GEOG 871
Geospatial Technology Project Management

Assignment #7 - Risk Identification and Analysis


Assignment #7 - Risk Identification and Analysis

Assignment #7 Overview

Timing: See Canvas Calendar
Target Word Count: 1800-3000 words (this is just a target to provide a general idea on level of detail)
Total Points: 70 points - see rubric for details

Assignment #7 will also be completed as a team assignment. Teams for Assignment #7 will be the same as those assigned for Assignment #6. At the beginning of or prior to Week 8, the team should assign a different team leader to coordinate the team's work on Assignment #7. This Assignment follows work that you have already carried out in planning and preparing for the City of Metropolis Geodatabase Development Project in past assignments. Assignment #7 is to identify project risks, prepare a risk probability matrix, and carry out an analysis of selected risks and risk responses (one for each team member). As described in Assignment #6, you may use any appropriate communication and group collaboration tools to support your work on this Assignment.

Your team represents the City’s contractor selected by the City to carry out the City of Metropolis Geodatabase Design and Development Project. Your company's senior management and the City's Project Manager have requested that you prepare a risk management plan that identifies potential risks and identifies risk management strategies. From the course content and readings, you know that the overall purpose of risk planning is to anticipate possible risk events and be ready to take appropriate action when risk events occur—to eliminate or reduce negative impacts on the project.

Your Submittal for Assignment #7

You may wish to begin this exercise with a brainstorming session about potential risks to get candidate risks “on the table” for consideration by the team, and then identify and refine that wording for risks that have some realistic chance of occurring in this project. For example, potential weather problems present a real obstacle to completing field data collection by the planned completion date. It is also an issue that the project manager will ultimately have to plan for, as opposed to other issues that may more align with company policy, such as employee retention policies. Also, a major disaster (e.g., your office burning down), is not a high-enough probability event that requires much time in planning. As described below, you will select several of the identified risks and carry out a risk analysis.

Your team will use the distilled list of risks to make a risk matrix (see Figure 8-1 for an example). The matrix will have at least three classes (high/medium/low) for probability and impact, but you may include more classes if you like. All team members should contribute to identifying risks and organizing them into the matrix. Remember that it is important to name risks effectively—use words that describe the risk event and point to the impact on the project (e.g., “injury of field technician disrupts data collection work”) After completion of the risk matrix, each team member should then select one of the identified risks which the team finds critical to the project. The team members will carry out and document a risk analysis for their selected risk.

In summary, the Risk Management Plan you submit should cover the following main parts:

  • Cover page with prominent title and all necessary information identifying the course, assignment, author, and date. The main title of the document should be "RISK MANAGEMENT PLAN". The Cover Page should also reference "City of Metropolis" and the full project name and the name of your company. At the bottom of the Cover Page (right side is best), include the course name and number, assignment number, Team number and team members, and date.
  • Table of Contents.
  • Summary of the project and its deliverables so the reader can understand the context for risk management in this project. Gie a reasonable amount of detail about the deliverables and scope: a) discssion of the field data collection, QC, and creation of new geodatabase feature classes, b) explanaiton of the 2 MD4 custom GIS applications including software platforms (e.g., ArcGIS Pro, ArcGIS Online Field Maps)
  • Explanation of risk management with a description of key terms (e.g., risk, risk event, risk response strategy, etc.). Make reference to the PMI PMBoK.
  • Risk identification register which includes a comprehensive set of risks (for all aspects and deliverables of the project) organized into risk categories (e.g., "Technical/Operational"). This list should show, at a minimum, the risk ID number, a descriptive name* of the risk, and a short description. You can decide on your own risk categories. You should use an alphanumeric risk numbering scheme where the alpha code represents the risk category and sequential numbering within each category (e.g., TO1, TO2, etc.). You can decide on your own categories but the categories should be described.  A table format works best for this. That description can be one or two sentences that explain the risk event, condition, or circumstance and how it could impact the project.
  • Risk matrix similar to that shown in Figure 8-1 with classification for Impact and Probability. Be sure to include and introduction on what the purpose of the matrix is and how it suports project planning and provides a basis for managing the project.  It is importnt to includes a description of what "Probability" and "Impact" mean in the context of the project. The classes (e.g., Low, Medium, High) should be described. If you want to add a "Very High" category that is OK. While these categories (H, M, L) are qualitative in nature, your description of them should give a picture of what they mean relative to the project. For instance, "High Impact" could be defined as, "Occurrence of this risk will cause major disruption of the project schedule, qualty, or budget and response sction should be taken immediately to eliminate or reduce the level of disruption".  It is a good idea to describe the Probability categories as a projected likelihood of occurrence--e.g., "High Probability" means that there is an approximately 85% likelihood or greater of occurrence.
  • Risk analysis (one selected risk for each person on the team). This is a detailed evaluation of each selected risk that should include: a) description of the risk, b) triggers/indicators, and c) description of appropriate risk response strategies--making reference to the PMI's response strategy types** (main ones are: Avoidance, Mitigation, Transference). It is a good idea to structure this section into subsections coorespnding to each of the parts.  Bullet point lists are an effective format to list and describe triggers/indicators and risk response strategies.  Also, begin this Section with an introduction of what risk analysis and risk response is and mention the PMI PMBoK risk response types**.

*The risk name should be descriptive with enough words that a reader can understand the basic nature of the risk without the need the look at a more detailed explanation.  Make sure to avoid the trap of defining a risk as the result of the risk. Focus on the actual condition or event that impacts the project. For example, "delay in field data collection" is not a risk--this is the potential result of one or more risk events.

**PMI Risk Response Strategies include: Acceptance, Avoidance, Mitigation, and Transference. It is OK not to focus on "Acceptance" since this is bacially a "do nothing" response.

