September 29, 2012
Risk is anything that can derail plans and keep a goal or mission from being accomplished. “Risk management is a discipline for identifying risks, assessing how serious or severe the risks are, and determining ways to address that uncertain future with a goal of avoiding or minimizing harm and financial losses” (Risk and Risk Management). Project management uses many tools to help with risk management but it’s also important to use risk management when making big life decisions, like making the decision to go back to school. There are many risks associated with going back to school that need to be considered. The need of further education and the investment of going back to school need to be considered. Not only that, but determining which school to go to and whether or not the degree will be beneficial after graduation need to be assessed. In this paper, we will explore the process of making the decision to go back to school and the risk management process associated with the decision. RISK ASSESSMENT OF GOING BACK TO SCHOOL
The first step to risk management is to determine the risks, or risk identification. There are numerous methods to determining risks associated with any project or decision. The methods can be broken down into researching historical projects, brainstorming, and interviewing others who have been involved in similar projects or decisions. In this particular decision to go back to school, I had a brainstorming session and also interviewed a couple of people who have been in similar situations to get their feedback and what happened for them. After the research and brainstorming session, I was able to identify four main risks: need, investment, school, and beneficial program (Cooper, D. F., Grey, S., Raymond, G., & Walker, P., 2005). Risk Analysis
The first risk identified in making the decision to go back to school is the need of further education. I made a list of pros and cons of where my career was at this point in my life. I also analyzed the pros and cons of continuing on the same path. After analyzing these lists, I determined that the path I was on was unacceptable and the need for going back to school became the first risk identified. Analyzing the data further, the need became a high risk. I didn’t want to continue on the path I was on and it was unacceptable to try to start over again in the area of my undergraduate studies. Because I determined the need for a change, the need to go back to school became a high risk because without furthering my education I wouldn’t be able to change careers and advance in a career that I would be satisfied with.
The second risk identified was investment. This is looking at the time and financial investment in going back to school. The financial investment was a low risk because my company has a tuition assistance benefit for all eligible employees. This means that I wouldn’t be paying as much to further my education and made it an affordable option for me. This made the financial investment risk low. The second part of the investment is time. I am not a patient person so I had to determine whether or not the time spent on being in school would be worth it. This was a medium risk mostly because of my lack of patience. I knew that going back to school was going to be time consuming and I haven’t been in school for almost 5 years. I knew I would not be able to spend as much time doing what I wanted to do and that it would be even more difficult because I would be working full-time. I also know that when I make the decision to do something that I want it that second. The time investment is a medium risk because I have to continuous remind myself the benefits of the education and that it is worth the time I am giving.
The third risk was determining the school to attend, which goes along with determining a program of study and a career path. Based on...