Project Risk Management
Risk management involves identifying, evaluating and prioritizing risks coupled with the allocation of resources to minimize, control or eliminate the risks based on the prioritization. Risk management is an important part of any engineering project whether building a new facility, retrofitting an old one or implementing equipment to meet safety standards.
Plant engineering teams are specialists in power plant engineering, but are not always risk management experts. For example, when dealing with the hazards of a combustible dust, like coal dust, there are unique challenges that occur when planning and executing projects. Even engineers with vast experience and well accustomed to material handling solutions still need a comprehensive risk management plan when dealing with hazardous combustible dust conditions.
The Acensium risk management process starts with a planning phase when the project is initiated, continuing with the risk identification and assessment phases. These phases vary in scope and detail from project to project. If a project involves evaluating geo-technical data and evaluating underground site features, there will likely be a different level of detail needed than an evaluation of site security, sufficient insurance and permitting bonds.
After risks are assessed, the response and control phase is underway. During this phase the risk responses are planned based on the prioritization made in the risk assessment phase. The risk responses are then executed, as planned, at the appropriate project stages.
Ongoing Project Control
During the project’s execution, constant detail-oriented risk-monitoring and control processes are undertaken to evaluate changes to known risks and identify previously unplanned risks. As risks are mitigated or eliminated through the execution of the project, risk monitoring and control can typically be ‘shut down’ with the close of the project, or handed off to the operations team who will manage risk in the ongoing operation.
Risk management is not a complicated undertaking at the highest level; even though the details of any individual risk can be complex and potentially devastating to a valuable project. Whether executing a large power plant engineering project, or a small project replacing a single piece of material handling equipment, the best way to minimize and manage risks is adequate foresight and planning. One key to success is involving industry experts who have experience in identifying and planning for critical project risks in previous projects and know how to mitigate them.