient project risk management. Surprisingly, organizations that do not attach much importance to project risk management face 50% chances of their project failure. This results in huge losses of money and untapped business potential.

Additionally, poor performance leads to approximated 10% loss of every dollar spent on projects. This translates to a loss of $99 for every $1 billion invested. These statistics demonstrate the importance of project risk management in improving project success rates and minimizing waste.

Let us consider a project management example to demonstrate the relevance of the issue discussed above. Consider a new refinery being constructed in the Middle East. The project is entering a key phase: purchasing. Poor risk management could see important decisions surrounding procurement strategy, or the timing of the tendering process result in project failure.

Definition and explanation of project risk management

Project risk management in itself is a process that entails the identification of potential threats and their mitigation. It is not reactionary but proactive.

This process begins with the identification of potential risks. These could be any time from budget overruns to delayed deliveries. After the risks are identified they are then analyzed. This involves estimating the probability of each risk event and the potential consequences to the project.

The next stage is risk response planning. This could be in the form of risk reduction, risk shifting or risk acceptance. The goal here is to reduce the impact of risks on the project.

Finally, the process entails identifying and tracking these risks throughout the life of a project. This helps in keeping the project on course and any new risks that might arise are identified and managed.

4 Key Components of Project Risk Management

Let’s dive into the heart of project risk management: its four key components. These pillars form the foundation of any successful risk management strategy. They are risk identification, risk analysis, risk response planning, and risk monitoring and control. Each plays a crucial role in ensuring project success. This section will provide a detailed explanation of each component, backed by data and real-world examples. So, let’s embark on this journey to understand the four key components of project risk management.

Risk identification

Risk identification is the first process in a project risk management process. It’s about proactively identifying risks that might cause a project to fail. This is very important because a recent study has shown that 77% of companies had operational surprises due to unidentified risks.

4 Key Components of Project Risk Management

There are different approaches to risk identification such as brainstorming, Delphi technique, SWOT analysis, checklist analysis, flowchart. These techniques assist project teams in identifying all potential risks.

Risk assessment

Risk identification is the second stage of the project risk management process. It is a systematic approach that tries to determine the probability of occurrence and severity of identified risks. This step is very important; it helps to rank the identified risks and assists in the formation of risk response strategies.

Risk assessment involves two key elements: frequency and severity of occurrence. As for risk probability, it estimates the chances of a risk event taking place, and risk impact measures the impact associated with the risk event.

Risk response planning

This is the third component of project risk management. It deals with planning the best ways to deal with the risks that have been identified. This step is important since it ensures that the risk does not have a substantial effect on the project.

One of the statistics stated that nearly three-quarters of organizations have an incident response plan and 63 percent of these organizations conduct the plan regularly. This explains why focusing only on risks’ identification and analysis without a plan of action is inadequate.

Risk response planning involves four key strategies: risk acceptance, risk sharing, risk reduction, and risk elimination. Each strategy is selected depending on the nature and potential of the risk.

Risk monitoring and control

Risk monitoring and control is the last step of project risk management. It’s about monitoring and controlling the identified risks and making sure that they are being addressed according to the plan.

Furthermore, risk control and management involve managing identified risks, monitoring the remaining risk, identifying new risks, implementing risk strategies, and evaluating their implementation during the project life cycle.

5 Project Risk Management Case Studies

It is now high time to approach the practical side of project risk management. This section provides selected five case studies that explain the need and application of project risk management. Each case study gives an individual approach revealing how risk management can facilitate success of the project. Additionally, these case studies include construction projects, technology groups, among other industries. They show how effective project risk management can be, by allowing organizations to respond to uncertainties and successfully accomplish their project objectives. Let us now examine these case studies and understand the concept of risk in project management.

Gordie Howe International Bridge Project

The Gordie Howe International Bridge is one of the projects that demonstrate the principles of project risk management. This is one of the biggest infrastructure projects in North America which includes the construction of a 6 lane bridge at the busiest commercial border crossing point between the U.S. and Canada.

