Friday, August 15, 2014

Do’s and Don’ts: Do Create a Risk Assessment Dashboard (Part One)

You know that MS Project is a great scheduling tool. Did you also know that it can help you quantify and evaluate risk?

In this post I will provide you with the basics for a simple risk evaluation tool. Then, in the next blog entry, I will build a Risk Assessment Dashboard in MS Project.

Risk severity is usually expressed in terms of probability and impact to a task or a project’s product, schedule, work or cost. When used to mathematically indicate risk severity, the formula is:

Risk Severity = Probability X Impact

The grid below is a model to group and evaluate task and project risk. Risks are represented on a scale of 1 (low) to 25 (high) and are the result of the severity formula.


In this simplified model I arbitrarily identified and grouped risks according to the following rules:


Naturally, your organization would need to decide on the value range representing high, medium and low risk.

The purpose of evaluating the risk is to determine if any action is needed to mitigate or retire the risk. In my model, low risks are only monitored. Medium risks are monitored and a mitigation plan created but not executed. A high risk receives action for retirement.

Risk assessments range from simple spreadsheets such as my example to complicated programs creating statistical forecasts and representative graphics. The key is that you have a tool that is useful and usable for you in the management of risks.

In the next blog post I will outline the steps to create a Risk Assessment Dashboard. It looks like the figure below and will provide at a glance the rules, mathematical formulae and graphics to alert you to the state of risk in your project.


(Click on the figure above to enlarge)

Did you enjoy this blog post? If so, please let me know! I love to hear from my readers.