Over the last few years of reading Glen Alleman’s “Herding Cats” blog, I have come across the refrain “Risk Management is how adults manage projects” many times. Today, I chased down the source of this quote to Tim Lister’s 2004 “How Much Risk Is Too Much Risk?” talk. I’m glad I did. Among the many gems on risk management there, my two favourites are linked to Tim’s refreshing focus on value, and the accountability of the client. The first key idea is:
Starting a project late is worse that finishing it late
and the second:
The only reason to quantify cost (schedule and budget) is to have something to compare to your quantification of benefit.
which doesn’t make too much sense without Tim’s explanation. If you are curious, effort to dig up this talk and read it will be rewarded.
Alternatively, check out Tim’s talk at InfoQ London 2014 “Risk Management is Project Management for Grown-Ups” which contains this thought of the day
All the projects with benefits but no risk were completed a long time ago.