How to Manage Risks on Smaller Projects

Jennifer Bridges, PMP, answer the question what is a size project and then how risk can be controlled in that small project.

Here’s a shot of the whiteboard for your reference!

risk management on small projects

In Review: How to Manage Risks on Smaller Projects

The first thing that Jennifer addressed is the definition of project size. Size is contextual, and a huge project for a small company could be just a minor project for a larger company.

Next, she noted that, regardless of its size, it’s a given that risk is inherent in any project. Therefore managing risk on a project involves the same process no matter if that project is big or small. You must create a risk management plan, identify the risks and then capture those risks in your risk register, and you’ll need to analyze those risks.

But there are some tips about managing risk on a smaller-scale project. She talks about “right-sizing” your risk management. That means you’re going to be asking questions of your team, your stakeholders and vendor partners to remain vigilant of new risks as they might arise.

If you’re unsure how to identify risk, you better learn fast. There are many ways to do this, with new ones being developed all the time, such as these eight risk management tips.

Pro-Tip: Question everything. The most dangerous thing you can do when it comes to risk is accept received knowledge without running it through a process of due diligence. Don’t accept anything as given until you’ve given it critical thought.

Thanks for watching!


Today we’re talking about how to manage risk on smaller projects. It’s one of the most common questions I get. People wanna know do I really need to manage risks on my small projects? Well, I ask, how do we know what small is?

When we talk about small versus large projects, the size is really relative to the organization. I mean, is it small in relation to time? Or the scope? Or even the number of resources or budget? For instance, I know a telecommunications company who had a software implementation. It was 500 million dollars with 300 people on the project. Well, sounds like a large project right? Well in relation to this company, that was one of it’s smaller projects.

The same telecommunications company had a separate software implementation with only two people on the project. So that sounds really small. Well, that was a really small project but it carried a lot of risk. These two people on the project were two of only a few in the country who knew this software. And the issue was, they were always at odds with each other with introduced a lot of risk, schedule delays, and budget overruns.

So the factoid is all projects, small and large, have risk. So still don’t think you have risk on your projects? Well, it’s possible you’re misidentifying it. For instance, my videographer always has a backup plan. She has extra lights, extra power, extra cords, extra everything. In essence, she’s managing her risk. So let’s take a look at some of the how-to and some of the tips for managing small projects.

Well, when we look at how to manage risks for small projects, we’re still using the same process as large projects. We’re just doing it to a different level. You’ll continue to create your risk management plan, identify your risk and capture those in your risk register.

You’ll also perform your risk analysis to create your risk response plan. So when we talk about managing risk, we’re talking about controlling risk. It’s the process of implementing these risk response plans, tracking the risk in your risk register, monitoring those, and even identifying new ones along the way.

So some tips for managing risk on your smaller projects are adjust the level and the rigor to the organization’s tolerance and standards. In essence, we’re talking about right-sizing your risk management.

You also want to continue risk management throughout the project. You also want to ask questions. Ask questions of your team members, of your vendor partners, of your stakeholders. You wanna make sure you continually look for new risk.

Also, question everything. As conditions and situations change throughout the project, so will your risk, and you wanna capture those. So if you need a tool that can help you manage your risk on your small projects then sign up for our software now on

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