How to Avoid a Risk: Prudence

How to Avoid a Risk: Prudence

Prudence used to be one of the four cardinal virtues in the Greek world – along with justice, temperance, and courage.  Now prudence is a seldom-used word.  But it means to act with discretion and be practical in one’s affairs.  Such behavior is still a virtue.

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In a Crisis, Keep It Simple

In a Crisis, Keep It Simple

In our risk management classes we teach a relatively simple six-step process for evaluating identifying, evaluating, and mitigating risks in projects.  The result of the process is a set of activities on the project that will mitigate the probability or impact of the risk. But, sometimes, students ask, “What if something you didn’t plan for happens?”  This is the classic “unknown-unknown” that Donald Rumsfeld was laughed at for trying to explain in a press conference one time (it’s on YouTube if you want to look it up).  Known-unknowns are the things that we know might happen – we know what […]

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Quality vs Grade

Quality vs Grade

Quality vs. Grade – A recent stop in Fairview Heights, IL, reminded me of the difference between quality and grade. Quality is conforming to specifications. Grade can be chosen as high or low. A high-quality White Castle hamburger may be of a lower grade than Steak N’ Shake, but sometimes we just feel like a White Castle.

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Warning Chimes

Warning Chimes

Don’t you wish that all of the risks in your work and projects were so obviously marked? Maybe they were, but you weren’t paying attention when you hit the warning chimes.

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Unnatural Category

Unnatural Category

Did you ever get the feeling you were lumped into an unnatural category? I always say in classes that project managers should categorize things logically, but remember that everyone’s idea of logic is unique to themselves.

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Disneyland Regulation

Disneyland Regulation

I was teaching a class close to Anaheim, so thought I would drop into Disneyland. This sign on the gate struck me as funny, so I thought I would turn it into a poster. I guess I could say this was a form of stakeholder communication – but the absurdity negated the value.

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