Project Risk Assessment

To help you understand the utility of project risk assessment, we have put together a short interview that you can use to assess risks to your project.

  1. How strong was the planning mandate from external power brokers when this project began? 

  2. How thoroughly did the planners explore the problem before beginning to develop the proposed design?

  3. Were outside experts and literature reviews used in designing the solution to the problems?

  4. To what extent were significantly different alternatives to the recommended action developed during the planning process?

  5. Are funds available to support implementation of this project?

  6. How complex is the process for implementing this recommended action?

  7. Is staff provided with sufficient background information and training to carry out proposed change?

  8. How will the change agent obtain feedback from the target group during the implementation?

  9. To what extent do written materials exist to explain the new project and guide implementation?

  10. How strongly were the endorsements of key power brokers regarding the proposal before implementation began?

  11. To what extent will implementation (or failure to implement) affect those who support or oppose the proposal.

  12. How dissatisfied are those people most directly affected (e.g. rank and file), with the current situation that initiated this proposal?

  13. Were the key groups (who are important to successful implementation) actively involved in problem exploration and program design?

  14. What are the perception of the parties affected about chance of successful implementation?

  15. To what extent has the target group resisted attempts to implement projects of the same general character as this recommended action?

  16. How strong were the endorsements of middle level internal managers regarding the proposed design before the implementation phase began?

  17. What is the change agent's reputation?

  18. How committed is the change agent to this project?

  19. What power to force implementation does the change agent have?

  20. To what extent do the change agent and target group share similar values?

  21. How radical is the proposed design?

  22. What kind of concrete evidence exists to suggest this proposed design will work?

  23. How do parties involved perceive the advantages of the recommended action?

  24. How hard is it to modify (without changing the critical elements) the proposed design?

This project risk assessment is based on Gustafson DH, Sainfort F, Eichler M, Adams L, Bisognano M, Steudel H. Developing and Testing a Model to Predict Outcomes of Organizational Change. Health Services Research. 2003 April; 38(2): 751–776.  More