In project delivery, often we are asked to organize, study and plan for project risk. The classic Risk Assessment excercise where you identify issues (real, probable or made up) and assign a probability metric to a future event. This suggests Risk is measurable probability and this is often applicable and the more you are familiar with an area the more this can help.
But what about Uncertainty. This is when you don’t even know what you don’t even know. Uncertainty is when likelihood of future events is simply incalculable.
That’s why good Project Management or even business management works to deal with both. There may be a good amount of science and technology that will help us with Risk, but uncertainty is all in the art of coping with real life gotchas – kind of like the Human Factor.
I have found that the best way to think about Risk Mamagement is to think about it as Issues Management. When to ask the question “What will be the issues on this project?” You will get a good identification of the risk factors.
The next step is to consider what can you can do upfront to reduce the strength of this issue.
If nothing else, when the issue arises, you will have done some pre-planning for the issue. Often you cannot always make the issue go away, but you can improve the situation.