Christian Bisson, PMP, is a project manager at
Twist Image, Montreal, Canada. He blogs at
tors, you need people to share it via social media.
Therefore, your planning includes making sure it’s
easy to share everything on the website (by adding
share plug-ins, for example). In addition, you make
sure to use calls to action to have people follow
you on Facebook, Twitter or other relevant social
By doing so, not only do you raise the probability that more people will go on your organization’s
website, but you also raise the impact by gathering
new followers on social channels, which you can
leverage in the future.
Exploiting the Risk
Exploiting a risk means going beyond enhancing
it. It’s taking proper actions to make sure the risk
becomes an opportunity.
Normally, you would plan to mitigate a risk
by listing concrete actions to prevent it. But
when exploiting a positive risk, you’ll plan to
make it happen.
There is a lot of confusion between enhancing
a risk and exploiting one, especially because both
strategies do affect the probability of the risk happening. The key difference is that enhancing is raising the probability, while exploiting is making sure
For example, you could plan a media blast to
attract people to the website or prepare a social
media campaign to drive more traffic. You could
also make sure that the servers can handle the
extra traffic by using cloud hosting.
Sharing the Risk
Sharing a risk means to have a third party also
benefit from the opportunity. The rationale behind
this strategy is that your organization may not be
able to benefit fully from the opportunity because it
lacks the resources of a third party.
For example, you and a third party might plan a
contest where the third party offers to give a quan-
tity of its product for free as the prize, while you
take care of hosting the contest on your website
on launch day. Here, the third party would ben-
efit through contest participants’ awareness of its
product, and you would gain followers, subscribers
or visits through a great prize.
Accepting the Risk
Accepting the risk is applicable to both negative and positive risks. Basically, you take no
action to prevent or enhance the risk and
accept that it may happen. In our example,
this could mean that if too many users visit
the website at once, they will be redirected
to a page asking them to come back later
because of heavy traffic.
It may seem strange to accept a positive
risk without trying to do more. But remember: Enhancing or exploiting a risk comes
with a cost—you have to take action and use
resources that your organization might not
have or that are needed for another project.
In that case, you might decide to accept a
certain risk and maybe focus on another risk.
When identifying risks, do not concentrate
only on negative elements; think of all the
opportunities that are available and plan to exploit
or enhance them. By focusing solely on the negative, you will miss out on many opportunities. PM
“Exploiting a risk means
going beyond enhancing it.
It’s taking proper actions to
make sure the risk becomes
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