Identifying Risks & Strategies
ABC, Inc. is considering a new project to develop electronic access to their Human Resources (H.R.) information. They intend to allow all their customers, students and employees access to their own information and give them the responsibility to modify their information, such as address, marital status, and tax information. The primary benefit would be more accurate information while reducing the number of human resources personnel. As an added benefit to employees, the new system would also allow them to change their tax withholdings or pension plan contributions. Before starting the project, the many risks posed by the human resource project should be identified and assessed. A risk is an unknown that may have positive or negative outcomes. Sometimes they have both. There are a multitude of risks associated with this project, but five potential risks discussed below revolve around assurance of senior management commitment, scope, quality, integration and acceptance. Risk identification and assessment is an important step in the project management process. It gives the Project Manager time to handle the risks that were truly unknowable.
The first risk deals with identifying the stakeholders and winning senior management commitment. Projects often have the commitment of senior management at the outset. It could even be their exciting idea. Once the details are hashed out and the costs are evaluated, the energy behind the idea could wane. This leads to the project either limping along or being cancelled outright. The project manager’s first task is to find a project sponsor and keep him and other stakeholders engaged (Schwalbe, 2014). The positive risk of engaging the sponsor and stakeholders is that the project could be aligned better to the business strategy. The project’s end product might be better due to their support and commitment.
This next set of risks revolving around scope are critical— developing good requirements, limiting scope into realistic deliverables, and securing the privacy of the information. With the sponsor and all the stakeholders identified and engaged, the requirements for the project will be better detailed. One risk that could be positive or negative is determining or limiting the scope of the project into realistic deliverables. This risk could be negative-- a too large scope could set the project up for failure from the start. As a strategy to ensure completion of the project and control expectations is to split the project into phases that are quicker to turn around. If the whole project’s completion date would be three years, then the project could be split into at phases each deliverable in maximum six month long increments: 1) planning, 2) read access to HR contact and tax withholding information, 3) write access to HR contact information, 4) write access to tax withholding information, 5) read access to pension information, and 6) finally write access to...