UCLA Extension

Project Risk and Opportunity Management

A 1-Day Short Course

This course provides an introduction to the tools and techniques of the project risk management process that is considered best practice for today’s fast-paced projects of all sizes. This process features a simple, flexible, and powerful qualitative method that has helped projects avoid potentially disastrous problems and deliver on time, within budget. The course uses the case study of a NASA project managed by the instructor—the Hyperion project—that successfully delivered a complex hyperspectral imaging system one week ahead of an “impossible” 12-month delivery to NASA, who called it “the best [risk management process] they’ve ever seen.”

Complete Details

A recent enhancement to the course is the inclusion of an “opportunity management” process, a corollary to the risk management process that seeks beneficial events that can save cost, reduce schedule, or enhance technical performance. This risk and opportunity management process can help any project team proactively plan, identify, analyze, control, and retire project risks. Participants review sample risk management plans, forms, procedures, and reports, and learn through practical exercises based on the Hyperion project case study. In addition to learning the qualitative risk management process, participants are briefly introduced to quantitative risk assessment processes, including the Monte Carlo technique.

Upon completing the course, participants should know:

  • Why risk and opportunity management are important to project success
  • The steps of the risk and opportunity management process
    — How to prepare a risk and opportunity management plan for their budgets
    — How to identify risks and opportunities for their projects
    — How to determine if a risk or opportunity is high, medium, or low
    — How to develop a plan to handle risks or opportunities
    — How to monitor and control project risks and opportunities
    — How to prepare a risk and opportunity status report
  • Tools for quantitative analysis of cost and schedule risk
  • The keys to successful implementation of risk management

The process is consistent with the latest risk management guidelines from the DoD, NASA, and DOE. The process also is structured to be consistent with PMI’s A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge—Third Edition. (PMI, PMP, and PMBOK are registered marks of the Project Management Institute, Inc.)

Project managers, proposal managers, project team leaders, system engineers, and all project personnel should benefit from attending the course and acquiring this highly effective and successful process.

Course Materials

Lecture notes are distibuted on the first day of the course. These notes are for participants only and are not for sale.

Coordinator and Lecturer

Stephen L. Carman, Program Manager, Northrop Grumman Space Technology (NGST), Redondo Beach, California. Mr. Carman was project manager for the Hyperion Hyperspectral Imager that is currently orbiting the earth aboard the first Earth Observing (EO-1) satellite in NASA’s New Millennium Program. He also was project manager for NASA’s Clouds and the Earth’s Radiant Energy System (CERES) project, responsible for the development of scanning radiometers designed to monitor the influence of clouds on the greenhouse effect from space. Mr. Carman is currently a program manager at NGST. He has acquired over 40 years of experience in space projects (with 20 years in project management) and was previously with Martin Marietta, GE, and Rockwell.

Mr. Carman also has a broad background in spacecraft payload design, systems engineering, spacecraft integration, launch operations, and mission operations with many NASA programs, including Apollo, Skylab, and the Viking Mission to Mars. He was awarded Project Management Institute Chapter President of the Year and has received several awards from NASA and Northrop Grumman Space Technology.

Course Program

  • Introduction and the Need for Risk and Opportunity Management
  • NASA’s Hyperion Project: A Case Study
  • Risk and Opportunity Management Overview
  • Qualitative Project Risk and Opportunity Management
    — Risk and Opportunity Management Planning
    — Risk and Opportunity Identification (Student Exercise)
    — Risk and Opportunity Analysis (Student Exercise)
    — Risk and Opportunity Handling (Student Exercise)
    — Risk and Opportunity Monitoring and Reporting
  • Cost and Schedule Risk Quantitative Analysis
  • Keys to Successful Project Risk and Opportunity Management

For more information contact the Short Course Program Office:
shortcourses@uclaextension.edu | (310) 825-3344 | fax (310) 206-2815