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Analyzing PMP Risks Using Qualitative Techniques

The purpose of this process is to determine the risk event probability and risk impact and to prioritize the risks and their responses.

The Perform Qualitative Risk Analysis process involves determining what impact the identified risks will have on the project objectives and the probability that they will occur.

It also rents the risks in priority order according to their effect on the project objectives so that you can spend your time efficiently by focusing on the higher priority risks.

This helps the team determine whether perform quantitative risk analysis should be performed or whether you can skip right to developing response plans.

The Perform Qualitative Risk Analysis process also considers risk tolerance levels, especially as they relate to the project constraints – Scope, time, cost, and quality. The process also considers the timeframes of each potential risk event.

The Perform Qualitative Risk Analysis process should be performed throughout the project. This process is the one you will find you will use most often when prioritizing the project risks because it’s fast, relatively easy to perform, and cost effective.

The PMBOK Guide notes that you should identify and manage the risk attitudes of those assisting with this process, and if bias is introduced, you should evaluate its and correct it is necessary.

It also notes that simply conducting the Perform Qualitative Risk Analysis process and a valuating the impact and probability of risks, can help to keep bias at a minimal level.

Perform Qualitative Risk Analysis inputs

The Perform Qualitative Risk Analysis process has five inputs:

  • Risk management plan
  • Scope baseline
  • Risk register
  • Enterprise environmental factors
  • Organizational process assets

The critical element in this process, as with most of the process is where the risk register is an input, is the list of risks contained in the risk register.

The risk management plan documented the roles and responsibilities of risk team members, Budgets and should rule factors for risk activities, the stakeholder risk tolerances, the definitions for probability and impact, and the probability and impact matrix, all of which should be utilized when prioritizing risks.

The scope baseline describes the deliverables of the project, and from there you should be able to determine whether you are dealing with a high level of uncertainty, or a project that is like one you have performed before.

Projects with high levels of uncertainty or that are more complex than what the team has undertaken before, require more diligence during the Perform Qualitative Risk Analysis process.

As with the identify risks process, you should exam and historical information and lessons learned from past projects as a guide for prioritizing the risks for this project.

Risk databases from your industry or application area can be used here as well. These are part of the organizational process assets input.

The real key to this process lies in the tools and techniques you will use to prioritize risks.

Tools and techniques for Perform Qualitative Risk Analysis

The Perform Qualitative Risk Analysis Process’s Tools and techniques are primarily concerned with discovering the probability of a risk event and determining the impact or consequences, the risk will have if it does occur.

The output of this process is project document updates, that will include risk register updates, where you will document the prioritize risks you have scored using these tools and techniques.

All the information you gather regarding risks and probability needs to be as accurate as possible. It is also important that you gather unbiased information so that you do not unintentionally overlooked and risks with great potential or consequences.

You will use the tools and techniques of this process to establish risk scores, which is a way of categorizing the probability and risk impact.

The Perform Qualitative Risk Analysis process includes the following tools and techniques:

  • Risk probability and impact assessment
  • Probability and impact matrix
  • Risk data quality assessment
  • Risk categorization
  • Risk urgency assessment
  • Expert judgment

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