Stress Testing Projects and Programmes – what are your views?

The origins and treatment of the recent financial crisis is ubiquitous. Acknowledging the sadness of palpable sufferings, its effect is analogous to war /military conflict to technology development; rapid innovations, intellectual debates, cross pollination of thinking, etc.. I want to learn from the financial crisis and in this post; I want to kick start a debate about how Stress Testing that was undertaken in 2009 (USA and UK) and the recent 2010 European Stress Tests. The following question Read the rest of this entry

Should risk practioners bother with qualitative risk assessments?

The subjective technique of identifying risks, categorisation on Probability – Impact Grids and management using comprehensive Enterprise Risk Management software (ARM, PREDICT, etc.) forms the core function of most Project Risk Management frameworks – often referred to as ‘Qualitative Risk Assessment’. Either managed in spreadsheets or on ERM software, they also offer additional possibilities (such as the Monte Carlo engine inbuilt into ARM). But should Risk practitioners prioritize Qualitative risk assessments over richer, and complex modelling Read the rest of this entry

Risk Managers as part of Project teams – Moral Hazard?

A great deal has been written about Risk Managers being sacked for advising against their senior manager directions (HBoS Risk Manager sacking by his Board, etc). But most Risk Managers employed by organisations work in project teams and involved in all stages of risk management - identification, analysis and mitigation. Of the three, identification Read the rest of this entry

Organisational culture and Risk Management

Risk Managers will appreciate that a proactive culture towards risk management cannot be enforced and neither is it sustainable when introduced through short term thinking / urgency (although possible) . Sustainable risk management requires organisations to embark on a journey overcoming challenges of inertia, discipline shortcomings, change fatigue… The intent of this article is to explore the contribution of culture on risk management and vice-versa, towards development of an appreciation towards fostering a risk-centric organisation. My hypothesis is that ‘Risk Management and Organisational culture have a bi-directional associativity with each influencing and being influenced by the other.

I will base my findings on a large organisation that has undergone both incremental and radical transformations. Not only does this give us a rich history of evolution, it also showcases the transition of staff within the organisation through that Read the rest of this entry

Did financial risk as a discipline actually fail? I dont think so….

I have not worked in the Financial Risk industry and therefore a neutral observer. I have been reading on the build-up, causes (global and country-specific) and manifestations and want to add to the literary debate that has been overshadowed by media attention, political blame-shifting, regulator-bashing with blanket statements such as ‘they did not understand the risks they were taking’. In this post, I argue that ‘Risk Management in the Financial Industry has been no more /less effective than in other industries’. This is a contemporary theme and is being developed by economists and international experts, but I am tempted to add my few Read the rest of this entry

Risk Management and Six Sigma

Have you /your organization combined the powerful concepts of Six Sigma with Quantitative Risk Analysis techniques (Schedule risk analysis using PertMaster or Cost Risk analysis using @Risk)? As a professional who has had the fortunate experience of both concepts, I happen to think in the affirmative. In fact, the symbiosis between the two philosophies goes beyond modeling Read the rest of this entry

Country size and Growth prospects

Do organizations originating from a small country have a higher disposition towards global growth? Or in other words, do organisations from large countries tend to compete in their own backyard and get attacked eventually? My view is that the larger the country size, the lesser scope there is for the organisation to expand internationally. Generally speaking there are always exceptions (Coca Cola, etc). But what about the Canon, Nokia, Toyota,

Read the rest of this entry

Extracting the most out of Pertmaster

If you are hearing about PertMaster for the first time, then this post is not really intended for you!! This post is for those who have seen their Risk professionals using PertMaster to assess the confidence of their project performance. Alternatively, you may be a departmental head trying to understand what exactly does your Risk professional do!! Either way, you will through this article appreciate that PertMaster is not just a tool for Schedule Risk Analysis or QSRA (as it is commonly known).

Did you know that:

  1. PertMaster can remove the need for a planning software (well, atleast in most cases). It has basic capabilities of a planning package and I would buy PertMaster rather than Microsoft Project – as you can do most of the tasks – baseline, critical path
  2. With PertMaster, you can undertake cost risk modeling on projects /programmes. Read the rest of this entry

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