Before discussing the best practices in IT Risk Management, let's look at a brief overview of risk management as such. This article offers guidance so that IT project teams can assess and properly treat the "identified risks" in any IT system.
We can divide risk management into five phases:
- Risk identification
- Analyzing risks to find out their negative impacts
Prioritizing risks for creating a proper risk management plan
- Risk treatment – managing risks
- Auditing the risk management plan to refine it and offer better methods for minimizing negative effects and boosting project productivity.
In short, for any project, it is necessary to create a risk management plan so that chances of the project failing or not meeting its goals are as small as possible. It is always better to have an in-house Risk Officer who can identify and create risk management plans to manage (treat) risks. In absence of a Risk Officer, project managers themselves can create a risk management plan. For creating a risk management plan, managers can have brainstorming sessions with the different team leads involved in the project. After identification of risks, it is better to create or document them, or rather create a checklist of risks. This checklist of risks helps project managers create a risk management plan for proper treatment of risks.
The basics of risk management are the same across any project. It is just the risk treatment, which differs across projects in different fields, such as Information Technology, Stocks, Research, and Events.
Coming to the best practices in IT risk management, the next section deals with integrating risk management into the systems development life cycle. This practice helps in identifying risks at the very first step and hence, the system developers design a system with full awareness of the risk probabilities.