Managing Risks in Overseas Projects

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Managing risks in overseas new technology projects

Oscar A. Osores

Abstract Managing risks for a new technology project implemented overseas can be seen as a high risk and difficult undertaken due to two main factors; dealing with new technology and working on a possibly unfamiliar environment; the key for managing these types of projects is using a dual risk management undertaken; managing risks in both project locations, integrating off shore stakeholders with the project leader abroad; in order to successfully plan, update and respond to the risks, it is critical for the project leader to be familiar with both the company culture as well as the countries’ culture and become the integrating keystone for developing a
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While this information can be very useful for the new project and can assist the project team during the risk planning phase, we need to be very careful on how we analyze the past project information. Risk managers sometimes mistakenly use hindsight as foresight (Taleb et all). Past events don’t necessarily have any relation with future problems, not everything can be predicted. One of the worst mistakes that can be made is focusing our attention on extreme scenarios and how they will affect our project (Taleb et all). This can distract attention and energy towards other possibilities. Project manager needs to focus on the consequences the events can cause and be prepared to face them and plan accordingly. When dealing with new technologies, historical information may not serve as a primary evaluation tool since completely new risks will likely arise. It is still important to review the existing information and the lessons learned, since they will provide first hand guidance on the company’s risk tolerance, effective responses used and the past project resources familiar and experienced with risk management practices. This information is important when selecting the project team members; all team members should be prepared, know what to do when a crisis occurs and provide an agile response in accordance to the project risk management plan. Lessons learned from risk management practices used for previous projects

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