Important Notes:

Remember that this assignment relates to the project as a whole--not just specific deliverables as in Assignment #6.  So step back and consider risk events, conditions, and circumstances that could impact any aspect of the project and understand that a single risk could impact work on one or more deliverables.

You may have discovered that the Project Management Institute (PMI) identifies both “negative” and “positive” risk. To simplify your work on this Assignment, deal only with negative risk—those potential risks that could have a negative impact on the project schedule, cost, quality, etc.

The team leader will have the main responsibility for assembling contributions from team members into a final deliverable and submit the assignment for the team.

The risk probability/impact matrix and the risk analysis write-ups on selected risks should be about 1800 to 3000 words in length. As is the case for all written assignments, the word count is a target to give you an idea about the level of detail expected. As a general rule, it is best to keep it concise and as brief as possible while still covering the necessary topics. No points will be deducted for submittals if they exceed the maximum word count by a small amount.

Refer to the grading rubric below for guidelines about the expected format and content of this Assignment.

As in all written assignments, you should include a cover page which includes the following information: a) course number and name, b) assignment number and name, c) your name, d) submittal date. The cover page should also have the full project name and document title ("Risk Management Plan"). Your submitted assignment should be formatted as specified in the Format Quality of this assignment’s rubric below to earn maximum points. As you prepare this assignment, START WITH AN OUTLINE, with sections and subsections that cover the topics above. We recommend that you use the Outline/Heading feature of your word processing software in document preparation. It is expected that you will organize the document into numbered and named sections. It is best practice today, for technical and management documents to use a "decimal" outline numbering scheme (1., 1.1, etc.) as opposed to the older Roman Numeral numbering approach.

Assignment Submittal and Grading

View specific directions for submitting Assignment #7. See Canvas Calendar for due date.  Grading information and rubric is below.

This Assignment #7 is worth 70 points. The points awarded from the Instructor’s grading of this Assignment will be given to all members of the team.

The instructor may deduct points if the Assignment is turned in late, unless a late submittal has been approved by the Instructor prior to the Assignment submittal date.

Assignment #7 Grading Rubric
Grading Category Basis for Scoring Total Possible Points

Point Award Explanation

A. Inclusion of Required Content
  • Cover Page and Table of Contents.
  • Inclusion of elements and required topics in the assignment description.
  • Quality and correctness of description and presentation of topics.
  • Innovative ideas to address risks that are specific to the project and the client.
  • Number and appropriateness of the risks identified.
  • EXCEPTIONAL: 21 to 22 points if all required elements and topics are covered with a fully complete, correct, and well-worded presentation. 
  • INADEQUATE: 1 to 3 points if the majority of content is missing and description is not complete or correct. 
  • MINIMALLY ADEQUATE to VERY GOOD: 4 to 20 points for lack of inclusion of content and/or quality/correctness deficiencies between the “Exceptional” and “Inadequate” categories described above.
B. Overall Document Organization
  • Cover Page (see explanation above).
  • Effectiveness of document organization including section and subsection arrangement.
  • Logical progression of content allowing reader to easily follow discussion.
  • Integration of Risk Management Plan with other assignments such as WBS.
  • EXCEPTIONAL: 15 to 16 points for an extremely well-organized and presented document, that easily conveys meaning and message to reader. 
  • INADEQUATE: 1 to 2 points if organization and logical progression, is so deficient that content and message is significantly lost on the reader. 
  • MINIMALLY ADEQUATE to VERY GOOD: 3 to 14 points for organization and/or logical progression deficiencies between the “Exceptional” and “Inadequate” categories described above.
C. Quality/Clarity of Writing Writing quality and clarity refers to how well and effectively words and sentences to convey meaning to the reader including the following:
  • Statement of purpose and introduction that sets context for rest of document.
  • Good, appropriate choice of words--including naming and numbering of risks.
  • Sentence construction and lack of grammar and syntax problems.
  • Concise and to the point without redundancy.
  • Length appropriate to the stated requirements without significantly exceeding stated word count.
  • EXCEPTIONAL: 19 to 20 points for a very clear, extremely well-written document, with no or insignificant problems in word choice, grammar, etc.
  • INADEQUATE: 1 to 2 points with significant, frequent problems in introduction, word choice, sentence construction, grammar, and length
  • MINIMALLY ADEQUATE to VERY GOOD: 3 to 18 points for deficiencies in writing quality of clarity between the “Exceptional” and “Inadequate” categories described above.
D. Format Quality Well-formatted document helps convey content and meaning to the reading. Important format parameters include:
  • Inclusion of cover page with all necessary information about the title of the document ("Risk Management Plan" with full name of the project), course, assignment, author, and date.
  • Page numbering.
  • Use of numbering for sections and subsections.
  • Choice of fonts (type, style, size for headings and body).
  • Table and figure format (consistent and easy to read and digest).
  • Tables and figures are named, numbered, and referenced in the body of document.
  • Table column width and row height setting and effective use of table borders and shading.
  • Bullet point list spacing consistent and easy to interpret bulleted entries.
  • Overall vertical and horizontal spacing (line spacing, indents, etc.).
  • Page breaking in manner that avoids disruption of content.
  • Spelling.
  • Overall consistency of format throughout document.
  • EXCEPTIONAL: 11 to 12 points for an extremely well-formatted document which is attractive; uses very effective text, table, and graphic formatting; format rules are applied consistently throughout; and overall presentation makes it easy for the reader to navigate and grasp content.
  • INADEQUATE: 1 to 2 points with significant and frequent problems in multiple format parameters to the point where the document is distracting and very hard to understand.
  • MINIMALLY ADEQUATE to VERY GOOD: 3 to 10 points for deficiencies in selection of format rules and their consistent application between the “Exceptional” and “Inadequate” categories described above.