Some Project Risk Management Links

A few web links are given below that point to useful documents or web sites.

Dr. Edmund H. Conrow and Dr. Robert N. Charette, “Opportunity Management:  Be Careful What You Ask For,” Defense AT&L, Defense Acquisition University, March-April, 2008. pp. 16-19. The article critically evaluates opportunity management (OM).  The article discusses that good risk management (RM) is not negative—it is positive and seeks to identify alternatives, increase program success, etc.  Risk management works with project management and systems engineering to balance cost, performance, schedule, and risk.  However, there is no universal definition of opportunity, and OM adds another layer of bureaucracy, competes for scarce resources, and opportunities always contain risk yet this is rarely analyzed or discussed “up front.”  While OM may be helpful prior to program initiation, analyzing low risks, and in the sustainment phase, it cannot be universally applied, as can risk management.  You can download the article by itself directly from the following link within the website:

Opportunity Management:  Be Careful What You Ask For

Defense Acquisition University "Risk Management Guide for DoD Acquisition," Fifth Edition, Version 2.0, June 2003. The DAU/DSMC risk management guide is the single best introductory document on project risk management as applied to Department of Defense projects that exists. The material contained in this guide is also directly applicable to a wide variety of commercial projects, including those far from the defense sector. (Dr. Edmund H. Conrow is a contributing author of this document.)  You may download the file directly from the following link within the website:

Risk Management Guide for DoD Acquisition, Fifth Edition, Version 2

Defense Acquisition University, "U. S. Department of Defense Extension to (the Project Management Institute): "A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge" (PMBOK® Guide), First Edition, Version 1, June 2003. The Defense Extension includes enhancements to the Project Management Body of Knowledge Guide, including a number of upgrades to the Risk Management Chapter 11 (as well as other Guide chapters), plus five new chapters on systems engineering management, software acquisition management, logistics management, test and evaluation management, and manufacturing management. (Dr. Edmund H. Conrow is the primary author of the risk management chapter (11) of this document.)  You may download the file directly from the following link within the website:

U.S. DoD Extension to PMBoK ® Guide

Dr. Robert N. Charette, Laura Dwinnell, John McGarry, “Understanding the Roots of Process Performance Failure,” CrossTalk, The Journal of Defense Software Engineering, August 2004, pp. 18-24.  This article summarizes how the results of a Department of Defense (DoD) cross-program systemic analysis help provide insight into the causes of recurring process shortfalls in DoD programs.  The article (which I highly recommend) discusses how risk management, systems engineering, and project management processes are often not well implemented on DoD programs.  (For example:  We have found that many best practices such as IPTs, risk management, or measurement are not being implemented properly on DoD programs, and as a result may cause more problems than they solve.”  “Risk management is performed on most programs, but we found that it is mainly for show. Risks are not communicated and the identified risks frequently do not influence program decision making.  management chapter (11) of this document.)  Go to the following DoD Software Technology Support Center (CrossTalk) URL to download this article:

Understanding the Roots of Process Performance Failure

Andy W. Marshall and William H. Meckling, “Predictability of the Costs, Time, and Success of Development,” The Rand Corporation, P-1821, 11 December 1959. An outstanding early study of cost, performance, and schedule variations that occur during the course of development in DoD programs. Although now more than 50 years old, the Marshall and Meckling observations are still relevant today. (The numerical data presented in the Paper is, however, dated and should not be used.) Go to the following RAND URL to download this Paper:

Predictability of the Costs, Time, and Success of Development

Palisade web site. Palisade is a key source for risk analysis software and solutions. Go to the following URL to jump to Palisade and scroll down to Ed Conrow listing, then visit other portions of this web site:

Edmund H. Conrow, Consultants Directory Palisade

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