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Sep 2016 – My stakeholders are my biggest risk

Presented at the PMI Global Congress NA 2016, San Diego, CA, USA, 27 September 2016

This paper explains how to manage one of the biggest risks to your project – your stakeholders! Like all risks, they are “uncertainties that matter”, and they need to be managed proactively. Find out how!

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July 2016 – Risk management best practice & future developments

IACCM Contracting Excellence online magazine

Risk management has been recognised for some time as a formal discipline in its own right, but the field there are a number of areas requiring further development. This paper outlines current best practice, then presents three areas in which risk management might develop in the short to medium term: integration of risk management with overall management and corporate culture; increased depth of analysis and breadth of application; and inclusion of behavioural aspects in the risk process.

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May 2016 – Tackling risk depression

Presented at the PMI Global Congress EMEA 2016, Barcelona, Spain, 11 May 2016

All risk is bad and must be avoided or minimised at all costs. The only uncertainties that matter are risks that could cause delay or increase cost or cause accidents or damage reputation. If this is your view, you may be risk-depressed. This paper explains the problems of limiting the risk process to managing only negative or downside risks (threats). It presents proven techniques for identifying, analysing and responding to opportunities, to help you implement a balanced approach to managing risk.

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Oct 2015 – Weight loss for risky projects (Addressing risk obesity)

Presented at the PMI Global Congress NA 2015, Orlando FL, USA, 12 October 2015

Risk obesity happens when we take on too much risk as a result of uncontrolled risk appetite. We need to take the right amount of risk in our projects – the amount that we can digest and deal with effectively. Risk obesity can make us inflexible and slow to react to risk, and it can lead to multiple problems with delivering the intended benefits of our project. This paper describes how to tackle risk obesity by controlling risk appetite, reducing risk exposure, and changing our risk-taking habits, so that we can reach an acceptable target level of risk exposure.

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May 2015 – Risk facilitation made easy

Presented at the PMI Global Congress EMEA 2015, London, UK, 12 May 2015


A skilled facilitator makes things easy. But how? Facilitating a group is often hard work, especially when we’re dealing with uncertainty. This paper explores how to handle difficult people, and explains how and when to use the three main facilitation styles to ensure that risk workshops are both effective and fun!


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April 2015 – Managing risk in your SME

Risk Management Today, Vol 25 No 3, 2015, pages 41-42.


Is risk management only relevant to major organisations with big budgets? Is it only for mega-projects or industries that are highly-regulated or safety-critical? Owners of small-to-medium-sized enterprises (SME) might be tempted to think that they don’t have time for risk management. Perhaps they can just manage risk intuitively, without the overhead of a formal risk process or tools. But are they missing something important that could help SME businesses to succeed, create more value, reduce problems and make our lives easier?

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March 2015 – Top ten myths of risk

APM Project magazine, Spring 2015, pages 58-59

Since the dawn of time, mankind has used myths to make sense of the uncertainty that surrounds us. Unfortunately many myths have grown up around risk management. These may have some basis in truth, but they are far from an accurate representation of reality. This article explores the top ten risk myths, and how to counter them.

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March 2015 – Exploding common myths about risk management in contracts

IACCM Contracting Excellence online magazine

Contracts are a mechanism for transferring risk between contracting parties. For most people however, the way this is understood and implemented is limited to choosing the form of contract. But there is a better way to understand the relationship between risk and contracts. By recognising the true nature of risk, we can ensure that our contracts address it intelligently and appropriately, sharing the risk challenge equitably between the contracting parties so that risk is managed effectively and the contract purpose is achieved. This paper explains how a wider view of risk in contracts will maximise our chances of success.

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Oct 2014 - How risky is your project? And what are you doing about it?

Presented at the PMI Global Congress North America 2014, Phoenix, AZ, USA, 26 October 2014.

This paper clarifies the concept of overall project risk, explains its importance, and outlines how it can be identified, assessed, managed and reported. Only by broadening our risk approach to include this aspect can we answer two key questions from project sponsors, stakeholders and customers: “How risky is your project? And what are you doing about it?”

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Oct 2014 - How to manage the risks you didn’t know you were taking

Presented at the PMI Global Congress North America 2014, Phoenix, AZ, USA, 27 October 2014.

Most people define risk as an uncertain future event that would have a negative effect on achievement of time and cost objectives. But risk includes much more than this. This paper explores the other types of risk that are usually missed from the typical risk process. Drawing on leading thinking and current best practice, the paper explores the full range of project risks that need to be managed, starting from the proto-definition of risk as “uncertainty that matters”.

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