EPQ – Risk Assessment

Obviously there’s little about writing and marketing a novel that could lead to actual physical injury – unless, of course, you take into account the almost scary dedication of some book fans (re: Harry Potter devotees). Nevertheless, it is still important to keep in mind the possible risks of my project, the threats they pose, and the ways in which they can be prevented or resolved.




Missing my deadlines


Risk out of 10: 6


Affects me

Because of the amount of work that I have set myself, there is a chance that I will not be able to complete everything by the deadlines that I have set myself and I may fall behind schedule. This may be due to any of the following hazards:

Other commitments such as schoolwork for my other courses taking up my time

  • Illness
  • Unwanted/unplanned distractions
  • A lack of inspiration
  • Laziness/lack of interest

Any of the aforementioned problems would be incredibly detrimental to my project as, due to the amount of work that I need to complete, any breach of my contingency would make it difficult to catch up. This could all lead to me missing my final deadline, or having to rush parts of my project which will result in a final product that I am not happy with/that doesn’t succeed in fulfilling my task.

I will take extra care to work at every given opportunity, ensuring that I do not fall behind schedule.

I will also be careful to not give myself too much work to do, focusing on the pieces I must do to ensure success and leaving any additional details (e.g. individual segments of my marketing campaign) until last, only completing them if I am considerably ahead of schedule.

I will not make the novel or my written report longer than they have to be.

Reliance on the public


Risk out of 10: 5


Affects me and the public

Due to the sociological aspect of my project, every part of my artefact (and thus the work surrounding it) must appeal entirely to the public. Therefore, if my audience do not enjoy or cannot connect with my novel, I will not succeed in fulfilling my task and therefore my project will not be successful. This relies on:

  • My ability to empathise with the public, understand their needs, and write effectively for them
  • The public’s honesty in their survey responses
  • My ability to distribute and promote my novel successfully
Throughout my entire project, I will respond to the needs of the public by:

  • Referring to my survey responses
  • Asking people of their personal opinions throughout the production of my project
  • Running smaller online polls on social media, such as Twitter polls
  • Discussing major decisions with my supervisor
  • Marketing and publishing effectively

If, even after following the above actions, my novel still does not receive positive reviews from the public, I will use my report to discuss what went wrong, why, and what I would do differently in any future attempts at my task.

Technology failures


Risk out of 10: 4


Affects me

From experience, I know only too well the dangers of relying on technology. I could easily lose all my work through my computer shutting down spontaneously, or if my documents or USB become corrupted. This would require me to start again if I have not kept a back-up copy, taking up valuable time that I do not have.
The same issue comes with any marketing media I create. Whether I make posters or video advertisements, there is a risk that my filming equipment will break on set, or that the batteries will die. In production, there is also a risk that my editing software will break, shut down suddenly, or fail to save my work
To prevent these problems, I will:

  • Remember to save and back up all of my work REGULARLY to reduce the amount of work that I will have to catch up on if, by chance, my technology does fail
  • Charge my camera batteries regularly and carry spares
  • Keep spare equipment with me on set, including extra memory cards and bulbs for my stage lights
  • Use trustworthy editing software with which I have experience
  • Use a reliable computer that is not prone to breaking
Reliance on actors/ models


Risk out of 10: 2


Affects me and potentially my actors/ models

When producing my promotional media, I will need a cast of actors and/or models, as well as a potential team of equipment operators. This will require me to rely heavily on them to turn up on time, act appropriately and to a high quality, and be comfortable with their roles in front of the camera. This is especially risky in filming, as one out-of-place team member will mess up the entire shoot. When hiring my cast, I will make sure that they are fully aware of what their roles will require them to do BEFORE they commit to anything. I will also set shoot dates before signing people up, allowing people to set the dates aside in advance. If, for any reason, somebody finds out later that they cannot come, I will hire understudies for their roles.

When on set, I will run practice takes and mark out team-members’ positions before the real thing, allowing people to know exactly what they are doing.

Reliance on weather


Risk out of 10: 3


Affects me

Whilst this shouldn’t affect photoshoots or (in theory) video shoots that take place inside, adverse weather could ruin the aesthetic of shoots that take place outside, or damage my filming equipment. The sound of rain or heavy wind could also block the sound of dialogue, inside or outside, as well as impairing my cast’s hearing and preventing them hearing my instructions. I will schedule multiple back-up dates for any shoots that I plan, and bring the appropriate equipment with me on set to protect my equipment (and my cast) from adverse weather conditions. This will include:

  • Umbrellas
  • Waterproof casing for film equipment
  • Coats
  • Windjammers for microphones

I will also check the weather forecast for the appropriate locations before arriving on set.



Risk out of 10: 1


Affects me and the person I am plagiarising

There is a possibility that elements of my novel could accidentally plagiarise existing works, or that elements of my report are examples of plagiarism.

There is also a risk that other writers could choose to plagiarise my own work, especially as I am publishing the finished result.

To ensure that all of my work is original, I will ensure that any inspiration that I take from existing novels is incredibly subtle and does not steal from the existing plots.

Anything I quote in my final report will be fully referenced, backed up by a complete bibliography.

To stop my own work from being plagiarised, I will look into copyrighting laws and make sure that my work is protected.


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