RiskTrak - Windows Based Network Software Tool
RiskTrak is a Windows-based network software tool designed to manage risk at a project/program level.
RiskTrak provides a system ofcontinuous risk managementcalled theARM Process™, consisting of:
- ASSESSMENT with the RiskTrak IDEA™ method
RiskTrak's IDEA™ is a 4-stage risk assessment method thatidentifies, defines, estimatesandanalyzesrisk in your project/program.
IDEA™ is implemented using RiskTrak's unique features that include:
- Interview Experts
- Import/Export files
- Risk Editor
- Mitigation Editor
- Reporting Features
- 'Tree-view' project display
- 'Drag & Drop' capability
- Project database queries
- 'Split-screen' project display
- Networking functionality
RiskTrak'sreportingfeaturesoffer a wide range of options. You can generate detailedrisk management and contingency planswith a couple of mouse clicks. Using RiskTrak’s Export feature, you are able to generatead hoc reports.Management can pull up standardizedtop-level graphical chartsthat reveal the current status of critical program elements. RiskTrak’s Interview Experts also create customizeddetail and assessment reports.
RiskTrak’s networking functionality facilitates management of your project risk. This enables you to connect your offices whether they are across a building or around the world. Team members can work together to track, analyze, communicate, report and mitigate risks. Management has access to up-to-the-moment project data on a 24x7x365 basis.
RiskTrak is the only tool available that offers this combination of features. RiskTrak enables your organization to establish an enterprise program that creates a level of understanding of what risk is, how it can affect projects at various stages, and how risk management can save time and money.
RiskTrak is a flexible stand-alone solution and easily integrates within an organization’s existing systems and processes.
Networking Instructions & User Tips
You can network up to three copies of your RiskTrak evaluation software.
- RiskTrak must be directly installed onto each machine. You cannot copy the program from one machine to another.
- Set the first machine/person up as the administrator.
- 3a) This installation can use the default workgroup directory (default name: ADMIN) when prompted. This is adequate if the other machines can 'see' the administrator's machine as a logical local drive on their own machine.
- 3b) If the other machines cannot see the administrator's machine as a logical local drive, the administrator can instead change the location of the workgroup directory to a centralized server where all machines can map to it. Note: As already stated, the software must be installed directly onto each PC, but this workgroup directory can be located anywhere on a server.
- When you install RiskTrak on the next (two) machines, at the point it asks where this workgroup directory should be, type the path to the location of the workgroup directory.
- RiskTrak provides context-sensitive F1 help in any window
- You can right-click in various areas of RiskTrak for shortcuts to several options/features.
- We recommend taking one of the sample RiskTrak Interview Experts to begin. Any of these Experts will create a pre-populated and get you started.
- From the Project Window you can drag and drop risks/mitigations, much like Windows Explorer (see page 10).
- One of RiskTrak's key features is the Project Report. This report can be used as a risk management and/or contingency plan.
To create a Project Report:
- Import or create a project (see pages 4-6)
- Enter data into your project (risks, phases, dollars, probabilities, mitigations, assignees, attach files, etc.)
- Save your project
- Go to WORKGROUP | PROJECT on the menu bar
- Highlight your project from the Project List and click on the Project Report button
- View or print your Project Report
- RiskTrak automatically generates your risk/contingency plan with up-to-the-minute project data
Assessing Risk with RiskTrak’s IDEA™ Method
Identify - Define - Estimate - Analyze
The first stage in managing your risks with RiskTrak is conducting an assessment of what your risks are. RiskTrak's IDEA™ is a 4-stage risk assessment method thatidentifies, defines, estimatesandanalyzesrisk in your project/program. Because RiskTrak is a network tool, this assessment process can include input from people across your organization, regardless of their physical location.
IDEAä - Identify - Define - Estimate – Analyze
The first step in the IDEA™ method isidentifyingyour risks and presenting them in the form of a RiskTrak Project. You have a choice of three ways of performing this function.
A. Interview Experts
RiskTrak's system ofIntervieware electronic questionnaires that convert qualitative responses into quantitative data used to create or update projects. The Experts help standardize your risk management process. The Expert questionnaires are non-destructive, enabling multiple input at any stage of the program.
NOTE: RiskTrak ships standard with several such Interview Experts, which are examples of this technology. Risk Services & Technology offers customized Experts for any: industry, work breakdown structure, project/program plan, Earned Value Management System or audit questionnaire. Contact RTI for details.
B. Import Project
If you already have your project in another software tool (i.e., MS PROJECT), you can use RiskTrak'sImport Projectcapability to import data directly into the form of a RiskTrak Project.
To use the Import Project feature, you first create an empty RiskTrak project database (see the section below, C. New Project Editor), then right click anywhere in the Project Window.
