The Rules of Project Risk Management

PM WORLD Book Review

pmwj23-jun2014-Washburn-IMAGE1 BOOKBook Title:  The Rules of Project Risk Management
Author:  Robert J. Chapman, PhD
Publisher:  Gower Publishing Company
List Price:   US$ 75, On-line US$ 55 – 70, Kindle US$ 56

Format:  Hard cover and Kindle; 231 pages
Publication Date:  January 2014 ISBN:  978-1472411952
Reviewer:      Walter R. Washburn III
Review Date:              April 2014



Introduction to the Book

Insufficient risk management continues to be cited in the top lists of root causes for project failure.  As projects become larger in scope and more complex, the impact of risk and the incidence of risks manifesting to become serious issues make the discipline of project risk management all the more essential. However the subject itself is intimidating, broad in scope, and complicated.   So much of the literature on the subject is academic and theoretical, leaving the practitioner unsure which way to turn.  Dr. Robert Chapman offers an effective solution to the dilemma in his recently published book: The Rules of Project Risk Management.

This book succeeds in providing a practical approach to project risk management (PRM). For the project manager, the delivery of pragmatic guidelines in the form of rules organized by PRM subject areas, makes using it as a handbook effective. For the corporate practice manager, it describes a set of implementation guidelines for PRM to aid the development of risk management maturity into the company culture.  For the student or researcher of PRM best practice, the book offers rich citations and pointers into source research literature.

Overview of Book’s Structure

The rules offered are divided into seven PRM subject areas that correspond precisely with ISO 31000:2009 Risk Management – Principles and Guidelines.  Of course that is no coincidence – Dr. Chapman has carefully organized the content and scope of the discussion around this important and internationally acclaimed standard.  Thus you find the carefully rendered rules divided into sections on:

  • Environment
  • External Project Stakeholders
  • Organization
  • Leadership
  • Internal Stakeholders
  • Risk Resources
  • Systems

The book is purposely written in a way to promote jumping to specific elements of risk management practice. The appropriate approach to the book may be governed by the reader’s exposure and experience with risk management, or immediate need in the practice of project delivery.  The essential material broken up into small elements – rules – that can be read in swatches of time during your week – commuting on the train, in-between waiting time, or any 10 minutes not already the focus of a task. 


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About the Author

walter-r-washburnWalter R. Washburn III, MBA, PMPflag-usa

 Texas, USA

Walt Washburn has been a practicing project manager since 1976 leading technical projects in systems integration, satellite communications, systems implementation, enterprise change management, and software application development.  He’s worked in DoD, Applied Sciences Consulting, Banking, Consumer Services, e-Commerce, and Healthcare, where for the past 12 years he’s helped build strategic software applications for CVS Caremark.  Currently he leads performance engineering projects for high-volume customer-facing applications for CVS.

Walt can be contacted at Washburn-PMG dot com

Editor’s note:  This book review was the result of cooperation between the publisher, PM World and the Dallas Chapter of the Project Management Institute (PMI Dallas Chapter – www.pmidallas.org). Authors and publishers provide books to PM World; books are delivered to the PMI Dallas Chapter, where they are offered free to PMI members to review; book reviews are published in the PM World Journal and PM World Library.  PMI members can keep the books as well as receive PDUs for PMP recertification when their book reviews are published.  PMI Dallas Chapter members are generally mid-career professionals, the audience for most project management books.  If you are an author or publisher of a project management-related book, and would like the book reviewed through this program, please contact [email protected].