American Society of Civil Engineers

Identifying and Communicating Project Stakeholder Risks

by Peter J. Edwards, (School of Property, Construction and Project Management, RMIT University, GPO Box 2476V, Melbourne 3000, Australia. E-mail:, Paul A. Bowen, (Department of Construction Economics and Management, University of Cape Town, Rondebosch, South Africa E-mail:, Cliff Hardcastle, (University of Teesside, Middlesborough, UK E-mail:, and Peter J. Stewart, (Department of Education and Early Childhood Development, State Government of Victoria, Melbourne 3000. Australia E-mail:
Section: Project Risks and Safety, pp. 776-785, (doi:

     Access full text
     Purchase Subscription
     Permissions for Reuse  

Document type: Conference Proceeding Paper
Part of: Construction Research Congress 2009: Building a Sustainable Future
Abstract: A systematic approach to risk management is needed if stakeholders are to effectively manage the risks they face on projects. Risk identification is a critical part of risk management. Using observations from project experience and class workshops, the effectiveness of several risk identification techniques is explored in the context of construction projects. Emphasis is given to the risk communication processes involved, from an intra-stakeholder perspective. While some techniques are effective for particular project stages and situations, a work breakdown structure (WBS) approach is found to be a good ‘fall back’ method for identifying project risks at the schematic and subsequent design stages. The more detailed the WBS, the more comprehensive the risk identification can be. Multiple risk identification workshops are recommended during the pre-construction phase of a project. Precise risk statements are essential for effective risk communication, and project risk schedules should be developed as active documents.

ASCE Subject Headings:
Risk management
Construction industry