You can import *.MPX files direct from MS PROJECT or any other database file in *.CSV format.
The Import Engine feature for *.CSV files allows you to visually map fields from MS EXCEL or other spreadsheets into RiskTrak fields.
C. New Project Editor
In addition to the system of Interview Experts and Import Project capability, RiskTrak gives you the ability to start 'from scratch' entering risks from your own notes, meetings, etc. This is done using the New Project Editor. You would also use this to create an empty RiskTrak Project, into which you could then import an entire existing project, as outlined above in B. Import Project.
To access RiskTrak’s New Project Editor, on the main menu bar go to EXPERT | NEW PROJECT EXPERT
After you have identified your initial risks and created a project using any of these three methods, you can modify the project as needed: add or delete new risk elements, categories and team members; change project attributes; alter user permissions or network notifications and much more.
IDEAä - Identify - Define - Estimate - Analyze
Once you have created the initial RiskTrak project by one of the means just shown, you move on to Step 2 in the IDEA™ method. This is the phase where you will clearly define each of the risks you have identified.
RiskTrak'sRisk Editorenables you to do this by entering specific data for each project/program element including the following:
- Cost at risk
- Time at risk
- Probability of Risk
- Risk Ratio
- Selected mitigation strategy
- Description field
- Target resolution date
- Comments field
In addition to the Built-in field shown above, RiskTrak also allows you to create additional User-defined fields. See Section IV of this QuickTour, 'Other RiskTrak Features.'
NOTE: If you used an Interview Expert to create your project, some of these data fields will be pre-populated based on the replies you gave when answering the Interview Questions. You can change the information that the Expert placed in the data fields at this time or at any point during the project.
An additional feature of the Risk Editor is the ability to attach any type of file to each risk. For example, you can link an Excel spreadsheet, PDF document or MS Project file to any of your data elements. You are also able to open/view these files from within Risk Editor.
RiskTrak makes a static copy of the attached file and places it in the RiskTrak directory. Should changes then be made to the original file, they will not affect the copy that you made. If you wish to update the copy you made, simply unattach the file from within the Risk Editor, and then attach the new one.
To access RiskTrak’s Risk Editor: With a risk or parent folder highlighted in the Project Window, on the main menu bar go to EDIT | EDIT, or EDIT | NEW RISK. Another option is to right click on the mouse.
RiskTrak’sRisk Editorfeatures aRisk Matrixthat facilitates entry of project risks. Quantitative values are assigned based on the qualitative value selected in the matrix. These values can be changed at any point in the project. (The same as with when you use an Interview Expert.) The matrix is a convenient option for the initial entry of defining the project risks and standardizing data input across the organization.
Now that your risks have some clear definition, the third step in RiskTrak’s IDEA™ method is to estimate the possible impact of each risk in your project/program. RiskTrak'sMitigation Editorallows you to enter detailed mitigation strategies, the efficacy and cost of each, arriving at the risk ratio for each scenario.
As with the Risk Editor, you can attach any type of file to each mitigation strategy.
To access RiskTrak’s Mitigation Editor, double click on a risk to launch the Risk Editor, then click on the MITIGATE button on the Risk Editor screen.
IDEAä - Identify – Define - Estimate - Analyze
The final step in the IDEA™ method is to analyze your project’s risks. This will be a continuous process, lasting through the duration of the project/program.
RiskTrak provides a team dimension to the concept of risk analysis, which is what separates it from all other tools available today. Everyone in your organization (that you give access to via RiskTrak’s User Permissions) can view up-to-the-minute project data and work on their part(s) of the project on a 24x7x365 basis.
The RiskTrak Project
RiskTrak Projects display themselves in a familiar'tree view'similar to Windows Explorer or File Manager. You can open more than one project at a time, and tile them out on screen, or arrange them in a cascade fashion.
To open a RiskTrak project, from the main menu bar select WORKGROUP | PROJECT.
Drag & Drop
Project teams are working with a live database and can perform'What if ...?'analysis using RiskTrak's'drag & drop'capability. This feature enables users to copy or move individual risks, mitigations or entire sections within a project or from one project database into another. Simply highlight a risk or parent folder, drag it to the desired place in the project (or another project) and drop it in place.
The drag & drop function gives you a number of helpful capabilities. For instance, you can take mitigation strategies that have worked for you in one project and place them in a new project. You can also make a copy of an entire project for milestone/archive purposes by creating an empty database, dragging an existing project into it and renaming it.
NOTE: To copy risks or mitigations within a project from one section to another, hold the CONTROL KEY down while selecting the element.
Using the powerfulQueryfeature you have full access to all project databases and can define your own queries. You can sift and sort the data any way imaginable, and copy, export or print individual records or entire projects. To access the Query Window, right click anywhere in the Project Window, or go to EDIT | QUERY WINDOW on the main menu bar.
