“Kerfuffle Planning” – An Adjunct to Risk Management

So what exactly is Kerfuffle Planning? And what does it have to do with Risk Management?

Traditional risk management involves anticipating the business implications and conducting anticipatory planning for activities to reduce the probability or impact of those implications. However, in practice risk management frequently does not focus on the “people side” of the equation. How will your TEAM react to a significant risk event or events?

While traveling recently, I overheard a couple of my fellow passengers saying “you need to expect the unexpected when traveling.” Their calm demeanor, I thought, was not typical of many who face the challenges of cancelled flights, lost luggage and uncooperative weather conditions. Will your project or business analysis team be calm if major project risks occur and a “kerfuffle” is the result?

Understanding the disposition of your team members is critical to ensuring they continue to be productive in the face of a crisis. Will you need to calm them down? Will you need to SLOW them down because they will be too quick to act? Will they run and hide?

The wise project or business analysis leader will, via observation of past performance or discussions with team members, anticipate what their critical team members will do in “kerfuffle moments” and understand how they need to react to ensure the team stays together and rallies to move the project forward. This Kerfuffle Plan can be the difference between successfully weathering the storm or falling apart in challenging times.

People rarely react the same way under pressure as they do under everyday conditions. A Kerfuffle plan – probably not written down, but thought out in the mind of the project leader, is a good item to have in the arsenal of an astute project leader.

Do you know what you will have to do during “kerfuffle moments”?