Proactive Risk Planning for Roofing Professionals – Part Two

Fri, May 10, 2024 at 2:10PM

John Kenney, CPRC, CEO, Cotney Consulting

In Part One of Proactive Risk Planning for Roofing Professionals (April 2024), we laid the groundwork for understanding the significance of risk management in roofing projects. We discussed the unique challenges of roofing projects, introduced the concept of project risk management and highlighted the importance of identifying, analyzing and prioritizing risks. Building on that foundation, this article advances into the strategic management of these risks. We’ll explore actionable strategies for risk avoidance, transfer, mitigation and acceptance and the vital role of ongoing risk monitoring. Additionally, we'll delve into the quantitative elements of risk management, offering insights into how to translate risk impacts into measurable outcomes for better project planning. We’ll continue to navigate the complexities of risk management tailored specifically for the roofing industry.

Strategizing Risk Response

Following the identification and prioritization of risks, along with designating risk owners, the next step involves strategizing how to manage each identified risk. Explore various strategies, each with specific measures including:

Risk Avoidance: While it’s impossible to eliminate all risks, certain risks can be sidestepped. For instance, preventing the overburdening of a roof structure can be achieved through strategic planning on the distribution of weight across joists or decking.

Risk Transfer: This strategy involves shifting the fallout of a risk to another party. Typically, this shift includes a financial transaction, such as paying a premium to the party assuming the risk, through mechanisms like insurance or warranties. However, transferring a risk does not eradicate it.

Mitigation: This approach aims to lessen either the likelihood or the impact of a risk to a manageable level. Proactive measures tend to be more effective than reactive ones.

Risk Acceptance: Sometimes, the project team may opt to proceed without altering the plan, either because the risk is deemed manageable as-is or no appropriate response strategy is identified. In such instances, having a backup plan becomes crucial.

Ongoing Risk Monitoring

Given the inherent uncertainties that accompany risks, the best approach a project manager can take is vigilant identification, analysis and monitoring of risks. As circumstances evolve, so should the approach to managing risks. Effective risk monitoring involves:

  • Identifying emergent risks promptly
  • Implementing immediate corrective measures for any risks that materialize
  • Planning preventative strategies for newly identified risks
  • Assessing the results of risk response strategies.

Regular team meetings play a critical role in this process, ensuring that every team member remains informed about potential risks and is prepared to address them effectively.

Quantitative Risk Management Insights

With the qualitative risk assessment complete and each risk assigned a numerical value, the focus shifts to the quantitative aspects of risk management, which will provide cost and time contingencies for your roofing project. This stage involves translating risk impacts into measurable percentages, hinging on the volume and precision of your data. For instance, a risk might have an 80 percent probability of occurrence, with a 25 percent likelihood of causing a specified delay.

Consider the following elements during quantitative risk assessment:

  • Schedule: Assess whether the project can conclude within the allocated timeframe.
  • Cost: Verify if the project will stay within budget.
  • Performance: Ensure the completed project meets your business objectives.

Analyzing Cost and Schedule Risks

Cost Risk Analysis: Contingency funds are allocated to cover uncertainties, forming an essential component of risk management. These funds should address unforeseen expenses arising from miscalculations or unforeseeable events, not to conceal mistakes made during project execution.

Schedule Risk Analysis: This analysis aids in understanding potential uncertainties’ impacts on project timelines and budgets. It involves creating a baseline schedule, defining potential risks, simulating various scenarios and interpreting the outcomes to mitigate risks effectively.

The Advantages of Implementing Risk Management Plans

Operational Excellence and Efficiency: Risk management equips roofing contractors with the financial and operational readiness to tackle challenges, leading to more efficient decision-making and project execution. This proactive stance saves time, resources and money, enabling a focus on value-adding activities rather than constant problem-solving.

Project Confidence and Safety: A comprehensive understanding of risks and mitigation strategies boosts confidence in project success among your team and stakeholders. Effective risk management also enhances workplace safety, minimizing legal liabilities and the potential for accidents onsite.

Financial Benefits: Adequate preparation for unforeseen events protects against financial losses, potentially averting bankruptcy. A thorough risk assessment can lead to reduced workplace accidents, streamlined work processes, and, ultimately, increased profitability.

Long-term Improvement: Initially, risk assessments may require significant effort, time and resources. However, each implementation becomes more streamlined and effective, leveraging your company’s strengths and paving the way for future success through best practices and continuous improvement.


John Kenney, CPRC has over 50 years of experience in the roofing industry. He started his career by working as a roofing apprentice at a family business in the Northeast and worked his way up to operating multiple Top 100 Roofing Contractors. As CEO, John is intimately familiar with all aspects of roofing production, estimating and operations. During his tenure in the industry, John ran business units associated with delivering excellent workmanship and unparalleled customer service while ensuring his company’s strong net profits before joining Cotney Consulting Group. If you would like any further information on this or another subject, you can contact John at

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