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Risk Management practices Marketing Research can learn from Prince2

What is Prince2?

PRINCE2 is a process-based approach for project management, providing an easily tailored and scalable project management methodology for the management of all types of projects. The method is the de-facto standard for project management in the UK and is practiced worldwide.

What are the lessons Prince 2 can teach MR:

After managing a lot of projects in MR quantitative field and managing a few projects using Prince 2, I realized there are a couple of best practices which MR (marketing research) can learn from Prince 2. I will discuss one best practice per post, this post is dedicated to risk management.

Risk management: Prince2 follows a very robust risk management methodology. In which a risk is not only identified through a methodological approach but it is also mitigated through regular monitoring and reviewing process.

Marketing research project managers usually follow an informal approach of tackling risks. 

Learning for Marketing Research Projects: Marketing research project managers usually follow an informal approach of tackling risks. But MR Managers handles large-scale and complicated projects, especially the syndicated projects, where MR Managers face huge pressure primarily in terms of quality and accuracy of data. Such projects will not only impact current clients but can also affect the organization’s repute at the large scale. And hence, these projects demand a robust risk management system in place.

Why apply risk management in marketing research?

    • Continuous learning: A good risk management system identifies potential loopholes in all areas of MR projects i.e. proposal development, field work, data management, report writing. And by mitigation actions eventually organizations manage to put effective controls in place to avoid such threats in future.
    • Reality of negative news: By putting in place a method to ensure an open communication environment, MR Managers ensure that all foreseeable risks/threats are brought forth on the table and are being discussed openly. Nobody wants to be the bearer of bad news, but a systematic approach helps people bring forward the probable but unwanted points
    • Ensure Responsibility: Having identified possible risks, a team can then assign the most relevant party (internal staff or external experts as appropriate) to deal with them. And once a problem is owned by someone, only then it can be resolved
    • Stakeholder involvement: The biggest danger to a marketing research project is lack of communication about the potential threats with stakeholders (it applies to internal MR depts. as well) Open communication helps to have clients’ buy-in for possible delays and will also helps the team to enhance their reputation by being transparent.

Practical application of Risk management in Marketing Research

Identification of risk requires you to understand the categories of risk. Following Risk Matrix identifies key categories and the key risks in those categories for MR projects. [Recommended tool – Brainstorming session amongst project team]

A good risk statement should highlight the risks (variables that can go wrong) and how they will impact the project.  Attached file highlights major MR risk categories and most common risks; these can serve as a starting point for internal brainstorming session.

Analyze the risks: Provide an input to decisions on whether risks need to be treated and the most appropriate and cost-effective risk treatment strategies. [Recommended tool – checklist of categories of risks]

Once you decided a starting point for risk register, next step is to treat the risks by deciding upon steps that will help the team to Avoid, Reduce or Transfer the risks. [Recommended tool – Risk Register]

After all that, team leader/project manager should decide how the risks and mitigation actions will be communicated. Usually, risk registers are shared with the whole team at least once a week.

In case you are convinced that this is something you would like to undertake then download the sample risk register. You might find it useful.   Download the sample risk register for MR projects: Basic MR Risk Register Template v1.0

Download Toolkit:Basic MR Risk Register Template v1.0For more details about Prince2 in Dubai

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