on March 22, 2001
My mentor and colleague is fond of chiding me to "roll the dice". However, he is well versed in probability and risk management, so what he is really attempting to get me to do is to take *calculated* risks. I hate math, but knew that I had to overcome that if I wanted to take the next step in my ongoing professional development. I selected this book because it was short, and well written and illustrated.
This book is a bit light for experienced project managers who are well-versed in risk management, but I found it to be a perfect introduction to probability and risk management. It's structured in a logical order, with each chapter building on the other. It starts out with a general approach and definitions associated with risk management. It then covers how to identify risks, assess them using quantitative methods (no blindly rolling the dice here). Assessment is important. Risks are a part of our everyday life, and this part of the book shows you how to prioritize risks based on not only the impact, but the probability. Impact x probability is the basis for indexing and prioritizing risks. You are also shown how to either eliminate, mitigate or transfer the risk that you identify and assess.
Because I am a consultant and live in the world of statements of work and contracts I thought the brief section on dealing with risks in contracts was a highlight. I also liked the chapter on managing contingency allowances.
This is a valuable book for new project managers who need to get quickly acquainted with risk management, and for anyone who wants to learn the fundamentals of probability and how to calculate and control risks. It is straightforward and gives you an awareness of what risks are and how to effectively manage them. My mentor would say, "a risk is an opportunity in disguise." I never appreciated or fully understood that until I read this book.
on February 26, 2003
The book provides a good, high level general overview. For more and better detail, I like Carl Pritchard's Risk Management Concepts and Guidance. Wideman's book is good, but it is from 1992 . . . Pritchard had the benefit of 9 more years of development of the topic.