Is your risk management toolset efficient or wasteful?

Once an assessment of the efficiency of your risk process has been made (see the insight “Is your risk management process efficient or wasteful?”) the second element is to assess whether your risk toolset is efficient or wasteful. There are two aspects to consider – Inputs and Outputs. Inputs are straightforward. Risk management should be...

Is your risk management process efficient or wasteful?

Since the first standalone risk management standard (AS/NZS 4360 - 1996) there has been a significant growth in risk management as a specialisation. These “experts” have espoused a range of processes which, although mostly well intentioned, are often far from efficient. The result is a considerable waste in time and hence costs. Over the...

Process/toolset risks within the project cycle

In my last insight I reflected on how an organisation’s management of projects can increase risks. A second area where an organisation often introduces risk is the use of different processes and/or toolsets in different phases of a project. Both result in the “saw tooth” risk profile in the diagram. This can be further exacerbated...

Organisational risks within the project cycle

In an earlier musing (Project risks – Black Swans or Brown Cygnets?) I had a diagram showing a project’s risk profile over its lifecycle. The sloping line represented the number of risks. At the start of the project, when planning has only just started there are a lot of unknowns and hence a large...

Capability Engines

In my last posting I underpinned the need for executive support for risk management. Earlier this year I came across some great research undertaken by Drs Jon Whitty and Stephen Duffield (from USQ – University of Southern Queensland). They refer to their research as the SyLLK (Systemic Lessons Learned Knowledge) model. They also describe...

How much are brown cygnets costing you?

In my last posting I used the term brown cygnets to describe unknown known project risks that, with a good project risk management system, could have been white swans (known unknowns). So, what drives a good risk management system? The underpinning requirement is having executive support. I recently had a colleague who wrote “I have...

Project risks – Black Swans or Brown Cygnets?

In my last post I suggested using project management as a potential way to manage unknown unknowns that were external to an organisation such as Covid 19. That was the suggestion for black swans that affect the whole organisation, but what about project specific black swans? The reality is that unknown unknowns within a project...

Covid 19 – A Project?

I sometimes ask project/risk related people to tell me their current greatest challenge. It generates some interesting ideas. One recently was regarding how to deal with unknown unknowns such as Covid 19. For most organisations, other than those in public health (hopefully), Covid was not a risk. It was not on anyone’s radar. It was...

Estimating Inherent Contingency

Clients are often concerned about the accuracy of estimates and the derivation of contingency. The only 100% certainty is that the estimate and actual outturn costs will not be the same! The nature of an estimate often comprises items where the amount of information known is very good through to a complete guess. Similarly,...