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Sometimes, you don’t know what you don’t know. These are unidentifiable risks that you know nothing about and don’t see coming. You can only identify them after the fact. They are most likely to occur in the part of the project you know the least about and where system interfaces occur.*

Example: A product in development requires a unique component only produced by a single supplier. In a surprise announcement, the team learns a competitor is acquiring that supplier, which may mean that the component is no longer available in the future.

* Preston G. Smith, Flexible Product Development (San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2007).

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