by Irene Macdonald

How to manage project opportunity and risk

Book Review

How to Manage Project Opportunity and Risk by Chris Chapman and Stephen Ward
How to Manage Project Opportunity and Risk by Chris Chapman and Stephen Ward

This book by Chris Chapman and Stephen Ward, now in its third edition, revises the previous Project Risk Management first published in 1997. It is: “For pessimists who want to release their inner optimist, optimists who want to fully exploit their inner pessimist, analysts who want to keep in touch with their common sense, and decision-makers who want to understand their advisors.” A broad audience, indeed.

It has been published in response to the need to reflect changes and developments in the field of risk management and expands traditional good practice to include the greater areas of opportunity management and the place within this broader principle of uncertainty management.

The focus of the book is Performance Uncertainty Management Processes (PUMPs), which are devised to clarify uncertainty, opportunity and risk in all kinds of projects and organisations. These PUMPs are constructed around a ‘seven Ws’ framework: Who, Why, What, Whichway, Wherewithal, When and Where; with a view to guiding the thinking around opportunity and uncertainty drawing out the various sources, responses, stakeholder perspectives, dependencies, priorities, decision trees and the big picture which surround them in any project, programme, organisation and supply chain.

Two groups of experienced professionals are targeted in this book: those at director level, senior managers wishing to broaden their understanding of risk management across all aspects of projects, operations and strategies; and project delivery professionals, those who implement risk management processes and manage them through the life cycle of their projects.

Others who would certainly benefit are those studying risk management; this book provides good academic source reading. The concepts contained in this book are interesting and thought-provoking. It is academically written and therefore a heavy read. Perseverance will be rewarded with greater insights into the effective management of risk and opportunity and how to implement it in your world.


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