Exceptional Project Management – Risks and Issues

I am often asked to explain the differences between risks and issues and how best to address them. This article introduces the concepts of risk and issue management and explains the similarities and differences.
Risk or Service Capability Issue?
A risk is the possibility of something happening that will adversely impact the progress or objectives of the project. An issue is a problem that is currently happening. An issue may arise as a result of a previously identified risk being realised or it may occur as a new unanticipated problem.
Managing Risks and Issues
The management of both risks and issues follows a similar process in which the potential or actual problem is identified and the impact on the project How To Sell Yourself As A Consultant is determined. It is important in both cases that clear ownership is determined and that goals are set with specific objectives and dates.
Risks vs Issues
The fundamental difference between a risk and an issue is that a risk is a future possibility that something might go wrong and therefore the project team can attempt to prepare for the issue arising and also endeavour to avoid it entirely. Usually there is time to consider alternative approaches and to implement one or more strategies. Conversely, an issue is something that is actually impacting the project already and needs to be resolved. This means that issue management is reactive and often requires urgent tactical action whilst risk management is more strategic and longer term.
In addition, managing risks also involves estimating the likelihood of the problem occurring as well as the possible impact if it does, whereas there is usually little doubt that an issue has occurred.
Improving Certainty of Delivery
Both risk and issue management are important aspects of improving the success and certainty of project delivery. By proactively identifying and preparing for potential issues throughout the life of your project you will be well prepared for challenges as they arise.

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