Gordie Howe International Bridge Project

The project scope can be summarized as: New Port of Entry and Inspection facilities for the Canadian and US governments; Tolls Collection Facilities; Projects and modifications to multiple local bridges and roadways. The project is administered via Windsor-Detroit Bridge Authority, a nonprofit Canadian Crown entity.

Specifically, one of the project challenges associated with the fact that the project was a big one in terms of land size and the community of interests involved in the undertaking. Governance and the CI were fundamental aspects that helped the project team to overcome these challenges.

The PMBOK® Guide is the contractual basis for project management of the project agreement. This dedication to following the best practices for project management does not end with bridge construction: It spreads to all other requirements.

However, the project is making steady progress to the objective of finishing the project in 2024. This case study clearly demonstrates the role of project risk management in achieving success with large and complicated infrastructure projects.

Fujitsu’s Early-Career Project Managers

Fujitsu is an international company that deals with the provision of a total information and communication technology system as well as its products and services. The typical way was to employ a few college and school leavers and engage them in a two-year manual management training and development course. Nevertheless, this approach failed in terms of the following.

Fujitsu’s Early-Career Project Managers

Firstly, the training was not comprehensive in its coverage of project management and was solely concerned with generic messaging – for example, promoting leadership skills and time management. Secondly it was not effectively reaching out to the need of apprentices. Thirdly the two year time frame was not sufficient to allow for a deep approach to the development of the required project management skills for this job. Finally the retention problems of employees in the train program presented a number of issues.

To tackle these issues, Fujitsu UK adopted a framework based on three dimensions: structured learning, learning from others, and rotation. This framework is designed to operate for the first five years of a participant’s career and is underpinned by the 70-20-10 model for learning and development. Rogers’ model acknowledges that most learning occurs on the job.

The initial training process starts with a three-week formal learning and induction program that includes the initial orientation to the organization and its operations, the fundamentals of project management, and business in general. Lastly, the participants are put on a rotational assignment in the PMO of the program for the first six to eight months.

Vodafone’s Complex Technology Project

Vodafone is a multinational mobile telecommunications group that manages telecommunications services in 28 countries across five continents and decided to undertake a highly complex technology project to replace an existing network with a fully managed GLAN in 42 locations. This project was much complex and thus a well grounded approach to risk management was needed.

Vodafone’s Complex Technology Project

The project team faced a long period of delay in signing the contract and frequent changes after the contract was signed until the project is baselined. These challenges stretched the time frame of the project and enhanced the project complexity.

In order to mitigate the risks, Vodafone employed PMI standards for their project management structure. This approach included conducting workshops, developing resource and risk management plan and tailoring project documentations as well as conducting regular lesson learned.

Like any other project, the Vodafone GLAN project was not an easy one either but it was completed on time and in some cases ahead of the schedule that the team had anticipated to complete the project. At the first stage 90% of migrated sites were successfully migrated at the first attempt and 100% – at second.

Fehmarnbelt Project

The Fehmarnbelt project is a real-life example of the strategic role of project risk management. It provides information about a mega-project to construct the world’s longest immersed tunnel between Germany and Denmark. It will be a four-lane highway and two-rail electrified tunnel extending for 18 kilometers and it will be buried 40 meters under the Baltic Sea.

Fehmarnbelt Project

This project is managed by Femern A/S which is a Danish government-owned company with construction value over more than €7 billion (£8. 2 billion). It is estimated to provide jobs for 3,000 workers directly in addition to 10,000 in the suppliers. Upon its completion, its travel between Denmark and Germany will be cut to 10 minutes by automobile and 7 minutes by rail.

The Femern risk management functions and controls in particular the role of Risk Manager Bo Nygaard Sørensen then initiated the process and developed some clear key strategic objectives for the project. They formulated a simple, dynamic, and comprehensive risk register to give a more complete risk view of the mega-project. They also created a risk index in order to assess all risks in a consistent and predictable manner, classify them according to their importance, and manage and overcome the risks in an appropriate and timely manner.

Predict! is a risk assessment and analysis tool that came in use by the team, which helps determine the effect of various risks on the cost of the construction of the link and to calculate the risk contingency needed for the project. This way they were able to make decisions on whether an immersed tunnel could be constructed instead of a bridge.

