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Make Risk Management a Priority

Learning Objectives

After completing this unit, you’ll be able to:

  • Define risk management.
  • Describe the benefits of risk management.

Stay Proactive

Your company just closed a big deal and you’re off to scope the solution. Woohoo! We like your enthusiasm, but let’s pause for a moment. Have you considered all the things that can impact the success of this new project? In other words, have you thought about all the risks? 

Risk management is the process of identifying, assessing, and addressing project risk. This is a proactive exercise, as risks may or may not occur. But if they do, you’ll be glad you prepared for them. Think about it this way:

  • A risk is something that can limit or even block your project’s success—anything from a custom feature breaking to team attrition.
  • When a risk happens, it becomes an issue.
  • If you’re not prepared, issues can build on each other and your project can be delayed or even cancelled.

This means the exciting new deal your team just landed is bust—no revenue, damaged reputation, and future deals threatened. OK, that may be the worst case scenario. It’s not all doom and gloom, especially when you’re a Salesforce partner who incorporates risk management into your projects.

This is exactly what this module helps you do. We cover the strategies, processes, and tools you can use to deftly manage project risk.

A Cautionary Tale About Sandwiches

Yes, to highlight risk management, let’s talk about food. You join a friend for lunch at a local cafe. You order the popular SuperTasty cheese sandwich, only to find out that they’re out of SuperTasty cheese. You try something else, but your lunch is a cheese-free disappointment. While a cafe serving cheese sandwiches may appear to be an altogether different business world, there’s a close parallel. 

A cheese sandwich

It’s natural that cafes run out of things. It's just as natural that issues arise throughout the life of your projects. A well-defined risk management process ensures that a business sets appropriate expectations and delivers what customers expect—whether that’s a sandwich or a technical solution.

Does risk management mean that you ferret out and eradicate all risk? Nope. The goal of risk management is to proactively reduce the likelihood that risks turn into issues, and to minimize negative impact when issues do occur. 

Suppose that the cafe proactively purchased twice as much cheese as it needs. Does that mean it’s great at risk management? Not really. It didn’t minimize negative impact. The cafe spent more than it budgeted and can’t pay its bread supplier. 

Good risk managers balance risk reduction and overall impact to serve customers best.

Savor the Benefits

Risk management is good business with measurable benefits. 

Trust. Customers deserve your honesty and transparency. By identifying and communicating risk, they trust that you know what you’re doing and that you maintain a positive outlook on the project as you execute. 

In-depth project knowledge. With risk management, you get a broad view into project strengths and weaknesses.

Better bottom line. When you find problems early in a project, they’re typically less costly to fix. Early risk detection reduces project costs. 

A stronger, highly skilled team. Involve your whole team so everyone develops risk management skills and a heightened sense of accountability. The result is a shared confidence that the team can address risks calmly and rationally. This enhances peace of mind for the current work and future projects.

The most important benefit of all: You increase your potential for success.