Project risk management is one of the ten knowledge areas that a project manager must be proficient, according to the PMBOK. Risks have a negative connotation, and people would want to manage them, mitigate their effect, or completely avoid them, especially in projects. Too risky, people express. However, risks do not exist in a vacuum, according to Dr. David Hillson. Risks only begin to exist once people, and projects, begin to have objectives. Risks are uncertain by nature, but a risk and an uncertainty is not the same. In the simplest terms, a risk is an uncertainty that if it occurs, could affect one or more objectives. That is why it is important to identify which uncertainties are risks, and which are not, states Dr. Hillson, aka the Risk Doctor.
Introducing Dr. David Hillson, Risk Doctor
Dr. David Hillson is a veteran risk consultant with over 25 years of experience. Prior to his consulting career, he was a project manager in a UK engineering company involved in delivering many large projects. In 2003, Dr. Hillson founded the Risk Doctor Partnership, a company composed of a team of risk management experts offering services such as presentations, coaching, process improvement, benchmarking, training and other consulting services in the specialized areas of risk. It attributes its global brand success of over a decade from its excellent support, leading edge thinking and practical application.
PM Awardee, Fellow
Dr. David Hillson has been recognized by several PM organizations for his significant work in risk management, as well as for championing the inclusion of opportunity in the risk process. Dr. Hillson has further categorized risk as threat (negative risk) or opportunity (positive risk). Since the 2000 edition, he has been making significant contribution to the risk management chapter of every PMBOK Guide of the PMI. He received the PMI Fellow Award in 2010, as well as named Risk Personality of the Year in 2010-2011. He was also awarded the PMI Distinguished Contribution Award. He is also an honorary Fellow of the Association for Project Management (APM). He is also a Fellow of the Institute of RM, of the Royal Society of Arts, and of the Chartered Management Institute.
Risk Management Author, Conference Speaker
The book Practical Risk Management: The ATOM Methodology, Second Edition, which Dr. David Hillson co-authored with Peter Simon, has been very popular to many project professionals. Dr. Hillson wrote several other books that cover the topics of project risk management, opportunities, risk attitude, risk appetite, future uncertainties, failures and best practices. He also co-authored the PMI’s Practice Standard for Project Risk Management. He is a conference speaker, presenter and trainer who has worked in over 40 countries. He has produced videos, webinars, podcasts and training courses that have been proven effective following his motto of “Understand profoundly so you can explain simply.”
Helping People Identify, Assess and Manage Positive and Negative Risks Effectively
Dr. David Hillson believes that effective risk management begins with the identification of real risks. There will always be other uncertainties, but they may be irrelevant in terms of the objectives. It is important that these are excluded from the risk process. By linking risks with objectives, the risk identification process is ensured that focus will only be on the uncertainties that matter. And only when the risks are identified can they be successfully managed. See more Risk Doctor videos on his Youtube channel.