It is more important to describe project risk than it is to eliminate product risk

I mentioned this on MoT Slack, but I am a big fan of throwing sweeping statements onto our QA slack channel to cause discussions/arguments/debates. The latest one I put up there is, as per the title to this post, “It is more important to describe project risk than it is to eliminate product risk.” I was just wondering what people thought.

https://ministryoftesting.slack.com/archives/C3TFUJZK2/p1596711673108100

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Follow up questions, since I’m a big fan of answering sweeping statements with questions.
What is meant by project?
What is meant by product?
Does one need to be “more” important, or can they just both be “important”
Would risks fall into more of a spectrum, thus eliminating the need for the sweeping statement in the first place? i.e. a high risk to be identified is DEFINITELY more important (to me, one of the people who matter in this discussion) than a low risk being resolved.
Is importance, in this case, a matter of opinion, or can it be measured.
If so, do we really want to measure it?
Would a risk that is described be equivalent to “two in the bush?”
Is it possible to convert project risks to product risks in some cases?
Could we eliminate risks which haven’t been identified?

What is meant by project?
To me, project is the process of delivery.
What is meant by product?
The “thing” that is to be delivered.
Does one need to be “more” important, or can they just both be “important”
For the purpose of discussion there has to be a difference, even if it means a bit of playing devil’s advocate.
Would risks fall into more of a spectrum, thus eliminating the need for the sweeping statement in the first place? i.e. a high risk to be identified is DEFINITELY more important (to me, one of the people who matter in this discussion) than a low risk being resolved.
The purpose of the statement is to spark debate without trying to prejudice the responses, so the level of risk isn’t relevant.
Is importance, in this case, a matter of opinion, or can it be measured.
If so, do we really want to measure it?
A matter of opinion.
Would a risk that is described be equivalent to “two in the bush?”
If you mean a product risk being described, no, as it still exists, and the statement says that product risk be eliminated.
Is it possible to convert project risks to product risks in some cases?
Not that I can think of. It may well be.
Could we eliminate risks which haven’t been identified?
By luck, I suppose you could, but I’m not sure how that’s relevant.

I’m actually of several thoughts about the subject.

Some ideas…

  • Risk management is more of a process to me than a result. This means that you can’t say that identification is greater than, less than or equal to resolution. They are both part of the process, and the process itself is what is important.
  • This means that the quantification (to me) is between which is more important, the project or the product? And, like everything else, it depends. But in general, the product would be more important to me-as-a-company, since the product is where the results come from. But the project might be more important to me-as-a-tester-in-this-department. That is, if the project fails, regardless of its impact on the product, then I will have “wasted” my time. That does not feel good, and if it happens too much, I might be tempted to go somewhere where my time isn’t wasted.

So for me, now, here… I would agree with your statement.