Tips for Project Risk Management Success

The benefits of risk management are vast, yet for many projects this is an area still commonly overlooked. By applying simple and consistent risk management techniques we can easily minimise the impact of potential threats as well as leverage potential opportunities. This not only ensures meeting the agreed scope, cost and time but also improves the overall health and efficiency of the project operation, team members and wider stakeholders. This article comes back to the basics on the key rules of managing risk, to ensure your projects are consistently delivered with full success.

Tip #1 – Implement a solid identification process
Sounds simple right. However there are still many projects today that are managed with absolutely no formal risk identification incorporated. Then there are others that think they are using risk management appropriately but are not applying the correct techniques to identify risks. The identification process will depend on the project, the organisation and the company culture involved. So it is best to consider those areas when determining the most effective approach. This could be as simple as educating the team on what a risk actually is and asking them periodically to review the landscape for new risks. Or for large projects the PMO can be leveraged to ensure risk identification is included in the drumbeat.

Tip #2 – Be positive
Risk management includes identifying and managing both negative risks and positive ones, yet most projects typically seem to focus only on the negative ones. Ensure to add clear reminders and pointers within your risk management process to consider positive risks. A deliverable being delivered well before its due date can be a good thing, but also can have unforeseen impacts on other areas or leave the project operating inefficiently. On the other hand such a positive risk can actually help to balance out the impact of negative risks in other areas.

Tip #3 – Prioritise for efficiency
All risks are not equal and there is always limitations around how much resource can be applied to mitigate them. As such it is essential to classify risks in terms of ‘probability’ or how likely the risk is to occur and ‘impact’ level if the risk materialises into an issue. By doing so will allow the project manager and all team members to easily see which risks are priority to focus on. Use of a risk register template is a very effective means of doing so. Most organisations would have a standard template for this or if not there are many that can be found online.

Tip #4 – Apply correct ownership
It is often common for people within the project organisation to assume that the project manager owns all risks but this is completely false. Risks can affect wide areas of the wider stakeholder group and it is typical that resources with the relevant knowledge or skills in that area are much better placed to become the owner of the risk and to carry out the appropriate mitigation actions.

Tip #5 – Communicate and track to closure
With correct identification, classification and owner allocation in place we need to be careful as project managers that this is not considered to be the final step in the process of risk management. At this stage it is critical that the risks are correctly communicated. Firstly to the owner assigned to manage the mitigation actions and secondly to the wider stakeholder group affected so they are aware of the risk and potential impact to their respective areas. It is also then essential that the risks are regularly monitored and tracked through to closure regarding progress on mitigation actions and potentially changes to the impact / probability classifications as those actions come to fruition.

What Are The Secrets Of Affiliate Marketing?

For years I struggled to learn affiliate marketing. I started over 10 years ago and began by building websites which I hoped would rank on Google’s free search engines. Back then, courses taught this strategy because it used to work well! Over time and with the millions more websites and affiliates attempting to rank their content, this strategy got progressively more difficult.

I ranked a few websites and made a couple of sales here and there though. But it was by no means a living and I had spent many hours watching videos and learning over a long span of time. I there in the towel many times but knew it was something worth pursuing.

One of the secrets to affiliate marketing is to stick at it until you have some results. Learn from your lack of results but continue learning and never stop. My strategies were flawed in the first instance. I was expecting an easy win. I suspect many people come into affiliate marketing expecting the same.

Over time I slowly realised the time and effort needed to make affiliate marketing work for me. I learned that, just because I wrote an article, it wasn’t necessarily going to be seen by millions of people! In fact, most of my articles were never even seen. I didn’t know how to promote them and get them seen. I just expected everyone to come, because, well, I was special and it was just going to work! How naive!

One of the ‘secrets’ of affiliate marketing is building an email list. I had the best results once I had a list of subscribers and promoted a product with paid advertising. This is probably the quickest way to see results in affiliate marketing. Content building takes time and there’s no guarantee your content will ever get a large enough audience to start selling anything.

Building an email list is vital for anyone who wants to build a real business from affiliate marketing. Without one, you’re relying on your website visitors buying from you after they land on your website. This only gives them a few minutes to make a buying decision. Get them on an email list and you can extend tis period of time to months and even years ahead. Plus you can build a relationship with your subscribers by offering them value, insight and information which may be of use to them.

Paid advertising is another ‘secret’ of affiliate marketers. I avoided paid strategies for a long time because I didn’t have the confidence in the products I chose. I didn’t know how to run paid campaigns and I was afraid of losing money, because I didn’t have very much of it! So I stuck to ‘free’ marketing strategies like article writing and video creation. However, the results were very limited because of the strategy I used and the niche I was in.

It takes much longer to get traffic if you focus on only organic strategies. Paid traffic in instant, but again, takes time to learn and master.

The other ‘secret’ to using paid traffic is in choosing the right products to promote. This again was something I took a long time to understand. Having products which continue to pay out, even after your initial sale is a major key to making affiliate marketing work for you. I initially sold products which only paid me once. Plus I only made $40 or so on a sale of a $100 product.

I later learned that top affiliates choose bigger items to promote for better commissions and they choose memberships to sell so they can earn continuous commissions every month. A subscription product which pays you a small amount every month is worth far more than a single product which only pays you once. For each customer, you can earn a residual income, potentially for a lifetime. 100 customers becomes a real income because of the continuous commissions you receive each month of their membership.

Up-sells are another affiliate marketing ‘secret’ too. An up-sell, is basically a product which is sold to a customer after they have already bought from you. If you’ve even been to a fast food franchise you’ll know they always offer up an up-sell. “Do you want fries with that?” is an up-sell.”Would you like to supersize?” is an up-sell. By offering many products to existing customers you can earn far more than by only selling one product.

An existing customer is far more likely to purchase from you because they have already paid for something. Top affiliates know the power of the up-sell and benefit from more commissions made from each customer. Repeat custom is a major factor in most businesses so it should also factor in your affiliate marketing business too.

Here’s a final affiliate marketing secret. Most affiliates starting out will concentrate on getting someone to their website in order to turn them into a subscriber. They will spend a lot of time working on their website visitors number. But there’s two factors in turning a visitor into a subscriber. The number of people visiting your website is one factor. The opt-in rate is another. You can get many more visitors converting into subscribers just by altering your opt-in offer.

Cross testing various opt-in offers and in particular, making a clear call to action with a benefit driven ‘giveaway’ offer is the best way to measure this. So don’t focus entirely on building traffic because you can make more progress by creating an enticing giveaway offer to build your email list.