Project Elephants: How to talk about the big problems – Tkach
Abstract: The session will be a hands-on tutorial on concrete steps to implement a risk workshop for complex projects. Our experience demonstrates that projects at any stage can benefit from a risk response workshop. These help draw out and openly discuss the large “elephants in the room” or seemly intractable challenges. Particularly, these are risks and issues that are too complex or ambiguous to address without facilitated conversations.
Participants will first learn how to pitch and set up a risk workshop. We will discuss the business case for getting management support and buy-in. Next we will discuss who should be engaged in a workshop, the best environmental conditions (location, timing and distraction reduction methods) and sample agendas.
During the implementation portion, participants will learn how to be an impartial but engaged facilitator. This will include:
Methods to identify key risks anonymously (so to draw out hidden concerns).
Pinpoint problematic situations (and their associated assumptions).
Collaboratively create solutions through engaging a broad set of project stakeholders.
Develop solution actions plans by naming responsible persons and check-in dates.
We will have many experiences to share with the audience. Especially those that identify methods and approaches that are effective at building engagement. We will also discuss what has not worked well.
The Millennium Challenge Corporation’s Integrated Program Management team has extensive experience in complex project risk assessment and response implementation. Our portfolio consists of large civil infrastructure and associated utility capacity improvement projects throughout the developing world on behalf of the US Government. The team is composed of project implementers that are now using their time to improve our program and project management practice throughout our funding stream.
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