Creative Risk Identification
As risk identification should occur early in a project life cycle, it is an ideal opportunity for an activity designed to push a forming project team into storming. When the project team has little project management experience and/or low risk tolerance, it is even more important to gather risks in a facilitated group environment.
In the last year, we have piloted risk gathering sessions that encourage creativity, get team members collaborating in small diverse teams, help novices understand risk management, and produce very robust risk registers. Below are examples of some of our sessions:
- Understand Risk Statements. In an example session, teams review and compose risk statements in different categories using pop culture references (i.e., “If recruiting materials are not translated into Klingon, then the Star Trek Enterprise…”).
- Identifying Risks with Creative Brainstorming. In an example session, participants used an Etch-a-Sketch to illustrate risks, assuming teams need to brainstorm several risks before identifying one that can be effectively drawn.
- Risk Identification Challenge. In an example session, teams competed to be the first team to create a risk for every category in the risk breakdown structure, and a prize was awarded for the best risk.
Creativity is not highlighted as an essential skill for risk identification, despite the necessity for the team to imagine myriad potential obstacles and outcomes. If accepted to present, we would demonstrate our activities, and discuss lessons learned, to encourage more project managers to attempt fun and creative risk identification activities in their organizations.
PMI Talent Triangle Skill: Leadership