In project management, it is important to monitor risk and develop risk mitigation strategies throughout the project lifecycle. Preparation for risk begins in the project development phase and continues as the project is executed. There are many ways to mitigate risk throughout the lifecycle of a project, including but not limited to: clarifying project scope, assembling the appropriate project team, assessing project feasibility, maintaining open lines of communication, ensuring the project plan is followed, and developing contingency plans. The interviewer is asking this question to determine how well the candidate can articulate their ability to prepare for and mitigate risk in a project, which will effectively determine how well their assets will be protected through the project management process at Avanade. To successfully answer this question, the candidate should provide a specific method that they use to prepare for and mitigate risk and integrating a specific example from their professional experience can strengthen their response.
"Identifying potential risk and developing mitigation strategies is something I am always sure to do when first assigned a project, and I continuously analyze risk during the project lifecycle to ensure that no additional mitigation strategies need to be developed or executed. While I have used various risk mitigation strategies over the years, the strategies I find myself using the most, and what I find most successful in mitigating risk, is assessing project feasibility and developing contingency plans. I feel that the feasibility study is an extremely important risk mitigation strategy, as it allows me to identify issues in the project scope early in the process, before too many resources have been invested; and contingency plans are extremely helpful because when something starts to go wrong in the project, I usually already have the risk and solution identified, so not much additional time is lost. Since I have been so successful using these risk mitigation strategies in my career, I will be able to continue to use them to successfully manage projects at Avanade."
"I just worked on an IT informatics project where I had to use multiple risk mitigation strategies, in order to keep the timeline, budget, and deliverables on track. When I first received the project from my PMO, the requirements of the project were not particularly clear, so instead of proceeding with defining the scope on the ambiguous direction I received, I scheduled a meeting with project leadership to clarify project requirements so I could adequately define the scope of the project. However, once the scope was defined based on clarified project requirements, I realized the project team I was initially assigned by the PMO did not include individuals with the correct skill sets. Instead of proceeding with the team I was initially assigned, and completing project tasks using best efforts, I outlined the skill sets needed and approached the PMO with the rationale for why I needed different individuals on the project team, and the team was reassigned based on the rationale I provided. Because I used these risk mitigation approaches, the project is now running smoothly, and we are meeting our weekly tasks deliverables on schedule."