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Risk Breakdown

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An Introduction to the Risk Breakdown Structure

When planning a project to meet targets for cost, schedule, or quality, it is useful to identify likely risks to the success of the project. A risk is any possible situation that is not planned for, but that, if it occurs, is likely to divert the project from its planned result. For example, an established project team plans for the work to be done by its staff, but there is the risk that an employee may unexpectedly leave the team.
In Project Management, the Risk Management Process has the objectives of identifying, assessing, and managing risks, both positive and negative. All too often, project managers focus only on negative risk, however, good things can happen in a project, "things" that were foreseen, but not expressly planned.
The objective of Risk Management is to predict risks, assess their likelihood and impact, and to actively plan what should be done ahead of time to best deal with situations when they occur.
The risk management process usually occurs in five distinct steps: risk management planning, risk identification, risk analysis, risk response planning, and risk monitoring and control. The central point of risk identification and assessment in risk management is understanding the risk. However, this is also where project managers and risk subject matter experts (SMEs) get the least help from recognized references, best practices, or work standards.
Currently, the Project Management Institute (PMIr) has a team of SMEs working on a Practice Standard for Risk Management. This team has identified one very good tool: the Risk Breakdown Structure (RBS). The RBS helps the project manager, the risk manager, and almost any stakeholder to understand, and therefore be able to identify and assess risk.
[edit]What is a "Risk Breakdown Structure?"

The RBS will prove extremely valuable to better grasp...

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