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PMP and CAPM Sample Question 6: Quick and easy way to identify all project risks

edited December 2015 in PM Certifications

Q. A new project manager approaches you for help regarding risk management activities on her project. She is looking for a quick and simple way to identify all project risks. What advice would you offer her?

A. Refer to the risk register of a previous similar project.

B. Use the lowest level of the risk breakdown structure as a risk checklist.

C. Refer to publicly available commercial risk databases.

D. There is no quick and simple way to identify all project risks.

Post your answer below. Correct answer will be posted after receiving at least one response.


  • edited December 2015 Accepted Answer

    A tricky question I believe! Choices A, B and C all seem to be relevant ways to identify project risks. The only key here seems to be identify ALL project risks. I am of the opinion that there is no quick and simple way to identify ALL project risks. You may identify some of the project risks using any of the choices A, B and C.

    But, to identify ALL project risks, you may have to use all/ some combination of the above choices, may have some brainstorming sessions and so on.

    My choice is (D).

  • Bingo!

    While choices A, B and C can help identify project risks, they may not be adequate to identify "all" project risks. Risk identification checklists are developed based on historical information and knowledge that has been accumulated from previous similar projects and from other sources of information. The lowest level of the RBS can also be used as a risk checklist. While a checklist may be quick and simple, it is impossible to build an exhaustive one, and care should be taken to ensure the checklist is not used to avoid the effort of proper risk identification. The team should also explore items that do not appear on the checklist.

    Reference: PMBOK® Guide, 5th Ed; Ch 11, Pg 325

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