Note on Microsoft Project PERT and Risk Matrix Terminology

Microsoft Project uses the terms pessimistic, expected, and optimistic. "Expected" usually means the duration you originally estimated without concern for risk, although it may not. "Optimistic" means the risk and impact are low, and you think you might be able to "beat" the expected—you are optimistic about it. "Pessimistic" means that the risk and impacts are high,

TABLE 5-17 Risk Matrix Comparison

Risk ranking in risk matrix

High (risk severity is high and probability is high that it will happen)

Medium (risk is moderate and impact not so severe)

Low (risk is low and impact low even if it occurs)

Microsoft Project Terminology

Pessimistic (duration reflects concern based on probability that risk will occur and will have major adverse impacts and slip the schedule)

Expected (original estimate of duration without considering risk, unless there is a reason to change it)

Optimistic (duration reflects low risk and therefore "hope" that the risks can be controlled by contingency plans and the task can be completed quicker than expected)

and you don't think you will be able to make the expected duration—you are pessimistic about the expected duration based on risk. In the Risk Matrix you use the terms high, medium, and low for risk rankings. In general, "high" is over 50 percent probability and high severity; "medium" is less than 50 percent probability and moderate severity; and "low" is less than 10 percent probability and low impact.

Table 5-17 compares the terms from the risk matrix and your PERT analysis.

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Chapter 6

Project Management Made Easy

Project Management Made Easy

What you need to know about… Project Management Made Easy! Project management consists of more than just a large building project and can encompass small projects as well. No matter what the size of your project, you need to have some sort of project management. How you manage your project has everything to do with its outcome.

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