2nd Edition

The Rules of Project Risk Management Implementation Guidelines for Major Projects

By Robert Chapman Copyright 2020
    368 Pages
    by Routledge

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    The Rules of Project Risk Management, 2nd Edition, provides practical experience-based guidance to support the delivery of effective project risk management. While the discipline is recognised as a major contributor to the successful outcome of projects, its implementation is far from straightforward. Successful delivery requires an in-depth understanding of the "ingredients" of effective risk management practices which impact project performance. The book’s value is derived from the description of these ingredients in a manner which will support their practical implementation.

    The author describes a series of guidelines (labelled "rules") to support the practical application of project risk management to positively influence project outcomes. The rules are supported by mini case studies of both successful and unsuccessful projects to bring to life the ramifications of effective and poor risk management respectively, and are assembled under seven headings of environment, external stakeholders, organisation and culture, leadership and governance, internal stakeholders, risk resources and system. This second edition contains a new glossary of terms and an overview of the risk management process to enable those new to the subject to understand the core risk management activities. It also contains six more individual guidelines and ten more case studies to support practitioners, researchers and academics alike to gain an even greater appreciation of the drivers of successful project risk management.

    Enabling the reader to "get inside" risk management to gain an appreciation of the individual components and "how the engine works", this book is essential reading for project and risk management professionals. While the guidelines are described individually so specific subjects can be examined in detail, they must be considered together, for like a car, specialist carburettors, fuel injection or high-octane fuel on their own do not support improved performance. The guidelines can be considered as the elements that should be taken into account when compiling a risk maturity model to drive incremental improvement in risk management practices.


    Endorsements for the first edition,

    Endorsements for the second edition,

    List of Figures,

    List of Tables,

    List of Mini Case Studies,

    About the author,


    Preface to the second edition,



    How to read this book,


    Section 1 LAYOUT OF THE BOOK


    Section 3 ENVIRONMENT: The uncertainty characteristics of a project are the product of their origin and particularly their context,

    Section 4 EXTERNAL PROJECT STAKEHOLDERS: Project success requires comprehension of the potential impact of external stakeholders on project uncertainty, Contractor participation in risk management is driven by contract obligations,

    Section 5 ORGANISATION and CULTURE: Risk management aspirations need to be rooted in reality, The risk profile of a project will be directly influenced by the procurement process,

    Section 6 LEADERSHIP and GOVERNANCE: Awareness of the need to manage risk, Mandate for the implementation of risk management, Creation and communication of accountabilities and responsibilities, Internal control and risk assurance processes, Effective decision making is dependent on risk management, Senior management commitment to risk management needs to be visible,

    Section 7 INTERNAL STAKEHOLDERS: Risk management must include an assessment of internal stakeholders, Involve internal stakeholders in evaluation of the risks to the business case, Inculcating risk is improved by convincing the sceptics,

    Section 8 RISK RESOURCES: Risk team selection will directly influence risk management effectiveness, The budget will dictate the level of risk management support,

    Section 9 SYSTEMS: A risk management framework must establish a firm foundation, Commitment commences with a risk policy, Project outcomes are enriched by implementing lessons learned., Risk analysis needs to recognise the existence of optimism bias., The workshop ‘circus’ is avoided by recognising behaviour types., Project success and particularly risk management is dependent on proactive behaviour, Risk descriptions are improved by adopting a metalanguage, Risk database integration is improved when scheduled, Risk model results are improved by sense checking, Risk management is enhanced through integration, Assessing the risk profile of a project must take account of its degree of complexity., Risk management must include examination of opportunities as well as threats,

    APPENDIX A: EFQM Excellence Model,

    APPENDIX B: Systems thinking,

    APPENDIX C: Causes of project failure,

    APPENDIX D: Observations about the Standard,

    APPENDIX E: Drivers for project success,

    APPENDIX F: Mitchel, Bradley and Wood’s stakeholder typology,

    APPENDIX G: The power – predictability matrix,

    APPENDIX H: Maturity Model Descriptions,

    APPENDIX I: Recording Lessons Learned,

    APPENDIX J: Procurement Process,

    APPENDIX K: Cybersecurity CMM,



    Robert James Chapman PhD., MSc., Dip Arch.(Hons), CFIRM, FAPM, FICM is currently a Director of the consultancy Dr. Chapman and Associates Limited who are international risk management specialists. He has provided risk management services for over twenty years across eight countries within fourteen industries.

