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Handling Uncertainty:
Planning for Risk and Opportunity in Project Management
Over the course of a project, managers must contend with any number of factors that will impact schedule, scope, budget, or quality. Knowing how to identify and quantify these factors is one thing. While much has been written on the topic of project risk management by way of processes, approaches, formulas and methodologies, there is little data on exactly how project managers can translate risk information into actionable items, whether in planning for risk or in responding to it when it materializes.

Effective project managers are not only good at identifying threats and responding to them, but they also show a strong ability to foresee trouble and to seize opportunities when they present themselves. Risk management is about planning not only for what you know might happen, but also for what you don’t know might happen.

This webinar is designed to provide project managers with tools that will help them understand the dynamics of risk management so that they can not only plan effectively, but maximize their response to threats and opportunities, both foreseen and unforeseen, when they materialize.


Overview of the Risk Management Process
There are multiple inputs to and outputs from the risk management process. The key to effective risk management is in understanding where the inputs come from, and what to do with the outputs.

The heuristics of risk identification
How do individuals identify risks and quantify them? What makes something a risk to someone and not to another? What makes an individual want to bring out the proverbial cannon to kill the fly?

Threats and Opportunities
Risks can be categorized as threats or opportunities, and there is risk in ignoring either of those.

Concrete Risk Responses
Managing threats and opportunities means developing appropriate responses that will be implemented if a risk materializes. It also means being able to capture risk knowledge at the organizational level, and understanding which responses work and which ones don’t.

Réal Ouellette is the president and founder of Nexop, a national project and risk management consultancy specializing in operational effectiveness. Nexop has also trained hundreds of participants in project and portfolio management, risk management, and operational excellence, and is a Microsoft Enterprise Project Management (EPM) partner.

Réal has over thirty years of experience in management and IT, acquired mostly in the financial, legal and pharmaceutical sectors, and he has assisted numerous organizations in Canada and the U.S. in getting their project portfolios under control.

Réal studied at Concordia University and at Harvard, and holds the PMP certification from the Project Management Institute as well as the MCTS certification from Microsoft (EPM). A lecturer in the Advanced Project Management program at McGill University’s School of Continuing Studies, Réal is also a regular guest speaker at industry conferences such as Project World.

PMI® Professional Development Units (PDUs) 1
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