It is not rare that we misinterpret terms which definitions are similar or applied differently in different context or areas of work. One example in the project management area is the common confusion between risk, issue and assumption.
The PMDPro Guide defines risk as the potential effect of uncertainty on project objectives. There are two key aspects of risks: probability (what is the odds of the event to occur?) and impact (how “large” is the change in the project?).
Assumptions are hypotheses about necessary conditions, both internal and external, identified in a design to ensure that the presumed cause-effect relationships function as expected and that planned activities will produce expected results. In other words, assumption is an event, condition or fact that we need to happen or maintain in order to assure the project success.
Finally, issue is a problem – something that is happening now. Issues can be either something that was no predicted or a risk that has now occurred. It can take the form of an unresolved decision, situation or problem that will significantly impact the project.
We could relate these terms with the following simple expression, that would help their comprehension: Continue reading “Risks, Issues and Assumptions: on my way to work”