Skip to main content
Business LibreTexts

11.3: Project Risk by Phases

  • Page ID
  • Learning Objectives

    1. Describe the elements of risk management during the initiation phase.
    2. Describe the elements of risk management during the planning phase.
    3. Describe the elements of risk management during the execution phase.
    4. Describe the elements of risk management during the closeout phase.

    Project risk is dealt with in different ways depending on the phase of the project.

    Initiation Phase

    Risk is associated with things that are unknown. More things are unknown at the beginning of a project, but risk must be considered in the initiation phase and weighed against the potential benefit of the project’s success in order to decide if the project should be chosen.

    Risks by Phase in John’s Move

    In the initiation phase of John’s move, John considers the risk of events that could affect the whole project. He identifies the following risks during the initiation phase that might have a high impact and rates the likelihood of their happening from low to high.

    1. His new employer might change his mind and take back the job offer after he’s given notice at his old job: Low.
    2. The current tenants of his apartment might not move out in time for him to move in by the first day of work at the new job: Medium.
    3. The movers might lose his furniture: Low.
    4. The movers might be more than a week late delivering his furniture: Medium.
    5. He might get in an accident driving from Chicago to Atlanta and miss starting his job: Low.

    John considers how to mitigate each of the risks.

    1. During his job hunt, John had more than one offer, and he is confident that he could get another job, but he might lose deposit money on the apartment and the mover. He would also lose wages during the time it took to find the other job. To mitigate the risk of his new employer changing his mind, John makes sure that he keeps his relationships with his alternate employers cordial and writes to each of them thanking for their consideration in his recent interviews.
    2. John checks the market in Atlanta to determine the weekly cost and availability of extended-stay motels.
    3. John checks the mover’s contract to confirm that they carry insurance against lost items, but they require the owner to provide a detailed list with value estimates and they limit the maximum total value. John decides to go through his apartment with his digital camera and take pictures of all of his possessions that will be shipped by truck and to keep the camera with him during the move so he has a visual record and won’t have to rely on his memory to make a list. He seals and numbers the boxes so he can tell if a box is missing.
    4. If the movers are late, John can use his research on extended-stay motels to calculate how much it would cost. He checks the moving company’s contract to see if they compensate the owner for late delivery, and he finds that they do not.
    5. John checks the estimated driving time from Chicago to Atlanta using an Internet mapping service and gets an estimate of eleven hours of driving time. He decides that it would be too risky to attempt to make the drive by himself in one day, especially if he didn’t leave until after the truck was packed. John plans to spend one night on the road in a motel to reduce the risk of an accident caused by driving while too tired.

    John concludes that the high-impact risks can be mitigated and the costs from the mitigation would be acceptable in order to get a new job.