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John P. Reiling, PMP: How do you look at risk management?

If you know something about risk management, you are likely familiar with what I will call the “technical aspects of risk management”.

But there is another side to managing risk that is less often discussed. I call it “personal aspects of risk management”, as I think risk management is as much an art as a science.

Risk management is not just executing a few steps in hope of coming out OK on the other side. It is something bigger and deeper than that.

Here is an outline of key aspects of the technical and personal side of risk management:


  1. Front-end risk evaluation
    • Risk identification: stakeholders identify risks
    • Risk assessment: Stakeholders estimate probability and impact for each risk
    • Mitigation planning: Stakeholders choose risks that need mitigation based on probability and impact, then determine courses of action
    • Preventive actions planned: Preventive tasks are incorporated into plan and schedule
    • Remedial actions planned: Actions to be taken in case a risk event occurs are planned and documented
  2. Back-end risk management
    • Risks monitorred during execution and control: Particularly those associated with remedial actions
    • Take remedial action on risk occurrence: When triggered, planned actions are executed


  1. Thinking things through has intangible aspects and is part art and part science.
  2. Thinking outside the box when considering risks can pay great dividends.
  3. Facing the facts and separating emotion from logical thinking in order to acknowledge real risks.
  4. Capturing all the facts, making sure and capture ALL of the BIG risks.
  5. Taking action, whether to prevent a risk occurrence, or to monitor and respond to one.
  6. Paying attention to the “intrinsic” aspects of risk managment that can only come from the depths of who you are – morally, ethically, and attitudinally.

John Reiling, PMP
PM Training Online

See our Risk Management training for PDUs, in addition to other PDUs and business certification exam prep training.


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