Four Responses To Risks Or Opportunities – Exam Answers

Paul Naybour

Hi Paul, a group of us at college who are taking the level 4 APM project management course would like some feedback on two potential answers we’ve given for “List and describe four responses to risks or opportunities”. Firstly we have listed out our response to risks and then listed out responses to opportunities. Would you mind letting us know what we could have done further (if anything) to get full marks? Is it essential to give examples in every answer, or is explanations like we have provided enough to cover it? Are we treating risks and threats as the same thing in this scenario, as described in the APM book? Thank you for your help in advance – we look forward to hearing from you!!

List and describe four responses to risks or opportunities – 40 marks (10 each):

(For threats/risks)
1) Accept
2) Transfer
3) Avoid
4) Reduce

1)By accepting a risk, we are acknowledging it is going to affect the project. Although actionis not essential, it would generally be necessary to create a contingency plan and ensure that the risk is logged and monitored closely to avoid it becoming a greater risk. For example a risk that a supplier may go into administration may already be managed by existing procurement procedures. This means no further action would be required.

2)Transferring a risk means transferring the responsibility for managing the risk elsewhere. An example of this would be working with a third party company, through a contract, whereby they would have the responsibility to manage and review certain threats.

3)When a decision is made to avoid a risk a change is put in place to eliminate the cause of the risk. Generally this can be done by changing the project scope, changing the supplier and/or looking at a new procurement route.
4)Reducing a risk means mitigating the probability and/or impact of the risk. One example could be training staff to reduce the probability of a risk occurring. A mitigation plan provides better control and management and helps to ensure lower probability is maintained.

(For opportunities)
1) Reject
2) Enhance
3) Exploit
4) Share

1)Sometimes opportunities may arise which are not taken advantage of because they could require too much work and not be worthwhile. They may also not be economical to the project. Rejected opportunities should continue to be monitored in case situations or environments change.
2)When a decision has been made to enhance an opportunity, pro-active steps are taken to increase the probability of the opportunity being exploited. An example of this would be completing user acceptance testing sooner than expected which could result in an option for an earlier launch date.
3)Further to answer 3, exploiting an opportunity would mean changing the project scope to include new considerations which will achieve additional benefits. Usually these types of opportunities are more likely to be identified during the concept phase.
4)In most cases, sharing an opportunity means taking on a joint venture to share the gain and benefits. A reason for this could be because it is not your typical core business. An example of would be a private/public partnership to construct a civic building (such as library) to include a privately run retail store within it.

3 thoughts on “Four Responses To Risks Or Opportunities – Exam Answers”

  1. Hi thanks for posting

    In the exam they always ask for five parts so you won’t get an eight part question.

    Each question is normally made of five parts worth ten marks each. To get ten marks you need 5 sentences.

    So if I mark the first five only your answer lacks the necessary detail. Try adding examples of each how each approach could be used.

    Try some of the questions in the book or found on this forum.

  2. Hi Paul, thank you for your quick response! We used an exam question from the APM study guide, however good to know it will always be 5 and not 4, thanks. We put two different options together so we could look at our knowledge around risks and then our knowledge around opportunities separately, so answering the question from two angles so to speak, not submitting it as one whole answer… we’d really love some feedback on how well you think these answers would have been. We’ve tried to include some examples in the answers, but with some of them we couldn’t think of any off hand so tried to add more detail to show our understanding of each part. Are you saying that every single description listed should always have an example? Is what we supplied not sufficient for high marks? We’ll be back at college next Monday so anything you can give me now so I can pass onto the group for then would be most appreciated… thank you Paul!!

  3. Hi

    I am on the road this week but I managed to edit you first paragraph to add the detail required to get the marks. I added

    For example a risk that a supplier may go into administration may already be managed by existing procurement procedures. This means no further action would be required.

    As each sentence get 2 marks you need to include 4 to 5 sentences in each paragraph.

    I you can follow my example and add additional content to each section then I will re ire it for you again.

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