Managing Risks with Microsoft Project: Part 2

In Managing Risks with Microsoft Project: Part 1, I showed how I incorporated risk tracking into a project schedule by creating a risk register to associate risks to specific tasks. Here, I will discuss how to deal with risks that apply to more than one task.

First, let’s look at the demo schedule with assigned risks.

Gantt

In this example, there are three different risks assigned to three different tasks. But, what if Risk 001 applies to both Task 1b and Task 3a? In order to accomplish this, I will use a dynamic link.

What is a dynamic link?

A dynamic link is basically an identical, linked copy of data within the schedule. When a task is dynamically linked to another task, the task will automatically update based on any change to the driving task’s information and eliminate the need to manually adjust any tasks that have the same information.

Create a dynamic link

To create a dynamic link, copy the desired field(s) of the driving task and paste as a link to the desired task by selecting Paste, then Paste Special, then Paste as Link.

paste link

Using the same demo schedule above, I want Task 3a to also reflect Risk 001 and all the fields from Task 1b. In this example, I chose not to link fields that may be different for Task 3a, such as the Impact, Consequence, and Adjusted Duration.

copy

Paste the copied information in place of Risk 003. The cells in line 9 will update with the information from line 3. Cells that are dynamically linked will contain a gray triangle in the bottom right corner of the cell.

paste demo

Now any changes to Risk 001 in line 3 will be automatically updated in line 9 and a different Consequence and Adjusted duration can be input for the same risk on a different task.

adjusted

Switching back to the Gantt Chart view, Task 1b and 3a now both show Risk 001 associated with them, with Task 3a showing a longer Adjusted Duration. If I add the Risk Rating field to the bar style, it will also reflect the difference between the Likelihood and Consequence of Risk 001 applied to separate tasks.

new gantt

Adjusting Successors

Notice that the relationships are not considering the added duration of any risks associated with the tasks. In order to include the added duration of a realized risk and adjust the finish-to-start relationship, it is necessary to add a lag to the successor task that is equal to the adjusted duration of its predecessor.

For example, Task 3a has a realized risk with an added duration of 6 days. In the Task Information for task , add a lag of 6 to 3b, the successor of Task 3a.

TI +6.PNG

Or, in the Gantt view, change the information in the predecessor column for Task 3b to include +6 days.

adjusted lag

Summary

Dynamic links are a good way to link objects in Project that contain identical information. It is recommended to add a note to tasks that contain dynamic links with instructions in the event the link is broken.

Thank you for reading!

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