24 PM NETWORK AUGUST 2014 WWW.PMI.ORG
VOICES In the Trenches
Planning for positive risks means you’re in
position to take advantage of opportunities.
By Christian Bisson, PMP
THE WORD “RISKS” carries a negative connotation, which is why project
managers tend to believe risks should
be mitigated or avoided as much as
possible. But that common belief
means you may be missing out on
A negative risk is a threat, and when
it occurs, it becomes an issue. However, a risk can be positive by providing an opportunity for your project
This is critical to consider when
registering your risks.
Let’s say your organization is rolling out a new website; an example of a
positive risk would be having too many
visitors. A large amount of site traffic
would be great, but there is a risk the
servers won’t be able to handle it.
The risk management processes
are the same for positive risks as for
negative ones: You still need to identify risks, assess their impact on your
project and monitor them throughout
the project. But instead of mitigating,
avoiding or transferring positive risks,
you’ll want to enhance, exploit or
Enhancing the Risk
Enhancing a risk is planning and acting so that the risk’s probability or
impact rises. The idea behind enhancing is identifying the source of a risk
and planning accordingly.
In the website roll-out project, you
could identify that to have many visi-