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Risks: not always negative

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A common thinking about risks is that they are all negative and should be mitigated or avoided as much as possible. That common thinking is wrong!

A negative risk is a treat, but a risk can be positive and considered an opportunity so instead of mitigating or avoiding, you’ll want to exploit or enhance.

A good example is the risk of having too many visitors on your brand new website on the day of the launch. Having lots of visits is positive, so it’s not a treat unless it’s poorly planned and can crash the server, so you have to take it into consideration.

You may want to enhance the risk (plan a marketing blast to attract even more visitors) or exploit (use cloud hosting that can adapt resource accordingly, or have more resources ready for the server so you can welcome more visitors). You could simply accept and make sure the website simply displays a temporary message if too many people are visiting at once.

Risks are not all that bad, and even positive ones shouldn’t be ignored.

One thought on “Risks: not always negative

  1. Even though it’s written in the context of game development, you should take a look at this crash course on Discovery-Driven Planning (DDP) : http://www.gamasutra.com/view/feature/191523/managing_risk_in_video_game_.php

    Basically, DDP helps discovering which facts you know and assume about a specific project so the manager is able to gradually transform assumptions in known facts by validating the project’s situation against checkpoints and required end-project objectives.

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