Lend Lease Project

Lend Lease is an international property and infrastructure group that operates in over 20 countries in the world; the company offers a better example of managing project risks. The company has established a complex framework called the Global Minimum Requirements (GMRs) to identify risks to which it is exposed.

Lend Lease Project

The GMRs have scope for the phase of the project before a decision to bid for a job is taken. This framework includes factors related to flooding, heat, biodiversity, land or soil subsidence, water, weathering, infrastructure and insurance.

The GMRs are organized into five main phases in line with the five main development stages of a project. These stages guarantee that vital decisions are made at the ideal time. The stages include governance, investment, design and procurement, establishment, and delivery.

For instance, during the design and procurement stage, the GMRs identify requisite design controls that will prevent environment degradation during design as well as fatal risk elimination during planning and procurement. This approach aids in effective management of risks and delivery of successful projects in Lend Lease.

Project Risk Management at Designveloper

Let’s take a closer look at what risk management strategies are used here at Designveloper – a top web & software development firm in Vietnam. We also provide a range of other services, so it is essential that we manage risks on all our projects in similar and effective ways. The following part of the paper will try to give a glimpse of how we manage project risk in an exemplary manner using research from recent years and include specific cases.

The following steps explain the risk management process that we use—from the identification of potential risks to managing them: Discovering the risks. We will also mention here how our experience and expertise has helped us in this area.

How we manage project risks

Risk management as a function in project delivery is well comprehended at Designveloper. Our method of managing the project risk is proactive and systematic, which enables us to predict possible problems and create successful solutions to overcome them.

One of the problems we frequently encounter is the comprehension of our clients’ needs. In most cases, clients come to us with a basic idea or concept. To convert these ideas into particular requirements and feature lists, the business analysts of our company have to collaborate with the client. The whole process is often a time-waster, and having a chance is missed.

Project Risk Management at Designveloper

To solve this problem, we’ve created a library of features with their own time and cost estimate. This library is based on data of previous projects that we have documented, arranged, and consolidated. At the present time when a client approaches us with a request, we can search for similar features in our library and give an initial quote. This method has considerably cut the period of providing the first estimations to our clients and saving the time for all participants.

This is only one of the techniques we use to mitigate project risks at Designveloper. The focus on effective project risk management has been contributing significantly to our successful operation as a leading company in web and software development in Vietnam. It is a mindset that enables us to convert challenges into opportunities and provide outstanding results for our clients.

Advancements in project risk management

In Designveloper, we always aim at enhancing our project risk management actions. Below are a couple examples of the advancements we’ve made.

To reduce the waiting time, we have adopted continuous deployment. This enables us to provide value fast and effectively. We release a minimum feature rather than a big feature. It helps us to collect the input from our customers and keep on improving. What this translates into for our customers is that they start to derive value from the product quickly and that they have near-continuous improvement rather than have to wait for a “perfect” feature.

We also hold regular “sync-up” meetings between teams to keep the information synchronized and transparent from input (requirements) to output (product). Changes are known to all teams and thus teams can prepare to respond in a flexible and best manner.

Some of these developments in project risk management have enabled us to complete projects successfully, and be of an excellent service to our clients. They show our support of the never-ending improving and our capability to turn threats into opportunities. The strength of Designveloper is largely attributed to the fact that we do not just control project risks – we master them.

Conclusion

To conclude, project risk management is an important element of nearly all successful projects. It is all about identification of possible problems and organization necessary measures that will result in the success of the project. The case studies addressed in this article illustrate the significance and implementation of project risk management in different settings and fields. They show what efficient risk management can result in.

We have witnessed the advantages of solid project risk management at Designveloper. The combination of our approach, powered by our track record and professionalism, has enabled us to complete projects that met all client’s requirements. We are not only managing project risks but rather mastering them.

We trust you have found this article helpful in understanding project risk management and its significance in the fast-changing, complicated project environment of today. However, one needs to mind that proper project management is not only about task and resource management but also risk management. And at Designveloper, our team is there to guide you through those risks and to help you realize your project’s objectives.

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