Case: The Valle Festival – Part 2

Pinpoint both the risks and opportunities tied to the cultural festival project. Subsequently, categorize these uncertainties as either related to specific events or as estimation uncertainties.

Let’s take a closer look at the risks and opportunities associated with the identified uncertainties in the cultural festival project in Valle:


  • Risk: Unfavorable weather during the festival can lead to reduced attendance, canceled or limited outdoor events, resulting in a diminished audience experience and financial loss.
  • Opportunity: If the weather is favorable during the festival, it can attract more visitors and create a pleasant atmosphere. It can also allow for outdoor events and unique experiences.

Visitor Interest:

  • Risk: If the festival fails to generate sufficient interest among visitors, it may result in low attendance, poor finances and a potential negative impact on the festival’s and location’s reputation.
  • Opportunity: If the festival can generate interest and appeal to a broad audience, it can lead to increased attendance, greater participation and enhanced reputation for both the festival and the location.

Competition from Other Festivals:

  • Risk: Intense competition from other festivals may split the audience and reduce attention towards Valle Cultural Festival. This can result in lower participation, decreased revenue and reduced visibility for the festival.
  • Opportunity: Competition from other festivals can also draw attention to the cultural scene in the area. This can lead to collaboration opportunities, increased cultural interest and a broader stream of audiences to the region.


  • Risk: The inability to secure adequate funding can limit the festival’s scope, constrain its program and lead to cuts in events and marketing, weakening its appeal and long-term viability.
  • Opportunity: By securing adequate funding through sponsors and additional revenue sources, the festival can expand its program, improve the quality of events and marketing, and ensure long-term sustainability and growth.

Event Costs:

  • Risk: Underestimating costs can lead to budget overruns, constraints in the program and a drop in event quality, adversely affecting the audience experience and creating financial challenges.
  • Opportunity: Accurate estimation and cost control can contribute to better budget management and resource optimization. This can offer the opportunity for increased investment in events, an improved audience experience, and potential revenue growth.

Availability of Artists:

  • Risk: If desired artists are unavailable or show insufficient interest, it can impact the diversity and quality of the program. This can lead to diminished audience interest and reduced festival appeal.
  • Opportunity: If desired artists and cultural figures are available and involved in the festival, it can enhance the quality of events, boost audience interest and attract a broader range of participants.

Audience Response:

  • Risk: Negative audience feedback, unmet expectations or poor reception of the festival can negatively impact its reputation and repeated support in future events, affecting the festival’s long-term success and sustainability.
  • Opportunity: A positive audience response can enhance the festival’s and region’s reputation, encourage repeat visits and contribute to positive word-of-mouth marketing. It can also provide opportunities for collaboration with local community actors and create a larger network of culture enthusiasts.

Regarding the cultural festival project in Valle, the following uncertainties can be identified:

Event Uncertainties:

  • Weather: Outdoor events can be subject to weather conditions such as rain, wind, or poor weather in general. This can influence attendance and the execution of events.
  • Visitor interest: Uncertainty related to how many visitors will be interested in attending the festival. It’s unclear how much appeal the festival will have and whether it will attract a sufficient number of participants and audience.
  • Competition from other festivals: There’s a chance that there might be other festivals or events competing for audience attention and participation, which could impact the festival’s success and support.

Estimate Uncertainties:

  • Funding: Although the municipality has granted $50,000 kroner to the festival, there’s uncertainty about securing additional funding through sponsors. It’s unclear how much extra funding can be achieved and if it will be enough to cover the festival’s expenses.
  • Event costs: There’s uncertainty about the costs of organizing concerts and events, both outdoors and indoors. Accurate cost estimation is needed to ensure that the budget is adequate and realistic.
  • Availability of artists: Uncertainty exists regarding the availability and interest of artists and cultural figures to participate in the festival. There may be constraints on their availability, contract negotiations or other factors that could affect participation.
  • Audience response: There’s uncertainty about how the audience will react to the festival. It’s uncertain whether the festival will meet audience expectations and if it will be well received.

These uncertainties can be both risks and opportunities for the cultural festival project in Valle, depending on how they are managed and developed.

Discuss why some types of projects carry a higher degree of uncertainty than others.

Some types of projects are generally carry more uncertainty than others due to several factors. Here are some of the main reasons why:

Complexity: Projects that involve a high degree of complexity, whether technical, organizational or both, usually have greater uncertainty. Complex projects can involve multiple stakeholders, different fields of expertise and often require the integration of different systems or technologies. This complexity makes it challenging to predict and manage all possible risks and challenges that might arise.

Innovation and new technology: Projects dealing with innovation or the introduction of new technology are often associated with high uncertainty. When venturing into uncharted territory and trying to implement something that hasn’t been done before, it’s challenging to estimate costs, timelines and potential outcomes. Technological advancements can also bring about uncertainties related to suppliers, the availability of necessary equipment or expertise and any unforeseen problems that might arise along the way.

