In this blog I have discussed the workaround many times in some blog posts and in comments. Although this is not a very difficult concept, a few visitors asked me to write about it. They have some doubts such as:
- What is a workaround?
- Which plan is used for workarounds (contingency plan or fallback plan)?
- Which reserve will you use for workarounds (contingency reserve or management reserve)?
- In which process do you manage workarounds?
And so on.
I have answered these questions in many posts and in comments; however I never wrote a blog post on it. So today I am writing this blog post on workarounds to answer the above questions.
Okay let’s get started.
What is a workaround?
As per the PMBOK Guide fifth edition, workarounds are responses that were not initially planned, but are required to deal with emerging risks that were previously unidentified or accepted passively.
Put more simply, workarounds are responses to any unidentified risks that occur during your project execution. It also covers the response to risks that you have identified but did not make a plan to manage or accepted passively.
In short, workarounds are responses to unidentified risks or passively accepted risks if they occur.
Which plan will you use to manage a workaround?
This is the first question that comes to mind when you talk about managing workarounds.
People are always wondering which plan will be used in case any unidentified risk occurs; i.e. contingency plan or the fallback plan.
Please note that the contingency plan and fallback plan are developed to manage identified risks, and workarounds are response for unidentified risks. Therefore, none of these plans have strategies for workarounds.
When any unidentified risk occurs, you will discuss it with your team members and come up with a strategy to contain the incident.
Which reserve will you use for workarounds?
Of course you are going to use the management reserve, because workarounds are responses to unidentified risks for which you did not create a mitigation plan or keep money in the contingency reserve for.
In which process do you carry out the workarounds?
You carry out workarounds in the Control Risks process. Implementing workarounds sometimes results in a change request.
Workarounds are your response to any incident which you did you foresee. Workarounds are different than the fallback plan and contingency plan, because in these plans you draft strategies to deal with identified risks, and workarounds are your prompt response to any unidentified risk. Moreover, in workarounds you will use the management reserve, because the contingency reserve is reserved for identified risks.
Here is where this blog post on Workarounds ends. If you have something to say, you can do so through the comments section.