How Artificial Intelligence (AI) Leverages Your Project Risk Management

In risk identification and evaluation, often not much time and effort is spent and one quickly relies on existing checklists that make one’s work easy. Other methods, such as brainstorming, are unfortunately rarely used. With Artificial Intelligence (AI) tools, which have been the talk of the town for the last few months, you can increase your focus and knowledge base immensely and get tremendous support in risk management. Curious? Then read on!

Artificial Intelligence (AI) Has Made the Breakthrough

AI has been around for many years, but with ChatGPT, AI made a surprisingly quick breakthrough in early 2023. AI has been in many applications of some sort before, but has only now gained major visibility. More applications for it are now being sought everywhere to make our working world even more efficient.

There are also many areas in project management where AI can offer added value in the future. Be it in project or resource planning or in project controlling. Since I often deal with risk management in projects, I choose this area to show you how AI can be of great help to you here—and this already today. The idea for this text was given by Ricardo Vargas1 (Leveraging Generative AI for Project Management).

How AI Optimally Supports Your Risk Identification Activities

Unfortunately, risk identification and risk evaluation often do not involve much time and effort, and one quickly relies on existing checklists that make the job easy and give a false sense of security that all risks have now been identified. If brainstorming is used in addition, then you have included the collective knowledge and experience of your team—and this is an extremely important step. But your team’s knowledge, thinking, experience and imagination of what negative things could happen is still greatly limited. There are “more mature” teams that brainstorm first before they then use risk checklists to try to uncover even more risks. Unfortunately, you don’t see that very often.

Why You Should Not Rely on Risk Checklists

How about getting another support that knows almost everything? That can give you suggestions for risks that you would never have thought of? With AI, which has been the talk of the town for a few months now, you can broaden your perspective and your knowledge base immensely and get a huge support in risk management with this tool.

ChatGPT, for example, can provide you with the potential risks and suggest responses based on data from thousands of similar projects. In the past, predictive analytics was a topic related to a small group of data scientists. With the arrival of generative AI, this kind of analytics is available at your fingertips. Tools like DataRobot, Neptune, H2O AI Cloud, and several others can provide valuable insights regarding potential risks based on pre-trained data from previous projects.

The Second Brainstorming Does AI

I recommend you doing your first brainstorming with your team and only afterwards using tools like Bard, Bing, ChatGPT, or PMOtto. I would choose this order so as not to block the team’s creativity or demotivate the team with AI’s results. To do this you just need to craft the right prompt. For example, you can create the following prompt..

I am building a new home for my family. Prepare a list of detailed risks for this new project based on the different types of work that need to be done. Please use the following structure: what the risk is, what is the trigger for the risks to happen, and what is the impacted area if the risk happens? Combine the structure into one phrase for each risk and write one per line so I can copy it to Microsoft Excel.

Then press enter, and you will enjoy the fastest brainstorm you have ever done. After seeing these results, you can go ahead and use GPT to analyze the risks created in the brainstorming. Type:

Please remove the word risk at the start of each risk. After describing each risk, estimate the probability and impact using a very low, low, medium, high, and very high scales. Place them in descending order of magnitude.” 

Wow! Now you have the list of risks with their probability and impact. You now need to review the results and make your adjustments, but it’s a great start in a matter of seconds. Then you can finalize by asking the generative AI tool to suggest potential responses to risks. You can type:

Suggest potential responses to these threats using one of the four risk response strategies: accept, mitigate, transfer, or avoid. Explain in the detail the strategy and add these two columns to the previous table.

Give it a try! But keep in mind, AI always relies on past data and, in my view, cannot identify risks that you would never think of and that have never materialized.. AI does not replace the experience and creativity of your team, but complements it in an ideal way. Thus, you receive additional support in risk management—or you could also say a second opinion.

More on ChatGPT and Risk Management: A conversation with ChatGPT about the biggest mistakes made in Risk Management

Here You Can Find More Knowledge

Would you like to learn more about how to make your projects more successful with Project Risk Management? My book Project Risk Management – Practical Guide takes you an important step further!

Do you know somebody who might be interested in this article? Then simply forward it or share it. Thank you!

  1. Leveraging Generative AI for Project Management. In this LinkedIn course, Ricardo Vargas shows you how to incorporate generative AI technology into your project management work, ↩︎
Posted in Risk Management.