Pro tip on Risk Management within Construction Projects
April 12, 2019
We frequently find that a risk register and a formal workshop to identify potential risks and opportunities on a project are key to avoiding preventable project delays and subsequent cost increases.
There is tremendous value in assembling everyone on the project who has a vested interest. During this session, a solid amount of brainstorming can occur, as well as key points in which potential risk and opportunities are highlighted. This can help keep everyone engaged and begin to steer the project in the right direction.
Conducting a risk analysis workshop also ensures that all parties understand the risks and costs involved with the project before taking a step forward. While many people are “cost-conscious,” having a concrete understanding of the investment required will ensure the team is moving in the right direction as one cohesive unit.
A simple risk register, which is often the top recommended item for any risk analyst, should always be present to help ascertain the perceived complexity of a project. As a best practice, owners should insist on it.
The register workshop is a brainstorming session that places key team members in the room allowing them to all participate in identifying risk and opportunities for the project. This exercise is done for the purpose of netting out the highest risks, and the level of impact each could have on the project. We now have an identifiable risk factor that requires us to arrive at a corresponding risk mitigation measure.
As we move through areas of risk from high probability to low probability during this exercise, we develop perspective on where the risk could occur and its potential impact. Even the low probability/low impact areas of risk are important to evaluate, as we can then ascertain how relevant these areas are to the project and that we’re not overinvesting time and dollars into the wrong areas.
This session must be conducted with absolutely every person with a vested interest in the project, collaboratively creating a roadmap for how the project will begin, and allowing everyone to see how the project could evolve over time.
The risk register exercise has an added benefit in promoting rapid team cohesion. Everyone has an equal opportunity to voice their concerns about the project, which means people have to communicate on a closer level from the very beginning.