Topic 5 dq1

Compare and contrast risks and assumptions. What is the core difference? Why is it important to identify both? According to the Project Management Institute (Kinser, 2010), assumptions are a foundational aspect of communication and refers to unvoiced or unannounced thoughts or beliefs. Even just by speaking verbally to someone else, you are assuming that they can hear and will understand English, but you would never start a sentence with "I am going to speak because you have ears and that must mean you can hear me." An assumption, if it is incorrect, can cause consequences for a project which is why good project management includes assumption management tools. A project risk is an event or condition with uncertainty that, if it occurs, will negatively impact project objectives (Kinser, 2010). These are problems or potential problems that the project is aware of, but unable to resolve. It is important to identify both so that a common understanding of all parties can be achieved. A common consequence for assumptions, for example, is created when someone lists the tasks that are needed for a project to be completed but does not assign those tasks specifically an a responsible party. Then when it comes time for the project to come together, everyone remembers discussing that a step was crucial - but they are all looking around hoping someone else took that step. And now the project needs to be delayed to get this step done, if it is not ruined entirely. Risks need to be recognized and understood across the team so that they can be minimized, mitigated, or avoided entirely. For example if everyone knows that the factory burning down would ruin a production project, that is good and everyone can work to put in plans like how to respond to a fire, securing a backup production plant, or other mitigations. But if the safety supervisor is never informed that the material being manufactured requires a special type of fire extinguisher to put out fires, such as lithium batteries or grease paint, a great fire prevention plan might still fail and cause the risk to be incorrectly dealt with.
This actually brings up another assumption situation, as well: A chemical safety expert might recognize how lithium batteries or grease paint produce lithium and grease fire risks, and tell the fire safety expert to invest in extra extinguishers. Do you see the mistake? The chemical safety expert did not specify what kind of extinguisher - they assumed the other party would understand why, and what type of extinguisher to buy. Kinser, J. (2010). Don't make an ass out of you and me--using assumptions effectively . analyze-techniques-6582
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