Identifying Important Risks

This component recognizes that there are indeed risks associated with any project. You should break the risks down into the categories that you consider logical, and you should also differentiate between near-term and long- term risks. Especially in IT projects, the topic of fault tolerance—providing for the possibility that hardware might fail and, in spite of the failure, guaranteeing that users can access a given application—will be of great interest. Other key IT risk topics would include disaster recovery and business continuity. Disaster recovery restores a company' s operations from backup tapes after some event that takes out the entire system. Business continuity asks the question, "How close can we get to where we were, in terms of the business day, when the disaster occurred?" In other words, can you restore the company back to one hour ago, four hours ago, one day ago, or must you go even farther back?

In formalizing your risk assessment process, it' s a good idea to put team members in a room—including SMEs that understand the business process the project is associated with—and brainstorm to come up with the risks associated with the project. If you alone try to single-guess the risks, you' l l doubtless come up short. By getting a variety of team members involved, you ' l l stand a better chance of identifying all potential risks to the project.

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