I have mentioned workarounds in many posts and comments. For many PMP aspirants, it was a new concept. A few of them requested that I write a detailed post on it.
They had difficulty with understating a few issues, such as:
- What is a workaround?
- What plan do we use for workarounds?
- Which reserve will you use for workarounds?
- In which process do you manage workarounds?
So, I am writing this blog post on workarounds to answer these questions.
What is a workaround?
Workarounds are responses to unidentified risks or passively accepted risks.
Put simply, if any unidentified risk occurs, you will manage it through a workaround. If you have any identified risks you did not plan for, you will use a workaround to manage them.
The project environment is dynamic and even an experienced project manager cannot identify all risks. Workarounds are common.
Which plan will you use to manage a workaround?
You may wonder now which plan you will use for workarounds; more specifically, do you use a contingency plan or fallback plan?
Once an unidentified risk occurs, you will discuss it with your team members and come up with a plan to contain the situation and minimize the impact.
Which reserve will you use for workarounds?
You have two risk reserves in project management: contingency reserve and management reserve.
The contingency reserve is for identified risks and management reserves are for unidentified risks. Since workarounds are a response to unidentified risks, you will use the management reserve.
In which process do you carry out the workarounds?
As discussed, workarounds are responses to unidentified risks and involve controlling risks. So, you carry out workarounds in the control risks process. Implementing workarounds can cause a change request.
Workarounds are responses to unidentified risks. Once any unidentified risk occurs, you will develop a plan and try to manage it. There is no pre-existing plan for workarounds and you use the management reserve to manage them.
How you manage workarounds in your project? Please share your experiences in the comments section.