My next role is of a Program Manager managing interdependencies between multiple projects. It involves daily program management until the program cycle ends. Each project is being delivered by a different competitor. I would be the only one working from my company on this program; the rest of the personnel are from the client or other competitors. What known risks should I expect in this kind of setting?


Besides for the regular "delays in schedules" which are standard risks, here are some ideas:

  1. You need to worry about interoperability. There's no way to know in advance how the deliverables from the various vendor will work together.

  2. Another risk is the responsibility of the inter-project connections? Which vendor is responsible for making these connections (and who needs to fix something if it doesn't work - as we said in #1.)

  3. Are there sufficient resources for all the vendors to work together in the delivery location? If not, who decides who comes first and how do you deal with the delay caused?

  4. The system is more than its parts. How will you test the finished product? Who tests it? Who tracks and decides who fixes what?

  5. If you lose one vendor, (e.g. he can't deliver, or goes out of business or runs really late) how will that affect everybody else? Who gets to decide who replaces him?


I guess this is a question to fill a risk log initially. To do this, think in general categories and identify individual risks w.r.t. your programme.

I like to use the PMI Knowledge Areas to think about risks, given e.g. here: https://www.projectmanager.com/blog/10-project-management-knowledge-areas

E.g. Project Stakeholder Management:

  • Errors due to bad communication channels to a vendor
  • Vendor does not accept change requests
  • ...

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