Risk Management Approaches and Analyze Errors in Communication


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You work for DZM Web Solutions, a company that develops software solutions for businesses in the customer service industry. You are the project manager of an IT project to update a database to a new software version. This database holds all information related to and in support of Sarbanes–Oxley Act. The upgrade is major and encompasses many changes because laws have changed. This project was attempted last year but it failed due to a change in the organizational structure and because other databases needed to be changed first. Some changes are completed and some are not. The company wants to be proactive.

The old project manager left some notes and a few half-completed project documents for your assistance. He is no longer with the company. The board of directors is very upset and has assigned a new change control board that will not budge on issues brought forward. Expectation is high that this project will be delivered on time and budget. In addition, the project management office (PMO) is beginning to migrate from a strict waterfall methodology to an iterative approach as management believes this will save projects from failure.

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You now have a six-month deadline to complete the project. You have a budget of $150,000 to cover secured resources and any equipment needed before the system loses support from the developer and fines are rendered for noncompliance. You have been assigned a new project team, but contracted support staff has not been defined because the head of procurement retired. The sponsor, Lillian Timmons, is the only remaining project stakeholder from the first attempt, and she is upset that the project is starting over. She has asked you to spend the first week completing a full review of what went wrong and how you will change and manage the project going forward. You are to submit a memo to her by Friday end of day discussing your findings. She is not willing to take a chance on you as a PM if you don’t know what you’re doing. You need to gain her confidence to move forward.


  • Your memo should describe risk management approaches and analyze errors in communication and project management methodologies in past project developments. Your memo should inform the organization’s new direction for this project and assist in planning and execution for future projects. In your responses, consider PMBOK® methodologies and approaches.
    • Evaluate past project communications for effectiveness and appropriateness. Include the following in your response:
      • Where would you find documented past communication problems?
      • Why were past project communications ineffective or not appropriate? Provide examples to support your response.
      • How would you determine the risk aversion of the stakeholders?
      • How would you communicate with your stakeholders in this project scenario? Provide evidence to support why this strategy would be effective.
    • Define triple constraint and its impact on project planning and execution. Include the following in your response:
      • What is the triple constraint and how is it impacted with project changes?
      • What benefits can triple constraint have when planning and executing a project?
      • What elements are crucial to ensure that triple constraint is used effectively?
    • Determine if an appropriate project management methodology was used in the past project attempt in the provided scenario. Include the following in your response:
      • What is a methodology? Define the following:
        • Waterfall
        • Agile
      • What project management methodology was used in the past attempt, and why was that methodology appropriate or inappropriate?
      • What product methodology could be effectively applied to this project?
    • Explain strategies for identifying potential project risks and informing management. Include the following in your response:
      • Overall, what are common risks for this type of project?
      • How risk averse are your stakeholders?
    • Describe your approach for analyzing a project for risk. Include the following in your response:
      • What qualitative factors are considered in risk analysis?
      • What quantitative factors are considered in risk analysis?
    • Describe mitigation strategies for the identified potential risks. Consider the following in your response:
      • What steps would you take to develop a response after a strategy is defined?
    • Explain the use of a change management plan for supporting project success. Include the following in your response:
      • What is a change management plan and when should one be used?
      • What are the benefits of having a well-developed change management plan?
      • What elements should be addressed in a change management plan to increase likelihood of success?
      • Should the project be continued? Why or why not?
      • What role do stakeholders play in change management?