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COJ Technical & Scientific Research

A Review of the Risk Management Process of Project Management Methodologies in COVID- 19 Era

Nnaemeka M*

Navicent Health Medical Center, Georgia

*Corresponding author: Nnaemeka M, Navicent Health Medical Center, General Gynecology, Macon, Georgia

Submission: December 10, 2020; Published: September 29, 2021

Volume3 Issue4
September, 2021


A project management methodology as defined by the Project Management Institute (2019) is a system that integrates various practices, techniques, procedures and rules for delivering projects. The common project management methodologies used in the delivery of projects include the Traditional Project Management Methodology (PMBoK), PRINCE2, Waterfall and Agile. The afore mentioned methodologies share similar process for managing project risks. In the face of the Covid-19 crises, an important need for the review and modification of the risk management process applied in these project management methodologies have been recognized in order to enable project teams deal with the uncertainties and challenges resulting from global undesirable events such as the coronavirus pandemic. This article reviewed the current risk management framework shared by popular project management methodologies and proposed a modification to the framework to enhance its effectiveness in supporting project teams increase their prospects of successfully delivering projects in challenging times like the Covid-19 era.

Keywords: Risk management; Methodologies; COVID-19; Global; Stakeholders; Budget; Measurability; Implement

Critical Review of the Risk Management Process of Project Management Methodologies in COVID-19 Era

A Project as defined by the Project Management Institute (2019), is a temporal endeavor carried out to create a product or implement change that would provide benefits to the stakeholders involved. It could be inferred from this definition that Projects are means whereby change or improvements in terms of process, product or service could be implemented through series of interrelated activities that could be completed within agreed time frame and budget. Several Authors Gido & Kloppenburg [1,2] agree that successful delivery of projects is constrained by several factors, which include the scope of the project; availability of resources; quality expectation; stakeholders involved; uncertainty; budget; and duration. These factors must be managed simultaneously during project delivery in order to increase the prospects of successfully completing a project and realizing its benefits. But managing these aspects can be challenging, hence the development of project management methodologies to enable project teams effectively manage these constraints in order to increase the probability of successfully completing projects Joslin [3]. A project management methodology can be defined as a system that integrates various practices, techniques, procedures and rules for delivering projects [4]. Several researchers Bjorner et al. [3,5-7] emphasize that the rationale behind developing project management methodologies is to support project managers achieve predictable success rates in project delivery. The project management methodologies commonly used in the delivery of modern projects include the PMBoK; Waterfall, PRINCE2 and Agile [3-7]. In as much as these individual project management methodologies have provisions on how to deal with risks, there are concerns the risk management measures applied in either of the methodologies aren’t sufficient to deal with uncertainties caused by global crises such as the coronavirus pandemic. Joslin & Spundak [3,7] agree that when an organization’s project management methodology isn’t robust enough to cope with militating challenges, the project efficiency, quality and probability of successful delivery will be heavily impacted.
The Covid-19 pandemic has impacted heavily on projects irrespective of their delivery phases and has significantly changed the way in which managing uncertainties in projects are conceived. According to a research conducted by the project management institute in collaboration with the project business foundation this year on the impact of Covid-19 on projects, 80% of the respondents who happen to be project management practitioners stated that the Covid-19 crises had an extreme to moderate negative impact on their projects, out of which 69% stated that the pandemic reduced their prospects of completing their projects on time project management institute and project business foundation 2020 [8]. In the midst of these undesirable circumstances a major question that has emanated is, to what extent are the risk management procedures of the project management methodologies effective and robust enough to deal with the uncertainties and challenges such as those brought about by Covid- 19? Several researchers Buganova & Philpott [9,10] agree that the risk management process performed in the afore Project Management Methodologies are similar in the sense that they share same framework, as shown in the (Figure 1) In this framework the first activity in line with managing risk is the identification of risks which could be achieved through brainstorming; review of past project reports; drawing on from previous experience and lessons learned from past projects; etc., [9-11]. After risks have been identified, they are then assessed in terms of their probability of occurrence and impact Buganova et al. [9-11]. Once the risks have been assessed, an analysis of the risks is carried out in order to determine appropriate control measures. The control measures are then implemented and monitored to determine their effectiveness and Identify areas for improvement. With the current challenging and highly uncertain environment brought about by the pandemic, the need for a modification to the conventional Risk Management process to support project teams in effectively managing risks cannot be over emphasized [12,13]. It is recommended that immense effort be given to the risk identification activity and that during this phase, risks should be identified and grouped into three categories as illustrated in (Figure 2) The first category are known events in which the probability of occurrence can be determined (an example of this could be planned social unrest). The second category are known events in which the probability of occurrence cannot be determined (example of this could be change in government policy). The Third category are events that have never happened before but could impact on the project should they materialize (the coronavirus pandemic would have fitted into this category if the risk identification was carried out before it emanated). After the risks have been identified and categorized, the risks grouped under the first category would then be assessed in terms of degree of likelihood (probability) and degree of impact, while risks that fall under second and third category will be prioritized in terms of the project’s vulnerability and the impact the risks will have on the project.

Figure 1: Conventional risk management framework.

Figure 2: Modified risk management framework developed by author.

Implementation and Monitoring of Control Measures

As risks that fall under the third category are events that have never happened before, more concern should be given to this category of risks as the project team may lack the experience to manage such should they emanate. After the risks have been assessed and prioritize respectively, they can then be analyzed in line with the conventional risk management process in order to understand the behavior of the risks and determine appropriate control measures. It is recommended that the control measures identified for each of the risks be evaluated to determine their effectiveness. The ‘AIM’ framework proposed by the author of this article would serve as a suitable model with which the risk control measures could be evaluated as illustrated in (Figure 2). The ‘A’ stands for Appropriateness of the control measure which refers to the extent to which the control measure will enable the project team effectively to reduce or possibly eliminate the risk. The ‘I’ stands for Implement ability which refers to the extent to which the project team have the required resources and capability to implement the control measure. The ‘M’ stands for Measurability which refers to the extent to which the effectiveness of the control measure can be monitored and recorded preferably from quantitative perspectives. After the control measures have met the evaluation criteria, they can then be implemented and monitored for improvement when and where required. The process should be repeated following same sequence until the Project is successfully completed. The above modifications to the risk management process makes it a lot robust and will enable project teams better identify and manage risks in a period of high uncertainty irrespective of the project management methodology being applied. It will be beneficial if other frameworks shared by the conventional project management methodologies as well as frameworks exclusive to either of the methodologies be reviewed and improved in order to add value and enhance the prospects of successfully completing projects in the face of undesirable events such as the Covid-19 crises.


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© 2021 Nnaemeka M. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License , which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and build upon your work non-commercially.

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