Project Risk Analysis: Techniques for Forecasting Funding Requirements, Costs and Timelines

PM World Book Review

pmwj14-sep2013-barash-Project - BOOK IMAGEBook Title:     Project Risk Analysis: Techniques for Forecasting Funding Requirements, Costs and Timelines
Author:           Derek Salkeld
Publisher:      Gower Publishing Company
List Price:       $29.95            ISBN:  978-0-566-09186-5
Format:           Hard cover; 295 pages       Publication Date:     2013
Reviewer:      Ira S. Barash           
Review Date:   August 2013


Introduction to the Book

The book covers many topics about risk management and its importance in determining an accurate budget and schedule for a project.   The book points out failures in the past on large scale government infrastructure projects in London.  The stakeholders who finance the project would be the primary beneficiary of a more accurate budget and schedule.  The project management and risk management professions may get a better reputation because of projects getting completed at a higher rate and on time and within budget.

The book provides a multitude of aids to help with determining risks, identifying costs, and how the risks affect the schedule.  These aids include examples, areas to address and checklists.  Finally, it stresses the importance of tying risks to people through assignment of ownership and risks to the project budget through allocation of contingences.

Overview of the Book’s Structure

Chapter 1 describes why risk analysis should be a necessary component of budgeting for a project in terms of money and time.  Chapters 2 through 4 are concerned with evaluating the cost and timescales of a project taking into account the risks for the stakeholders who are funding the project.  Chapter 5 looks at how to determine who should take ownership of the myriad of project risks that are determined.  Chapter 6 through 7 look at managing risk through the project in a practical manner.  Chapter 8 summarizes all of the arguments and concludes.  Appendices provide more checklists and charts.

Highlights: What’s New is this Book?

The idea that risk needs to be looked at in a very detailed and structured manner during the budgeting process.

In Chapter 2, the author lists 14 primitives that must addressed to insure that all risks are identified in large scale construction projects.   Chapter 3 and 4 give examples of risk in relation to cost and time, respectively.    Chapter 5 looks at ownership of risk in three ways – Cost of Prevention; Cost of Containment and Cost of remediation.   Then, it looks at the ownership in three ways: Expertise, Resources, and Obligations.   This is not new but it shows an easy way to think about risk and how to seek ownership.  The table below is copied from the book:


To read entire Book Review (click here)

About the Reviewer

pmwj14-sep2013-Barash-Project- AUTHOR IMAGEflag-usaIra Barash

Plano, Texas, USA

Ira Barash is married and employed by VisionIT in a contractor role working at HP as a project manager. Previously, he worked for two years as a contractor at Capital One Financial through Strategic Staffing in the mortgage application and infrastructure areas.   Barash received his PMP® from the Project Management Institute (PMI®) (2012), a certificate in Project Management from the Graduate School of Management at the University of Texas at Dallas (2007), a Masters of Business Administration (MBA) in Finance from Wright State University (1989) and a Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) in Quantitative Analysis from the University of Cincinnati – Carl H. Lindner School of Business (1976).

From 2010 to 2012, Barash was Volunteer Commissioner for the City of Plano on Community Relations Committee.   He and his wife actively support the Plano (Texas) Symphony Orchestra through volunteering and financially as a Virtuoso Member. He is a member of PMI, the PMI Dallas Chapter and Toastmasters.   He recently presented a paper, Use of Agile with XP and Kanban Methodologies in the Same Project, at the 7th Annual University of Texas Dallas Project Management Symposium on August 15, 2013 in Richardson, Texas.

Ira’s passions are to be a terrific husband, have challenging work assignments, live a healthy lifestyle including traveling, exercise, writing and supporting of non-profits financially, and by volunteering.

Ira is on LinkedIn at http://www.linkedin.com/in/irabarashmba and may be contacted by email at [email protected]

Editor’s note:  This book review was the result of cooperation between the publisher, PM World Inc and the Dallas Chapter of the Project Management Institute (www.pmidallas.org). Publishers provide books to PM World, books are delivered to the PMI Dallas Chapter where they are given to chapter members who commit to providing a book review in a standard format; the reviews are published in the PM World Journal and PM World Library.  Since PMI Dallas Chapter members are generally mid-career professionals, they represent the intended audience for most PM books.  If you are an author or publisher of a book related to program or project management, and would like the book reviewed through this program, please contact [email protected].