Those in project management must be aware of the means of modeling risks to their project. Sensitivity analysis is one such method. It is implemented to analyze the various risks to the project by looking at all aspects of the project and their potential impact on the overall goal. Knowing the level of impact various elements have on a project can assist management with setting priorities to more quickly achieve the end result.
Project management can easily convey the results of a sensitivity analysis through the use of a tornado diagram. The differences among the risks can be easily seen since the analysis is a quantitative value. Rather than qualifiers describing the risks, the impact of each is quantified in a numerical value. This facilitates comparisons between the various elements to quickly discern which risks are worth taking. Project management can use the sensitivity analysis to create priorities in dealing with elemental risks to the project. By knowing which affects the objective the most, more efforts can be concentrated to lessen that risk. Lowering risk potential allows for projects to flow in a smoother fashion with fewer unexpected delays.
This term is defined in the 3rd and the 4th edition of the PMBOK.