Risk Management in Developing Countries



Risk Doctor Briefing

Rasoul Abdolmohammadi, PMP, PMI-RMP

The Risk Doctor Partnership



Based on experience, it seems that the majority of companies in developing countries who are implementing risk management do not get the added value that they expect. This is often because they are attempting to import risk management from a different cultural setting, from developed to developing parts of the world.

In many cases, it makes sense to begin by bringing in a system from a developed country, rather than starting from the beginning to build something new. But how can organizations in developing countries avoid the threats that come with importing a risk management approach from elsewhere? These steps will help:

  • Self-awareness. Knowing ourselves will help us to develop a more realistic approach to managing risk. We should study our history to discover how risk has been considered and managed in the past, and we should look for particular cultural influences that might affect how we perceive risk.
  • Real Needs. What exactly do we need? Organizations in developing countries often look at others elsewhere and say: “They have implemented this system, so we want it too.” But copying others can lead us to adopt systems that fail to add value for our company. We must start by understanding what we really need from risk management, and then design an approach to meet it. We can define our needs by interviewing stakeholders or analysing weaknesses in our current systems. We should not merely copy the risk approach from others without being sure that it will help us in our specific setting.
  • Preparation. We need to understand what level of infrastructure is needed to support risk management, and determine whether our people have the necessary understanding, knowledge and skills to implement it. Many companies in developing countries try to implement risk management without having the necessary infrastructure or skills in place.


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About the Author

Rasoul Abdolmohammadi




Rasoul Abdolmohammadi is an industrial engineer with more than 15 years project management experience including risk, time and cost management. He currently works as planning and scheduling specialist in Petronas. His risk experience includes developing, implementing and training project risk processes for a range of mega-projects in the oil & gas and construction industries (for the first time in Iran), including quantitative risk analysis using Primavera Risk Analysis. Rasoul has published his experiences in the book “Practical Project Risk Management Processes“, and he has presented on risk at international conferences.

He can be contacted at [email protected]