5th Edition PMBOK® Guide–Step 6: Memorizing Inputs & Outputs (Risk Management Part 3)


In this next series of posts on memorizing the processes, we move on to the final step 6, which is memorizing the INPUTS & OUTPUTS associated with each of the 47 processes.   In order to breakdown the memorization into more bite-size chunks, I am breaking down the processes in the 10 knowledge areas into 2 or 3 posts each.

This post covers chapter 11 of the PMBOK® Guide, which covers the Risk Knowledge Area. This knowledge area contains 6 processes, the first five of which are in the Planning Process Group, and the last of which is in the Monitoring & Controlling Group.

I am splitting the discussion of the Inputs & Outputs into three different posts, each covering two processes.   This post will cover Process 11.5 Plan Risk Responses and Process 11.6 Control Risks.

2.  Review of processes 11.5 and 11.6 together with their ITTOs (Inputs, Tools & Techniques, Outputs)

Process Name Tools & Techniques Inputs Outputs
11.5 Plan Risk Responses 1. Strategies for negative risks or threats

2. Strategies for positive risks or opportunities

3. Contingent response strategies

4. Expert judgment

1. Risk management plan

2. Risk register

 

1. Project management plan updates

2. Project documents updates

11.6 Control Risks 1. Risk reassessment

2. Risk audits

3. Variance and trend analysis

4. Technical performance measurement

5. Reserve analysis

6. Meetings

1. Project management plan

2. Risk register

3. Work performance data

4. Work performance reports

1. Work performance information

2. Change requests

3. Project management plan updates

4. Project documents updates

5. OPAs updates

3.  Output of processes 11.5 Plan Risk Responses and 11.6 Control Risks

a. Project management plan updates (11.5 Plan Risk Responses and 11.6 Control Risks)

In the same way that many knowledge areas contribute inputs to the risk management processes, the outputs of the risk management processes in turn affect many of these same knowledge areas.   For example, the following subsidiary plans of the overall Project Management Plan may be updated as a result of the 11.5 Plan Risk Responses process:

  • Schedule management plan–updated to reflect changes in process and practice driven by risk responses
  • Cost management plan–updated to reflect changes in process and practice driven by risk responses
  • Quality management plan–updated to reflect changes in process and practice driven by risk responses
  • Procurement management plan–updated to reflect changes in strategy (such as alterations in the make-or-buy decision or contract types)
  • Human resource management plan–updated to reflect changes in project organizational structure and resource applications driven by risk responses
  • Scope, schedule, and cost baseline–updated to reflect changes due to new, modified or omitted work generated by risk responses

b. Project documents updates (11.5 Plan Risk Responses and 11.6 Control Risks)

The following elements of the risk register may be updated as a result of the process 11.5 Plan Risk Responses:

  • Risk owners and assigned responsibilities
  • Agreed-upon response strategies
  • Specific actions to implement the chosen response strategy
  • Trigger conditions, symptoms, and warning signs of a risk occurrence
  • Budget and schedule activities required to implement the chosen responses
  • Contingency plans and triggers that call for their execution
  • Fallback plans for use as a reaction to a risk that has occurred and the primary response proves to be inadequate
  • Residual risks that are expected to remain after planned responses have been taken, as well as those that have been deliberately accepted
  • Secondary risks that arise as a direct outcome of implementing a risk response
  • Contingency reserves that are calculated based on the quantitative risk analysis of the project and the organization’s risk thresholds

Other project documents that may be updated as a result of process 11.5 Plan Risk Responses include:

  • Assumptions logs–assumptions could change as new information becomes available through the application of risk responses
  • Technical documentation–technical approaches and physical deliverables may change as new information becomes available through the application of risk responses
  • Change requests–planning for possible risk responses can often result in recommendations for changes to the resources, activities, cost estimates, etc.

As far as the process 11.6 Control Risk is concerned, the potential updates to the risk register may include:

  • Outcomes of risk reassessments, risk audits, and periodic risk reviews–these may include identification of new risks; updates to probability,  impact, priority, responses plans, and ownership of risks; and finally the closing of risks that are no longer applicable and the release of the applicable reserves
  • Actual outcomes of the project’s risks and of the risk responses–this can help project managers to plan for risks on other current projects in the organization, as well as future projects

c. Work performance information (11.6 Control Risks)

As an output of 11.6 Control Risks, work performance information is a mechanism to communicate and to support project decision making.

d. Change requests (11.6 Control Risks)

The implementation of contingency plans or workarounds can sometimes result in a change request, which may consist of

  • Recommended corrective actions
  • Recommended preventive actions

e. OPAs updates (11.6 Control Risks)

The OPAs that may be updated as a result of 11.6 Control Risks are:

  • Templates for the risk management plan (including the probability/impact matrix and risk register)
  • Risk Breakdown Structure
  • Lessons learned from project risk management activities

 

4.  Input of processes 11.5 Plan Risk Responses and 11.6 Control Risks

a. Risk management plan (11.5 Plan Risk Responses)

The important components of the Risk Management Plan that are inputs to this process are:

  • Risk activity-related roles and responsibilities
  • Risk analysis definitions
  • Timing of risk reviews
  • Risk thresholds (low, moderate, high risks)–helps identify those risks for which specific responses are needed

b. Project management plan (11.6 Control Risks)

The PMBOK® Guide lists the Project Management Plan as an input of process 11.6 Control Risks, but if you look at the entry closely, it specifies that the portion of the Project Management Plan that is relevant to the process is the Risk Management Plan, in particular those portions which give guidance for risk monitoring and controlling.

c.  Risk register (11.5 Plan Risk Responses and 11.6 Control Risks)

The following elements of the risk register are inputs of process 11.5 Plan Risk Responses and 11.6 Control Risks:

  • Lists of identified risks
  • Root causes of risks
  • Risk responses (potential responses are inputs to 11.5, agreed-upon responses are inputs to 11.6)
  • Risk owners
  • Risk symptoms and warning signs
  • Relative rating or priority list of project risks
  • Risks requiring responses in the near term
  • Risks for additional analysis and response
  • Trends in quantitative analysis results
  • Watch list (list of low-priority risks)
  • Contingency reserves (developed in process 11.5, these are inputs to 11.6)

d. Work performance data (11.6 Control Risks)

The work performance data that are particular relevant to the process 11.6 Control Risks are:

  • Deliverable status
  • Schedule progress
  • Costs incurred

e. Work performance reports (11.6 Control Risks)

The work performance information that is included in work performance reports, which are inputs to 11.6 Control Risks, could be impactful in controlling performance-related risks.

  • Variance analysis
  • Earned value data
  • Forecasting data

This concludes the ITTOs for the last two processes of risk management.   Tomorrow I will take up chapter 12, which covers the knowledge area of Procurement Management.

 

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