Anticipate projects’ potential incidents to manage them effectively

Incident management software? What for?

In task scheduling, it’s important to introduce any uncertainty linked to each task and its potential impact on the duration of the project. Different types of risk can be identified: critical tasks, availability of human and material resources, recruitment delays, or local availability. Each risk can have an impact on the date of completion of the particular task and create a domino effect, delaying the completion of the entire project.

The risk identification process is the first step in anticipating and reacting to incidents as soon as possible.

Anticipate potential issues to manage projects effectively

Project planning software usually entails entering project data in different stages:

  • The breakdown of the project into smaller subprojects or tasks
  • The prioritization of duties/tasks
  • The creation of the schedule
  • Management of incidents

In this article, we discuss incident management, in which critical tasks and potential risks are identified and anticipated.

The tool for managing potential incidents is a risk matrix. This matrix evolves throughout the project: depending on the project’s status, the impact level of the risk can change.

How to manage risk

Think about a critical path…
That path is made up of critical tasks. Any change in the duration of one task has an immediate consequence on the project and its end date.

Identify the risks

Risk factors such as critical tasks, the availability of human and material resources, recruitment deadlines, or the availability of premises must be itemized.

Different types of risk can be identified: human (absence, resignation of an important resource on the project), hidden costs (discover costs that have been increased by the budget envelope), delay in the supply of essential materials to the project (risk of changing the total duration of the project), technological, lack of communication and coordination, incorporation of IT developments with expressed needs… There is a multiplicity of potential problems that need to be handled throughout a project.
These risks can be articulated in a risk matrix, with a risk summary and a probability of occurrence. This matrix makes it possible to identify and summarize major risks that will require special attention throughout the project.

Take risks into account

To take the risks you’ve identified into account, it is possible to allocate margins to each task, even the critical tasks, to allow them to fall a little behind without having an impact on the total duration of the project. There are two types of distinct margins:

  1. Free Margin: The difference between the earliest start date of the next closest task and the earliest end date of the current one.
  2. Total Margin: The difference between the start date at the latest of the next task with the most constraints and the end date at the earliest of the current one.

Depending on these two margins, you will be able to deduce the impact that a shift of the completion of a task will have on the entire project.

Risk management identifies major risks and incidents that could take place and determines the potential consequences of these risks in terms of financial impact, delay, or quality.

Task scheduling software enables you to conceive different backup scenarios that can be applied based on the importance of the incident, so that the project is not jeopardized.