TheSplit-screen viewgives you access directly into the database while you continue to work on the project risk data. Team members can customize how they view the data in a way that makes the most sense to them. To select the Split-screen option, select EDIT | HEADINGS on the main menu bar or right click and select HEADINGS.
II. RiskTrak Networking
RiskTrak’snetworking capabilityallows you to connect people in different parts of a building or offices around the world, fostering an atmosphere of risk awareness throughout the enterprise.
Combining the RiskTrak IDEAä process and features with this networking capability gives your team members the ability to view, track, analyze, communicate and report on risks throughout the duration of a program or project on 24x7x365 basis. Everyone is working with up-to-the-minute information andcanmake good decisions with good data.
RiskTrak implements a system ofnetwork notificationsand allows you to set specificuser permissionsandmaintains a completelist of all Projectsthat the specific user has been given access to. The Project List is accessed by going to WORKGROUPS | PROJECT on the main menu bar.
See page 3 of this QuickTour for instructions on networking your RiskTrak evaluation software.
III. RiskTrak Reporting
RiskTrak offers multiple reporting options:
- Automated Risk/Contingency Reports
- Top-level Graphical Charts
- Ad-hoc reports
- Detail & Assessment Reports
A. Risk Management/Contingency Plans
RiskTrak generates detailed Risk Management/Contingency Plans with up-to-the-moment project data.
See page 3 of this QuickTour for instructions on how to create your own reports.
B. Top-level Graphical Charts
RiskTrak also presents top-level graphical charts for senior management. No matter how anyone is working their part of the project, you can pull up six overarching reports that reveal the current status of:Cost by Class; Cost by Phase; Cost by Category; Duration by Class; Duration by Category;Schedule Slip by Phase.To access any of these six charts, right click in the Project Window and select REPORTS or go to REPORT on the main menu bar. NOTE: By adding RiskTrak’s graphical charts along with your own ad-hoc reports (see below) to your Risk Management/Contingency Plan (above) you can create a very comprehensive report.
C. Ad-hoc Reports
RiskTrak'sSQL Database Managementenables you to manipulate the project data and generate ad-hoc reports on any or all of the elements. You can export the data to any popular graphical reporting program, such as MS EXCEL, to create customized charts and graphs.
D. Detail & Assessment Reports
Detail & Assessment reports are available when you use one of RiskTrak's Interview Experts. Reports are customized to your specifications when you purchase Interview Experts from RTI.
IV. Other RiskTrak Features
RiskTrak’sPreferencesallow you to be warned of due dates ahead of time. (FILE | PREFERENCES on the main menu bar.) RiskTrak also provides Context-sensitiveOnline Helpusing the F1 key in any window.
RiskTrak’sProject Attributesallows you to specify currency, time units, thresholds, classes and more. You will automatically access the Project Attributes screen each time you create a new project. To edit the Project Attributes of an existing Project: Open the project, first highlight the top line of the project (showing the green folder with the 'D' in it). Next, either right click on the mouse and selectEdit Project Description, or go to EDIT | EDIT PROJECT DESCRIPTION. From that screen, selectAttributes.
The RiskTrak database is extensible this means you can define any number of additional fields in any project database - but you must be a Manager or Administrator to do this.
These fields may be any of the following types: Number, String, Percent, Cost, Duration, Date, Username, or Pick list. (You specify the pick options.)
These new fields may be sorted, searched, imported, exported, or used as column headings, and generally behave as the original built-in fields do.
To create a User-defined field, click the Fields button on the Project Description screen. This will take you to the Field Configure screen. From this screen, click on the New Custom Field button.
RiskTrak’sField Configurescreen shows the built-in fields as well as any User-defined ones. To create a new User-defined field from this screen, click on the New Custom Field button. After you click on the 'New Custom Field' button, a message box will appear to will allow you to enter the name of your choice.
After you have named the new field you must determine the type of data the field will contain. Using the 'Field Type' pulldown box you can select from eight types of data fields. (e.g., Number, String, Percent, Cost, Duration, Date, Username, or Pick list). Each type of data will present the User with the appropriate format for the data type chosen only the 'Pick list' requires further action. For a Pick list the User must also specify the items for the list. Items on the list may be any type of Alphanumeric that represents meaningful information to the user (ABC, DEF …XYZ, 123, 456, 789, ABC123, DEF234, XYZ789) this list is completely customizable.
NOTE: This field CANNOT be removed at some later date, although you will be able to modify the Pick list. Once data (the project) is generated (Saved) in this form it will be stored for this project in the structure is utilized. At any time you can order and re-order the items in your Pick list to present the Users with a logical order in the Risk Editor pulldown menu, which is ultimately where this data is entered and controlled.