We all deserve to win.
What really matters is what you choose to do with the win.
In projects, risks aren't all doom and gloom. They can also fall on the positive side of the spectrum - benefiting you, your organization, your stakeholders, etc. In every risk planning session I host, we always make time to brainstorm positive risks and you should too.
Just as a refresher,
"Risk is an uncertain event or condition that, if it occurs, has a positive or negative effect on one or more project objectives." (PMI, 2013, p. 559) AKA something good or bad that could possibly happen in the future such as bad weather affecting your event's attendance count or press that brings more paying customers to your business.
Let's assume that you have a list of risks jotted down and you want to know what to do with the positive risks. Below are 4 techniques you can implement to benefit from the positive risks:
"Enhancing the opportunity can come about when you focus on the causes of the opportunity. In other words, what are the factors that are going to make this positive risk/opportunity happen? Think about how you can influence those factors. This could be by introducing software features to make the new product more marketable or shareable.
It relies on being able to effectively articulate what is going to cause the beneficial situation to happen so that you can focus your efforts appropriately. Get everyone on the project team together to come up with ideas – you’ll find it easier to work out how best to respond to the situation as positive risk response strategies can be difficult to get your head around!" - Elizabeth Harrin on thebalance.com
"Sometimes exploiting a positive risk is not possible without collaboration. Sharing a positive risk is when you collaborate with another department or organization to exploit a positive risk. For example, after conducting a SWOT Analysis, you have determined that a business deal is worth pursuing. You are required to use Agile development practices. In your company, there is no expertise in Agile development. Hence, you partner with another organization, which has skilled ScrumMasters, that specialize in Agile development. With this collaborative strategy, both parties benefit." - Rupen Sharma on brighthubpm.com
"This response strategy tries to make sure that the risk happens, so you get the perceived benefit from the situation. Simple ways to do this could be to train the team to give them extra skills or to tweak your deliverables slightly so that they respond better to the opportunity. Remember that positive risk doesn’t have to only apply to the deliverables you are creating. It can also apply to the way you are creating them." - Elizabeth Harrin on thebalance.com
"This risk response strategy can be used with both kinds of risks, i.e. either positive risks or negative risks. Here you don’t take any action to manage the risk but you do acknowledge it.
You can accept the risk either by actively acknowledging it or passively acknowledging it. In active acceptance, you keep a separate contingency reserve to manage the risk if it occurs, and in passive acceptance, you do nothing except note down the risk." -Fahad Usmani from pmstudycircle.com
Now that you have the tools to plan positive risk responses, here are some more links you might find useful, you can plan your mitigation strategies for negative risks with this article. Next week we will walk through how to create a risk register and I will have a free template for you to use!
Harrin, E. (2017, November 20). Get Response Strategies for Positive Risk: Not All Risks Are There To Be Avoided. Retrieved December 15, 2017, from https://www.thebalance.com/positive-risk-response-strategies-2779621
Project Management Institute. (2013). A guide to the project management body of knowledge (PMBOK guide). Newtown Square, Pa: Project Management Institute.
Sharma, R. (2012, September 20). Strategy for Responding to Positive Risks in Project Management. Retrieved December 15, 2017, from http://www.brighthubpm.com/risk-management/48400-how-to-respond-to-positive-risks/
Usmani, F. (2017, October 23). Risk Response Strategies for Negative Risks or Threats. Retrieved December 15, 2017, from https://pmstudycircle.com/2015/04/risk-response-strategies-for-negative-risks-or-threats