Is your risk management toolset efficient or wasteful?Gavin Halling
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 undertaken by those undertaking the project. The reason for this is so there is “one source of truth”, the key to data integrity. Additionally, data entry needs to be through one screen. This makes workshops and updating data as efficient as possible. Tabbing across spreadsheets columns or various tabs as occurs with some software takes time (albeit small – but it all adds up in lost time). It also detracts from workshop participants being able to focus on the data.
The second role of a toolset is to enable efficient communication (the outputs – reports). This depends totally on the recipient’s requirements and their management role. Line managers (eg commercial, technical), programme/portfolio managers, or business unit managers etc will all have a different focus. Data needs to be quickly cut and diced so that the specific information they require can be quickly accessed (eg High commercial risks across a programme). Report users need to be able to access information for themselves anywhere and at any time. Projects also often have external parties assisting (consultants/contractors) so specific project data needs to be accessible to those outside the organisation.
This all points to a cloud hosted database so there will be a cost. However, the cost will easily be offset by the time managers save in being able to quickly access the data they require and also enabling them to be more effective in their role (eg by being able to make decisions earlier based on current and detailed information).
That said – don’t take my word for it! Make your own assessment of the time/cost savings using this worksheet:
The first page is for project managers and overleaf for any manager. Once you have assessed the value for yourself ask other managers to complete the sheet. The savings will easily support the case for a toolset.
I am interested in your results as part of some informal research so please send me a copy of your results ([email protected]). I hasten to add the results will not be related to you or your organisation. In return I will send you part 2 of my book Integrated Project Risk Management which covers integration in more detail.