Risk Management Is Project Management for Adults

Why the Monte Carlo Simulation Is Only of Interest in Individual Cases

They know me and my whims by now. Among other things, my love for risk management in projects. On this I always like to quote Tom DeMarco: "Risk management is project management for adults!", from the book "Waltzing With Bears" by Tom DeMarco and Tim Lister. Last but not least the risk management in Merlin Project arose from my weakness for this.

So, on one of my last business trips I was suddenly approached at the hotel bar. Wasn't I Frank Blome of Merlin? I sure was! Before long we were caught up in a discussion of project management software functionality. Why one function is important and another is not. I really appreciate discussing wishes and reality with a PM colleague. Of course, functions used very rarely or solely by specialized professionals always come up.

Why doesn't Merlin Project have a Monte Carlo simulation?

The question burst out of him at some point. After all, one of our competitors even preinstalls it. "So?", I took the wind out of his sails, "What use is that if you don't manage your risks?" How about some basic tasks for the project manager, for example:

  • Risk analysis (quantitative and qualitative)
  • Analysis of strengths and weaknesses in the project (SWOT analysis)
  • performance value analysis
  • and much more...

It is absolutely correct that the Monte Carlo simulation can fulfill one important task: Support your intuition (I like to call it gut feeling) with data. But with sensible risk management, I can avoid, mitigate or even eliminate just as many of the factors that will delay my project. This is project management for adults.

Once you have your risk management covered and need a good Monte Carlo simulation, I recommend Riskology, a free MS Excel spreadsheet from the Atlantic Systems Guild.

Then we had a good #pmwhisky and changed the topic.

Have a nice weekend!
Frank Blome

Posted by Frank Blome on September 7th, 2018 under Project Management

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