Risk Management and Risk Ownership by Dmitrij Harder

The determination of risks inherent in an upcoming project is only the starting point for successful project managers. Once these risks have been delineated two assignments should be made; the first being the assignment of ownership or responsibility for each of the risks related to the project. In order to optimize this assignment, the responsibility for each risk should be assigned to the team member with the best skill set to oversee that specific risk. Assigning this accountability ensures that risk is handled in the best manner possible where threats are minimized and opportunities capitalized upon.

The second assignment of ownership centers on financial responsibility for listed risks. This is critical in situations where risk can be spread over multiple departments, business units, suppliers, contractors/sub-contractors, etc. This financial ownership tends to sharpen the focus of assignees toward their specific risks and can prove to be a huge source of motivation for managing those risks. This assignment of financial ownership provides benefits in terms of opportunities related to the project as well by eliminating the potential for infighting between departments or business units over excess revenues.

This kind of advance planning in terms of risk management provides several benefits including:

  • The elimination of questions regarding responsibility for project risk
  • The elimination of finger pointing when problems delineated in the risk assessment arise
  • A faster response time when problems occur

Dmitrij Harder of Solvo Group, Inc. has a broad range of experience in delineating project risks so that they can be handled in the most efficient manner possible.


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