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Do You See What I See? The Schizophrenic Nature of Project Risk Management


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Author J Lamb


Project managers must juggle many aspects to bring their project in on time, on budget, and in accordance with the aims of the project owner. Whether the project is a mining feasibility study, a technology implementation or a construction project, it falls to the project manager and his or her team to deal with risk from two standpoints, which may be at odds with one another.

First, a project team must deal with risks to the project itself – that is, risks to on-time, on-spec and on-budget delivery against the value promise made to the customer. Second, there is the management of risks within the subject matter of the project, undertaken on behalf of the customer. The project manager cannot dodge this responsibility; yet there is a tendency (particularly in smaller, in-house studies) to avoid digging too deep, possibly for fear of what may be uncovered!

This paper investigates the responsibilities of project teams in regard to risk management and reporting. It examines ownership of project risk; the nature of risk management activities undertaken by the team during the course of a project; and outlines some controls to ensure that the two opposing arms of project risk are reconciled for the benefit of both the project team and the project owner.

Lamb, J, 2007.
you see what I see? The schizophrenic nature of project risk management, in
Evaluation 2007
, pp
Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy: