How to talk about risk and have everyone listen
Shashwati, a project manager by trade, is joined Galen Low. She has been working in the IT Industry since she completed her Masters in Statistics. She has extensive experience in Quality, Release, and Project Management. Listen to this to learn how to talk to others about risk.
Shashwati has a Masters’s degree in Statistics and more than 18 years experience in technical project management within the public sector. She is also the former president of PMI Sacramento Valley Chapter and a respected teacher and mentor, focusing on risk management and procurement management. [1:39]
Shash enjoys reading, cooking, party planning, and working out outside of project management. [1:57]
Shash began her journey by pursuing PMP certification in 2005, while simultaneously becoming involved with the PMI- Sacramento Valley Chapter. She was a member of the education branch and organized workshops. She then became Chapter President from 2010 to 2013. She had to manage a chapter with voluntary participation while still being accountable to the PMI leadership and members. This was a real test in project management. [8:39]
In 2009, HP leadership asked Shash to assume one of these two positions: setting up a PMO or QA lead. She went along with the team who was setting up a PMO at HP. It was a great test of knowledge in all areas of project management. Not only did one have to set up processes, but also how to communicate the message to other PMs and to the customer. Her journey includes program management, portfolio management, release management and program management. [11:55]
Shash’s experience in IT projects was mainly in the healthcare and welfare industry. She enjoyed the process of ensuring that welfare-related State Laws were incorporated into the functional parts of the project. She also had the opportunity work on projects that focused on infrastructure and hardware. [14:27]
Because it is a learning experience, Shash enjoyed mentoring and teaching. Teaching is a great way to learn. She is most happy when she teaches her UCD classes. She also met students with IT backgrounds. [17:56]
Teaching and mentoring is what I love most. I have learned so much from my mentors.
Shashwati Raj Shashwati ran a 5k walk in September 2019 to raise money for UC Davis pediatric carcinoma. She considered it a project. They held weekly status meetings, and she would invite all her volunteers to join her Zoom call. They used to go through a tasklist every week and tell them to mitigate risk. [21:24]
Risk is the ability to foresee a future situation.
Shashwati Roy To Shash believes that awareness and foreseeing the future is smartness. Strong control of the situation requires awareness and understanding. [22:55]
Shash uses the following steps to deal with risk: identify the risk, communicate it, and find ways to reduce it. Define the owners and responsibilities of risk management. Prioritize risk with the customer and your team. Once you have prioritized, you need to be aware of the severity and impact. Every status meeting should include a Risk Log. [28:05]
Identify the risk, communicate the risk and discuss mitigation options.
Shashwati Ray Don’t talk about risk too much. Status meetings, whether external or internal, are a preferred way to discuss risks. [35:56]
Do not end a status meeting without discussing risk.
Shashwati Raj Shashwati was a mentor to her fellow PMs. Her favorite thing was to go through all bullet points and then put an ‘R” or an I next it. Next, discuss it at the next status meeting. [37:32]
People find it difficult to talk about risks because they view it with a negative perspective.