External factors: Some projects are more vulnerable to external influences that are beyond the project’s control. Economic changes, political decisions, changes in regulations, natural disasters or changes in market conditions can all affect projects and create uncertainty.

Human factors: Projects are also influenced by human factors, such as lack of communication, collaboration issues, conflicting interests or lack of experience. These factors can lead to uncertainties related to the project’s progress, quality and success.

Environmental uncertainty: Certain industries or sectors naturally have a higher degree of uncertainty because of the specific conditions under which they operate. For instance, construction projects might be exposed to unforeseen geological or weather conditions. In a globalized world, projects involving international partners, suppliers or markets might also be more uncertain due to different cultural, political and economic conditions.

Effective project management and handling uncertainty are crucial to minimizing risks and ensuring success in projects, regardless of the degree of uncertainty they have.

A project manager once commented, “For a project to be manageable, uncertainty must be completely removed.” Discuss to what extent you agree with this statement.

I would say that I disagree with the statement that uncertainty must be completely removed for a project to be manageable. Uncertainty is a natural part of any process, especially in projects involving complexity, innovation or external factors. Eliminating all uncertainty is often impossible and unrealistic.

Here are some reasons why I disagree with the statement:

Uncertainty is inevitable: Uncertainty is an integral part of any business or project. It’s impossible to predict all possible events, changes or challenges that may arise. Even if measures are taken to minimize uncertainty, there will always be a certain degree of unknown factors that can influence the project.

Uncertainty opens room for opportunities: Uncertainty is not purely negative; it can also create opportunities and innovation. By being open to uncertainty and being flexible in approach, project managers and teams can discover new opportunities, find better solutions and adapt to changing circumstances.

Uncertainty requires strategic planning: Instead of trying to remove all uncertainty, the focus should be on identifying, analyzing and strategically handling uncertainties. This involves developing alternative action plans, establishing risk-reducing measures, closely monitoring the project’s progress and being prepared to deal with unforeseen events.

Uncertainty can be managed and reduced: Even if all uncertainties can’t be eliminated, measures can be implemented to manage and reduce them. This may include risk analysis, planning for different scenarios, establishing contingency reserves, collaborating with external stakeholders and continuous monitoring and adjustment of the project plan.

Manageable doesn’t mean free from uncertainty: Having a manageable project doesn’t mean uncertainty has been entirely removed. It means that effective project management processes, tools and methods have been established to deal with and adapt to uncertainties along the way. Good project management practices can help minimize the adverse effects of uncertainty and maintain control over the project’s progress.

Instead of trying to remove all uncertainties, project managers and teams should focus on understanding and efficiently handling uncertainties. It’s about being flexible, adaptable and strategic in responding to uncertainties while maintaining a clear focus on project goals and deliverables.

Discuss the following statement: “It is the management of internally created uncertainty that is most important in the project. The externally created uncertainty is something the project can do little about.”

This statement suggests that managing internally created uncertainty is more crucial in a project compared to externally created uncertainty, over which the project has little control. While both internal and external uncertainties can impact a project, it’s essential to discuss whether internally created uncertainty is most vital. Here are some considerations around this statement:

Internally created uncertainty: Internally created uncertainty might encompass factors such as project planning, resource allocation, collaboration, decision-making processes and internal communication. These elements are ones the project team can directly control and influence through effective project management. By properly managing internal uncertainties, the project team can minimize the risk of delays, cost overruns and quality issues.

Externally created uncertainty: Externally created uncertainty might include factors like changes in market conditions, politics, economy, natural disasters and technological advancements. These factors are outside the direct control of the project team and there might be limited actions the project can take to influence them. The project team must be capable of managing and adapting to these external uncertainties by being flexible, monitoring the environment and responding to arising changes.

Balance between internal and external uncertainty: It’s vital to recognize that both internal and external uncertainties can significantly impact a project’s success. While the internally created uncertainty might be more directly influenced by the project team’s actions and decisions, the externally created uncertainty can be more challenging to anticipate and address. The project team should focus on minimizing and handling internally created uncertainty as much as possible while preparing for and responding to externally created uncertainty to limit negative consequences.

Risk management and uncertainty handling: Regardless of whether the uncertainty is internal or external, having effective uncertainty management processes in place is crucial. This includes identifying uncertainties, analyzing risks and developing measures to handle and reduce them. By taking a comprehensive approach to uncertainty management, the project team can proactively address both internal and external uncertainties.

Effective handling of both types of uncertainties is necessary to maintain control over the project and increase the chance of success.

This case is taken from the book “Prosjektledelse – fra initiering til gevinstrealisering” – 2016, 4. Edition, by Jan Terje Karlsen.

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