Defense System Project Risk Management


Project managers are required to undertake risk management to ascertain if the project will succeed or not. Many sponsors or owners of projects tend to request for start to a project seeing risk analysis as a waste of time and resources. However, a project that undergoes a risk assessment is easier to manage and project objectives are realized. The analysis of possible threats allows the project manager to take necessary action on the data collected proactively. (Turbit, 2004)

To first define a risk, it is an event that is likely to occur and if it happens, it is likely to have a harmful contact on the project. The probability of the occurrence of risk should be evaluated for the effective running of the project. Military equipment and their projects are considered very demanding. They require the project manager to be keen on the project development, running, and overall outcome. Therefore, the project manager has to address the possible risks and how to cope with them in the event of the risks occurring. The military defense department required an automated mobile defense system for its armed forces duty to protect its cities and people. Projects of this magnitude demand high precision and professionalism when being undertaken. (Gorrod, 2004)

To manage the risks in the above project, the risks will be monitored according to the impact extent posed by the risk on the project. The grouping will be in clusters of technical risks, financial risks, and project management risks. This will enable the project manager to monitor each risk with its area of impact on the project. Risk templates are to be used to analyze the probability of occurrence, level of impact, and response to the risks. (Gorrod, 2004)

The risk analysis uses the following templates to monitor and manage the threats. Templates are designed to communicate to the project staff the risk explanation, possibilities of the risk happening, the magnitude of the risk, and who or how the risk is to be addressed. Each template carries the risks that are associated with the category it belongs to. (Turbit, 2004)

Technical risks

The project can be subjected to technical mishaps as it is using a novel product such as the anti-ballistic missiles which is a new design. It is assumed that the project team members are competent and will handle the project well. The missile control computer system, the retrofitted detection device, and the solar-powered batteries are assumed to continue functioning throughout the project life. The firm also presumes that their additional device will be accepted and it fits into the original design of the project. (Billows, 2004)

Based on these assumptions the project analysis shows that the technical risks are manageable and will depend upon the response of the project team members. The project needs to assume the weapons will be triggered based on laboratory testing’s as the actual test may cause other difficulties in budget allocation and environmental damage. It is assumed that the nuclear required will be well guarded against leaking into the environment. (Alexander, 2005)

Risk Report Risk Probability of Machine Failure Risk Size Risk Response
High Medium Low High Medium Low
Anti-ballistic missiles yes yes Testing of the devices by the engineers before project delivery
Missile control computer yes yes Confirm the working of the system by the technicians
Retrofitted detection device yes yes Confirm the working of the device by the technicians
Power sources for the devices yes yes Confirm the solar batteries are working by the technicians

Financial risks

The financial risks may occur due to additional tests or breakdown of equipment. (Turbit, 2004) The project assumes that the contingency funds will cater for any expense that comes up during project development and implementation.

Risk Report Risk Probability of scarcity in finance Risk Size Risk Response
High Medium Low High Medium Low
Budget yes yes The project manager should ensure that the budget is followed
Resources yes yes Availability of resources for the project should be confirmed by a project manager and have a backup source
Quality yes yes The staff should employ their expertise even if the project has novel devices

Project management risks

These are the risks that happen when the project is developed to when it is commissioned. It is assumed that the project timing will follow that of the military who are the sponsors. (Alexander, 2005)The project assumes that all personnel involved will be available when required in the project tasks.

Risk Report Risk Probability Risk Size Risk Response
High Medium Low High Medium Low
Scheduling yes yes The project manager should ensure the allocation of enough time and resources to tasks
Internal yes yes The project team should work in a professional way using their time and resources well
External yes yes The project manager needs to keep project stakeholders well informed

In the preparation of the templates, the project manager should engage brainstorming sessions with the project team. Identifying the risks and planning for their response is done before the commencement of the project. Risk review before the project starts ensures that when the danger approaches or is perceived, a required response can be given practically based on the earlier analysis. Risk assessment ought to be carried out before any work is done on the project as it ensures that the start of the project is on the right footing. Project team members have a better understanding of their areas of expertise. Therefore, their observations on possibilities of danger occurrence and the appropriate remedy are well communicated and noted at the meetings. (Billows, 2004)

Ongoing monitoring of the risks should be carried out using the templates as general guides. However, caution has to be observed to identify new risks that may crop up during project implementation and use. To keep an eye on the risks, the project manager uses research techniques such as questionnaires and response cards. The internal risks are communicated in meetings during project implementation. The external risks are observed by using the stakeholder risk analysis.

Stakeholders are very instrumental to project success. If they are not well informed they can cause unwarranted delays and setbacks to project progress. Communicating to the stakeholders frequently ensures that the project team and the stakeholder’s interests are cared for. Use of emails, fax, and/or telephone to keep in touch with the stakeholders will ensure all issues are managed well. (Alexander, 2005)

The templates should be used as a guide during a meeting of the project team. These documents are outlines and should be expounded on by the project manager and the team. Each member of the project team should be aware of the occurrence of the risk and what are the mitigation measures with who is responsible for the response. Information realized in the meetings should be shared with all project team members and the stakeholders. Evaluating the risk handling will aid the project manager in knowing which risks have been passed and which dangers are eminent. The evaluation report ought to be filed for any future eventualities. Stakeholders and specifically the project sponsors need to be well informed on the risk analysis and handling. (Billows, 2004)


Management of risks is done using a risk breakdown procedure first. Once the probable risks and their impact sizes are identified, it will be easier to predict and put measures to correct the danger in case it happens. Well-managed risk analysis results in an uninterrupted flow of project tasks hence completion on time. The use of risk analysis templates gives a sketch of the risk, its probability of happening, its magnitude, and the response to arrest the danger. This template is useful when monitoring the progress of project implementation.

Project sponsors have falsely thought that risk analysis is a waste of time and resources. This ought not to be the case as the cost of correcting a risk occurrence usually is much compared to the analysis. Project time is also interfered with leading to scheduling problems that can impact the project negatively. Risk assessment should be done in conjunction with other administrative duties in the project. As much as the project is to be implemented on a specific budget, the project manager should ensure there are resources for risk management. It would be counterproductive to start a project without analyzing the risks. When dangers appear, the solutions have to be sought after which takes the project manager’s attention away from the project tasks. Project managers who want to act professionally ought to undertake risk management as it is said ‘prevention is better than cure’.

Lists of Reference

Alexander. (2005).The Professional Risk Manager’s Handbook: A Comprehensive Guide to Current Theory and Best Practices

Billows, D. (2004). Risk Analysis Template. Web.

Gorrod. (2004). Risk Management Systems: Technology Trends (Finance and Capital Markets) Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan ISBN 1 -4039-1617-9.

Turbit, N. (2004). Project Perfect. Risk Management Basics. Web.

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