Basis Risk Workshop Approach

Our approach to a risk workshop is designed to be as painless to your team as possible yet ensuring we build as solid and realistic a model as possible.

BASIS onboarding [1 week]: Project provides the likes of project charter, any existing risk register(s); copy of project schedule; copy of project cost estimate. We then develop the risk model ready for the onsite workshop.

Onsite Risk Workshop [1 day schedule risk; 1 day cost risk]: Typically 5 to 20 key team members involved in the facilitated risk workshop. Detailed review of uncertainty assessment, risk event identification, mitigation planning and alternate scenario development.

Model Development [3-5 days]: Offsite development of the risk model(s) and detailed analysis of the risk drivers and their resultant impact on the project.

Risk Briefing [1 hour]: onsite/remote delivery of risk briefing. Review of current project risk exposure; the drivers of this exposure; the effectiveness of the planned mitigation strategies and review of alternate scenarios developed.

The Three Moving Parts of a Risk Model

In order to build a project risk model, there are three key moving parts or ingredients.

Three Moving Parts of a Risk ModelSchedule/cost basis. You provide the deterministic schedule and cost estimate. As part of the on boarding, we conduct a detailed critique on both to ensure as sound a basis as possible.

Uncertainties. Typically driven by unknown quantities or rates, these are established in the risk workshop.

Risk Events. Prior to the workshop, most projects carry some form of list of risk events in the form of a risk register. This register is formalized and quantified during the workshop.

Onboarding & Schedule Critique

Scheduule Review Prior to the workshop, we run a series of checks and balances on the schedule ensuring sound and free-flowing logic.

As the inventors of Acumen Fuse and it’s associated library of schedule metrics, there isn’t a better organization to review and critique your schedule.

This is not the “Schedule Police”. Instead, we constructively work with your scheduling team to establish a high-quality base schedule against which the risk model is then built.


The Risk Workshop

The risk workshop is a one to two day on-site event. It is the responsibility of our risk facilitator to gain a complete and agreed-upon set of inputs for the risk model:

Uncertainty Ranges

Uncertainty. Rather than confuse team members with complex and out-of-context statistical terminology, we adopt an easy-to-understand uncertainty classification approach.

This approach has been validated on hundreds of projects and is highly effective in ensuring a complete and accurate picture of cost and schedule uncertainty.

Risk Matrix.png

Risk Events. Firstly we establish a relevant and calibrated risk scoring mechanism (risk matrix) for the project. Threats and opportunity risk events are then identified and scoring using this matrix. We not only capture current risk state but also what the team believe the mitigated state can be if indeed risk mitigation is carried out.

Model Development & Briefing

Following the risk assessment workshop, we build the risk model and associated alternate scenarios. Of of the most important aspects of a successful risk assessment, is the ability to report meaningful results. Again, we don’t try and impress with complex terminology. Instead we report what matters to you:

  • Risk Exposure
  • Risk Drivers
  • Mitigation Effectiveness
  • Alternate Scenarios

Our Software Toolset

As the founders of both Pertmaster and Acumen, we of course know Oracle/Primavera PRA (Pertmaster) and Deltek Acumen Fuse/Risk/360 very very well. In fact, we are the go-to resource when it comes to these products.

While we will use a tool of your choosing, our tool of choice is the Acumen suite. As well as being far superior than any other tool when it comes to enabling sound workshop facilitation, the Acumen toolset’s reporting capabilities far outweigh that of any other software.

Execute. Repeat.

Use the results from your risk workshop as a gauge as to how well you have your hands around the project. Do you truly have control? Are you properly managing the moving parts? Do you have a good handle on scope change for example?

Taking that a step further, if you conduct repeated risk workshops (even simple refreshers or updates) say every 6 months, you can quickly establish trending information on whether your control is improving or not.

If your risk exposure is currently low but rapidly getting worse, you are in an arguably worse position than currently having medium risk exposure but rapidly moving towards very low exposure, for example.

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Want to Use the Deltek Acumen S1 // S5 Methodology?

Risk Workshop MethodologyThe Deltek Acumen S1 // S5 methodology is a schedule risk maturity framework comprising five states achievable through four consecutive steps.

S1 // S5 is today, the approach of choice for numerous energy, EPC and construction companies.

As the inventors of what is now the Deltek Acumen S1 // S5 methodology, we are proud to offer this when required as part of our risk workshop offering.