Project Risk Analysis

Derek Salkeld

Published by
ISBN 978-0566091865
RRP £85.00
Reviewed by Adam Wilson, MBCS, SFIIRSM, MSaRS, MIET, ICIOB

10 out of 10

Project Risk Analysis focuses on how to practically assess the cost and timescale risks for projects. The book is based around a case study and an example spreadsheet - which is available upon request. Tables from the spreadsheet are printed in the main text and completely in the appendix. I think you do need to read the book and play with the spreadsheet at the same time to get the most from it, but the book also works on its own.

After reading chapters 2 to 4 (risk primitives and models) it made me question if a book was the right format to convey this information. Sometimes it felt like a manual for a pseudo-excel plugin, but without this, the topics would be too abstracted. As a senior lecturer, I can see how effective the book would be as the basis for an undergraduate module or a series of eLearning screen casts.

The book makes no assumptions about the level of knowledge of the reader. Chapter one presents the argument that projects are over budget and late, because of the lack of risk analysis in the cost and scheduling estimates. For the more experienced, it offers the detail to be critically reviewed. Chapters 5 to 7 on risk ownership and strategy, make you think how your own approach can be improved, or acts as a guide for the new to the role.

The examples are based around a railway construction. For some, this will be an advantage. For others, you will have to translate the examples to those that you can relate to. I don’t think this diminishes the value of the book - it makes you think more on application of the presented knowledge.

The intended audience are those that deal with project risk, or need to use the outputs. This book succeeds, and I think this should be required reading for those involved with project risk. It will become one of those books that everyone has read, or pretends to. It captures completely a technical role and the knowledge required to do it, in an accessible and practicable way. It has earned a spot on my bookshelf as a reference. At £85 it’s good value of money.

Further information: Routledge

January 2018