In project management, risks are inherent. One such type of risk is a threat. Unlike risks of internal nature, threats are often identified as extrenal. Not all threats develop outside the project management scope. In fact, a common threat can be the team itself either due to limitations of talent, motivation or time. Because these types of risks are not due to the project infrastructure or design, they are considered external and thus, a threat.
Universally, all project management efforts can be thwarted by poor project management. It is essential that the project manager lead their team in an effort to identify as many potential threats as possible. In addition to the personnel threats already identified, additional threats may include events such as weather or economic changes. In almost all project management efforts, competitive threats will be documented. Non-availability of necessary materials or services could have a negative impact. Threats may develop at any stage in the project and leadership must continously assess and modify to protect the outcome.
The project management team should identify the threats which can be managed through prevention or minimization. When these methods are documented by the team, they can be perceived as opportunities: A negative team member can be given additional authority and responsibility to improve their morale while enhancing their contribution to the project. Ability to persevere weather or economic events, can give a project a competitive edge. The key is to anticipate, plan and transform threats in to opportunities to excel.
This term is defined in the 3rd and the 4th edition of the PMBOK.