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Risk Assessment And Planning In It Projects.

3600 words - 14 pages

IntroductionThis report outlines risk management in general and considers risks within the early stages of a development lifecycle in relation to IT projects. Different Risk methods are analysed and then conclusions on risks within the early stages of a project are made. Planning within the context of IT projects is considered with reference to development models and hard and soft systems methodologies. Then criticisms of methodologies are provided in relation to the new IT era.Risk Assessment and ManagementWharton (1992) concludes that risk assessment is the articulation of risks in terms of their likelihood and seriousness. Risks should be focussed on from the start of a project, at conceptual stages and then watched closely as projects proceed. Insight in to early project factors likely to threaten project success will help project mangers and other stakeholders to better predict the likelihood of their projects success (Proccaccino, 2002). Many organisations around the world quantify risks of new IT infrastructures based on risk management techniques rather that just proceeding on a project. This is due to the disasters caused by IT failures in the past. A classic example would be the London Ambulance services effort to automate ambulances at critical periods around London, which collapsed when brought online, no risk assessment or contingency was developed to manage and resolve risks. Poor requirements are involved in most project failures (Verner, 2002). The requirements need to be addressed using risk assessment and management techniques. Risk management, the process of dealing with the identified and assessed risks (Wharton 1992). Risk management techniques and methodologies can be implemented within organisations to combat risks at the early stages of the lifecycle, for example at the initiation and selection stages, risk analysis identifies risks and then at the evaluation stages of IT project, risks management can be criticised and improved for the future.Proactive and Reactive Approaches to Risk ManagementRisk assessment and risk evaluation at the initiation stages can take form in two different ways. Firstly risks can be identified by the management in a reactive manner, this is when risks are only combated when they have turned in to problems and the stakeholders take this in to account at this stage. Thus when risks become problems then they are combated against, a clear disadvantage it that at the initiation stages of a project it would not have countermeasures in place to combat risks and therefore no contingency. Conversely to this, risks can be identified and assessed in a proactive manner where potential risks are evaluated and contingency planning is carried out before the risk ever becomes a problem (Pressman, 2000). Proactive risk management is the aim within IT projects but it is sometimes difficult to estimate occurrences of risk let alone develop countermeasures.Qualitative and Quantitative Risk ApproachesAs established...

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