Risks are threats to the success of the project. It is important for the project managers to devise ways on how to deal with the risks. This is the reason why it is important in project management process to have risk management. There are many ways to manage or respond to risks and one of them is to create a contingency and fallback plans.
If no actions are taken except to document the risks, it can lead to the team dealing with the threats that may produce a lot of damages to the entire project. However, most project managers opt to develop a plan to deal with the threats. The term to deal with risks is called active acceptance strategy which includes the creation of contingency plan.
The fallback plan is a set of alternative actions as well as tasks that are available in the event that the main plan needs to be abandoned due to some issues, risks as well as other causes. In most cases, the main or primary plan is called the contingency plan but if it does not work, the fallback plan serves as the backup. Think of it as “Plan B”.
It is developed to counter the risks that have a higher impact on meeting the project objectives. While the contingency plan is created based on the risk register, the backup plan is used when the contingency plan is no longer effective. In project management, the backup plan is still documented as part of the risk management planning.
Since it exists as a type of document, it spells out the necessary steps that should be taken in order for the process to recover if the contingency plan fails. It also specified under what situations, conditions or circumstances that it should be activated or deactivated.
This term is defined in the 5th edition of the PMBOK.