Situational Awareness: Why Does It Matter?

Awareness of risk is an important aspect of the risk management process. Good risk management involves consistently assessing situations for any existing or future threats or risks based on the current situation. Being situationally aware helps you identify potential risk points. In this article at PMWorld 360, Dr. Glen Jones explains why situational awareness is significant in managing risks.

Situational Awareness in Project Management

There is no project without deviations. The cause of project deviations can be a change in customer requirements, unforeseen issues during the implementation phase or mistakes caused due to cost and time overruns. Recognizing the deviations at an earlier stage can reduce the impact of risks on the project’s progress. A high level of situation awareness can help you avoid issues from the very beginning.

Drives Continuous Improvement

Situational awareness contributes to the continuous improvement process in teams and organizations. It helps in identifying issues before negative consequences emerge. It also helps business leaders go through a structured learning process to identify situations that could be avoided with proper situational awareness.

How to Improve Situational Awareness?

Assess Risks

Learn to look at risks from all angles. Look at what others might be seeing. How different is their perspective from yours? Are there other factors that will negatively impact the project that you are not aware of? Questioning without judgment is the key to improve situational awareness.

Pave No Way for Cognitive Bias

You must make logical decisions and look into the issues with a strategic focus. In other words, situational awareness must be open to a wide array of perspectives. This will help you in identifying strengths and opportunities for improvement.


Any effective strategy demands everyone to be ‘on board,’ and you can achieve this by communicating each stage of risk assessment or potential hazards to everyone involved.

“Like safety and quality, risk management needs to be a state of mind that becomes ingrained in the organization’s culture,” explains Dr. Glen. To read the original article, click on https://www.pmworld360.com/blog/2020/12/21/situational-awareness-is-key-to-managing-risk/.

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