Managing single point of failure risks

How to manage risks with the highest potential of impacting your project.

Eni Sinanaj


Single point of failure risks

Once you have identified your risks and ranked them, you need to give special attention to the risks that could have a catastrophic effect on your team’s ability to complete the project. A single point of failure is a risk that, if it were to materialize, could cause a significant amount of disruption to your project and could even shut it down. You should plan for these risks early on in the project.

For example, a lot of projects use subject matter experts (SMEs) — team members with a deep understanding of a particular job, process, department, function, technology, machine, material, or type of equipment. SMEs are involved to advise you throughout the project life cycle. Having only one SME familiar with a critical system on your team is an example of a single point of failure risk. This SME will only offer one perspective, and if they are the only person advising on the system, there is no one to offer another perspective.

Case study: Using mitigation strategies to manage single point of failure risks

Let’s imagine that Office Green uses plant seeds from a company in South America for the majority of its offerings. The plants produced by these seeds are in high demand by Office Green’s customers. However, the local government on the suppliers’ end just announced that it would be imposing a new tax on the exporting of seeds and produce. As a result, the price of the seeds suddenly becomes so high that it is difficult for the company to supply the seeds to Office Green, putting the project at risk of not having these seeds available to purchase.

Let’s look at how these four risk mitigation strategies can be used for managing single point of failure risks in the Office Green example:


This strategy seeks to sidestep — or avoid — the situation as a whole. In the Office Green example, the team could avoid this risk entirely by considering using another seed that is widely available in several locations.




Eni Sinanaj

him/him and stuff… :) Engineer, Business Development, Management, Writer #diy #automation #digitalizationftw