(This post contains affiliate hyperlinks. Please read my full disclosure.
Mike ClaytonIn his book Risk Happens, Mike Clayton defines risk as “uncertain outcomes that could affect outcomes”. Managing Risk and Avoiding Failure in Business Projects. Your project controls must include risk management. It allows you to manage your project more effectively and ensures a smooth end. What is project risk management? Clayton defines it as the following:
Processes to make the project easier to predict
Tools to deal with the real-world as it happens
Attitudes and behaviors that enable us to adapt to change.
Risk breakdown structures
Clayton introduces the concept and structure of the risk breakdown in his book. This uses the categories of quality, scope, cost, and time from the enhanced triple constraint to break down the risk under these categories much like a work breakdown structure. The book provides a detailed explanation of product breakdown and work breakdown structures.
You will need to describe your project activities and deliverables individually in order to move from a scope statement into a plan in your project description. You can use the WBS to outline your activities and the PBS to set out your products or deliverables. It is partly a matter of preference and partly of circumstance which tool you choose.
The WBS and PBS are a solid foundation for creating a risk breakdown structure. This is a way of ensuring that all risks are covered.
Risk logs can be used to manage risk
Without action, a plan is nothing. We often mistakenly believe that if we plan for risk, the universe will hear about it and somehow prevent the risk from occurring. It won’t. It won’t.
Mike’s book, Risk Happens!Clayton makes an excellent point in the quote above. Project risk management is more than a brainstorming session and keeping track of everything on a spreadsheet. If you want to manage risk, you must do so actively.
There are risks that you don’t want to eliminate. Positive risk can have a positive impact on your project. Your risk management plan should include actions that will make this risk a reality. This book outlines ways you can capitalize on positive risks by increasing their impact. It also contains a section on how to recognize a positive risk when it presents itself.
This section also provides background information about how individuals and groups react to risk. This information is especially useful when creating a risk management plan. You’ll get different responses from different stakeholders to your management actions. Understanding how they think will help ensure that you don’t go mad when they respond in different ways.
Clayton also addresses common factors that can affect our ability make good judgments, such as anchoring bias. This can make it difficult to manage project risk effectively or lead to ineffective risk management activities.
Get started with your risk management systems
This book is a great introduction to risk management. It would be a good choice for beginners. The book includes a glossary and an appendix with common project risks. This is great for anyone who wants to start brainstorming ways to reduce risk in their own projects.
The book does not specify any method, so it doesn’t matter whether you use PRINCE2 (r), the equivalent PMI(r), or any other national or global standard. You will be able to save time and use the tables and processes to help you create a risk management plan. You can easily adapt the information to your company or project and make it more useful.

Book review: Risk Happens