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Key points of contention in framing assumptions for risk and uncertainty management

Key points of contention in framing assumptions for risk and uncertainty management
Key points of contention in framing assumptions for risk and uncertainty management
This paper explores the relationship between ‘common practice’ as defined by a simple reading of PMBOK Chapter 11 and ‘best practice’ as approached (but not quite achieved) by two alternative guides (PRAM and RAMP) in terms of key points of contention in framing assumptions which everyone interested in project management as a whole ought to understand. An immediate purpose is helping readers to avoid some of the current confusion about the difference between ‘common practice’ and ‘best practice’. A longer term goal is influencing the shape of future project risk management guides, to enhance them individually, and to make them easier to use collectively. ‘Best practice’ definition is itself contentious. Other authors are encouraged to debate the definition of ‘best practice’ and explore the position of other guides. The framing assumptions are considered in terms of basic concepts: ‘probability’, ‘uncertainty’, ‘risk’, ‘optimisation’ and ‘opportunity’. A practical example of the implications is provided via analysis of the use of probability–impact (PI) matrices and associated PI indices (risk indices or scores). The use of PI indices is ‘common practice’, but it is a clear indication that ‘best practice’ is not being followed, for reasons clarified in this paper. A follow-on companion paper considers related generic process definition issues.
project risk management, uncertainty management, guides, probability-impact matrices and indices or scores, risk indicies or risk scores
0263-7863
303-313
Chapman, Chris
a4f4805b-b67d-4c4c-856b-78e01a2c89a0
Chapman, Chris
a4f4805b-b67d-4c4c-856b-78e01a2c89a0

Chapman, Chris (2006) Key points of contention in framing assumptions for risk and uncertainty management. International Journal of Project Management, 24 (4), 303-313. (doi:10.1016/j.ijproman.2006.01.006).

Record type: Article

Abstract

This paper explores the relationship between ‘common practice’ as defined by a simple reading of PMBOK Chapter 11 and ‘best practice’ as approached (but not quite achieved) by two alternative guides (PRAM and RAMP) in terms of key points of contention in framing assumptions which everyone interested in project management as a whole ought to understand. An immediate purpose is helping readers to avoid some of the current confusion about the difference between ‘common practice’ and ‘best practice’. A longer term goal is influencing the shape of future project risk management guides, to enhance them individually, and to make them easier to use collectively. ‘Best practice’ definition is itself contentious. Other authors are encouraged to debate the definition of ‘best practice’ and explore the position of other guides. The framing assumptions are considered in terms of basic concepts: ‘probability’, ‘uncertainty’, ‘risk’, ‘optimisation’ and ‘opportunity’. A practical example of the implications is provided via analysis of the use of probability–impact (PI) matrices and associated PI indices (risk indices or scores). The use of PI indices is ‘common practice’, but it is a clear indication that ‘best practice’ is not being followed, for reasons clarified in this paper. A follow-on companion paper considers related generic process definition issues.

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More information

Published date: 2006
Keywords: project risk management, uncertainty management, guides, probability-impact matrices and indices or scores, risk indicies or risk scores

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 37499
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/37499
ISSN: 0263-7863
PURE UUID: b34002ab-c322-4f65-9bbc-47797f521733

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 20 Jun 2006
Last modified: 17 Jul 2017 15:42

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