Now, I'm no fan of boilerplate, that generic stuff that planning authors seem determined to impose on the reader (although most of us just skip by), so I propose that most plans can get away with four content categories:
- Policy--actionable direction. What is to be done; who (or what) is affected; why are they affected, and who has the responsibility and authority for policy implementation?
- Doctrine--the principles and beliefs that inform the policy and
- Protocols--the rules (and could also be the tools) for policy implementation
- Governance--authorization and escalation rules; decision rules
Let's try one on to see how it might work. How about "risk identification"; what's the plan for that one?
Risk Identification Policy:There now! That wasn't so bad. A Risk Identification plan in less than a page. What a concept!
It's the policy of Project X that every manager (project, cost account, and work package) will proactively seek risk identification on a continuous basis in order to forestall surprise and enable more predictable forecast of outcomes
Affected managers have a responsibility to ensure identified risks are submitted to the project's risk management process.
Risk Identification Doctrine:
- Anyone can identify a risk
- Everyone has a responsibility to seek risk identification
- Messengers are not at risk for bearing the message
- Every identified risk deserves consideration in the risk management process
Risk Identification Protocol:
- Continuously assess the circumstances of identified risks to ascertain if revisions, modifications, and additions are required
- Maintain a 360-surveillance of the external threat environment; bring new threats to the RM process
- Maintain a current forecast by analysis, simulation, or model to reveal new risks to project completion
- Elicit expert opinion to formulate risk descriptions
- Formulate a Risk Breakdown Structure to categorize risks as affecting the baseline, or not ('on or off' the baseline project plan). In other words, be a Bayseian.
- Relate identified risks to the Risk Breakdown Structure by affected WBS, schedule, budget, performance, quality, or other risk register attributes
- Impact decisions follow the project's funding and expenditure authority
- Timeliness is of the essence; urgent assessments will be handled within a business day
- Risk assignments in the Risk Breakdown Structure follow the projects WBS assignment protocols
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