    ‘The strength of Dr Chapman’s book lies in the international reach of the case studies he has chosen to illustrate the application of risk management to project implementation. Along with the inclusion of formal methodologies and risk management techniques, this practical learning based on real events will help the reader come to grips with the essential skills of project risk management.’ – Dr Ian Livsey, CEO, Institute of Risk Management, UK 

    ‘I have had the pleasure of knowing and working with Robert for nearly fifteen years – he is the true master of risk management. If you have any involvement with projects, this is a must-have learning and reference book with countless local and global case studies applicable to every project type. As project professionals, we are overdue in making a step change in risk management – don’t miss out on these nuggets of gold.’ – Andy Norris, FAPM (RPP), FCILT, FCMI, FCIOB, Partner, CPC Project Services LLP

    ‘The rules of Project Risk Management is essential reading for anyone entering the project world or risk management in general. The book is well structured, easy to access and has a wealth of practical examples. Robert has approached the subject in a practical and straightforward manner. This provides readers, new to risk management or experienced professionals a great source of learning material and a great reminder of the essentials of risk management.’ – Helen Hunter-Jones MIRM, Head of Group Risk and Business Continuity, Network Rail. Director, Institute of Risk Management, UK

    ‘This is an important book for anyone with a stake in a project. It provides a comprehensive model of the processes needed to manage risk in projects. This second edition has added a critical and often neglected section on the governance and oversight of the project by senior stakeholders. This is a very practical and readable text on the subject. The book is enhanced with real case examples and informed by the author’s extensive practical experience in this field.’ – Ian Jay BSc, MBL, PMP, Convenor – MSc (Project Management) Programme, University of Cape Town, South Africa

    From the First Edition:

    ‘This is a well-researched and authoritative book on managing risks in projects. It is written by an acknowledged expert who has devoted his lifetime career to the study and application of risk management. Its approach is aligned with the international standard, "Risk Management Principles and Guidelines", ISO 31000 and it represents key principles for managing project risks. However, the unique feature is its structure, based on twenty-two practical guidelines, called "rules". The author suggests that, as an alternative to reading this book cover to cover, the reader might prefer to peruse individual rules when time permits. Anyone involved in project or risk management should read this book.’ – Mike Nichols, Chairman and Chief Executive at the Nichols Group, Chairman of the Association for Project Management UK and Board Member of the Major Projects Association

    ‘Rob Chapman’s book is highly unusual but completely invaluable in taking a case study-based approach to a subject that often is confused by an excess of jargon and process. Dr Chapman draws on an extensive international range of real projects to demonstrate how things can so easily go wrong, and what project managers can learn from high profile failures. I thoroughly recommend this book to anyone involved in project and programme management.’ – Steve Fowler, CEO, The Institute of Risk Management, UK

    ‘A unique combination of the foundations of project management and the latest trend in risk management standardisation with clear alignment with the ISO 31000 risk management standard.’ – Alex Dali, President, The Global Institute for Risk Management Standards, France

    ‘More than ever, larger, more complex and more expensive projects are required in a severely constrained global economy. The Rules of Project Risk Management is essential reading, not merely for the project management professional but for all stakeholders who have a keen interest in leveraging better results from project investments. Whether a project is executed for commercial or social benefit, the insights given in this book are invaluable. Chapman shares his vast experience in risk management through practical case studies and pertinent guidance tools. He deals with the factors which have habitually influenced performance but refreshingly provides beneficial insight into the delicate factors of the human psyche and behaviour which have been little understood or quantified for the influence they bear in managing project risk. Proactive and sustained risk management is rightly placed at the heart of project success.’ – Moira Moses, Group Executive, Transnet Capital Projects (2007–2012), South Africa

    ‘Dr. Chapman’s book is extremely timely. All projects are subject to risk, the challenge is to identify and effectively manage risk. Project risk management is a rapidly emerging tool, but is often not well understood by executive and senior management. Dr. Chapman’s book is a must-read for anyone responsible for profit and loss as well as project delivery. The book is structured in a concise effective manner with outstanding case studies that bring life to the concepts and theory through real life examples of success and failure. This is a book that I will keep close by for ready reference.’ – Thomas Topolski, Senior Vice President and Managing Director, Middle East North Africa, Louis Berger, Qatar

    ‘I had the pleasure and privilege of working with Dr. Chapman on the Transnet Capital Expansion Program in South Africa, one of the largest centrally-managed programs of projects the country has seen. In his capacity as Program Practice Lead for Risk Management, Dr. Chapman brought a level of expertise and experience and instituted processes that served us proud. The Program was a major success, and Dr. Chapman’s oversight of risk management at multiple levels was a significant contributor to that. I am delighted that he has authored this book which I know will help us all deliver projects more successfully.’ – Alan Grey, Managing Director: Industrial Infrastructure, Global Director: Gateway Logistics, Hatch Goba, South Africa