Risk Management Process: Is yours Effective?

Risk Management Process: Is yours Effective?

I find this a very handy tool and while it is not exhaustive, no check list should be – I suggest it is a very good starting point to start.

NOTE: This checklist can be used from different perspectives such as:

  • before, or during staged reviews
  • when preparing for, or carrying out internal and external risk audits
  • when considering a new initiative, such as a major project, entering a new acquisition lifecycle
  • when progress reporting to corporate Finance or Treasury
  • when preparing to raise commitment to improving the existing process.

Key elements

Elements needed for the effective risk management risk and the indicators of a successful process include:

  • policies for the management of risk and the benefits of effective risk management are clearly communicated to staff
  • senior management support, promote, own and lead on risk management
  • there is an organisational culture that supports well thought-through risk taking and innovation
  • management of risk is fully embedded in the management process of the organisation, including the associated controls and distribution of management information
  • the identification and assessment of risk is aimed at actively managing the key risks to the achievement of objectives
  • the risks posed by working with other organisations are assessed.

Review of overall effectiveness

  • Is management of risk implemented across the organisation to all line management and business management, as well as project and programme management?
  • Is there a formal documented policy for the management of risk? Does the policy address the following:
    • the corporate view of risk management?
    • processes and procedures?
    • the desired benefits to be achieved?
    • roles and responsibilities?
    • facilities/tools required?
    • documentation standards?
  • Is the management of risk policy regularly reviewed?
  • Are business continuity and contingency plans in place in the event that risks result in adverse consequences?
    • Are these plans tested (regularly reviewed and re-tested)?
    • Are those responsible aware of their roles with regard to each plan?
    • Is there a clearly identified authority to make the decision to implement the plan?
    • Are copies of the plan held off-site? (and still accessible in an emergency?)
  • Is there increasing visibility of risk and appropriate communication to staff so they understand their responsibility for being alert to risks?
    • Are staff being trained or receiving guidance in risk management?
    • Are risks being raised to the appropriate level?
    • Are major risks assigned owners?
    • Are you applying existing approaches/practices to address risk problems?
    • Are you following the standard processes and procedure for addressing problems in managing risk?
  • Is there clear identification of types/categories of risk?
  • Are risk evaluation criteria clearly identified and articulated?
    • Are risk responsibilities assigned for reporting and managing identified risks?
    • Is the effectiveness of risk treatments monitored and reviewed?
    • Is there appropriate communication and consultation with others within your organisation and with stakeholders?
  • Is the risk documentation appropriate?
  • Is the documentation consistent throughout?
  • Where appropriate, are you following the risk profile model in accordance with Cabinet Office guidelines?
  • Is risk management ongoing and integrated with other procedures?

Risk Management so vital in any endeavour and yet so many organisations pay lip service to it!   Using this simple tool will provoke thought and provide material to discuss – after all discussion and communication that leads so identification of potential problems has to be a good thing – right?

Any support on this subject is available, just ask.

Thanks for reading.

Contact: stephen.paxton@proddio.com

Build Your Leadership Confidence

Build Your Leadership Confidence

As a leader it’s not always easy to understand what makes you a good leader or have the confidence to do the things you know you should, how would you rate your leadership confidence?

  • I wish I had some
  • I am okay, but would like to be more confident
  • I am in total control!

While you maybe are quite capable, do you seem unable to achieve all that you desire because of a lack of the very necessary attribute of confidence?

Here are a few tips that can elevate your confidence and turn you into the CONFIDENT LEADER you are meant to be.

  1. Increase your competence.You can do this by reading and learning everything you can get your hands on that is relevant to your industry or specialty. Years ago when in university while researching for a masters in project management I learned that if I read just one hour a day about something related to my specific are of interest, I would very soon become an expert in this area. I cannot tell you how important this advice was for me. Reading increases one’s knowledge, knowledge increases one’s competence; and competence increases one’s confidence! Great authors like Robins, Covey, Cranfield and the list goes on to support this – put this into action and it really does work.
  2. Teach what you learn.Find someone who is interested or needs to know what you have just learned. It is a fact that when you teach what you have learned with 24-48 hours you retain significantly more of what you have read over the long-term (Find out more in the great read – 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Covey). Find a way or make a way to teach what you learn as soon as possible. You won’t believe the difference it will make to you and how it will increase your confidence level.
  3. Find opportunities to speak in public.Maybe you aren’t quite ready for the big stage, but you do have opportunities to sit on boards or committees. Take these opportunities whenever you can, but don’t just sit there. Speak up when you have something relevant to offer. Start by asking questions, and then move into offering solutions (Principle 5, first seek to understand before being understood, Covey). You will soon become a most valuable member of the group; you will gain respect from other members and increase your leadership confidence!
  4. Join Toastmasters. Toastmasters International is a world leader in communication and leadership development with over 300,000 members worldwide. This membership will not only help you become a good public speaker, it will train you to have confidence to speak about just about any topic quickly and effectively. The Toastmaster exercises will help you become “quick on your feet!” You will also build up your confidence in a way that you cannot yet imagine. Just do it!
  5. Be willing to step out of your comfort zone.Understand that everyone has a comfort zone. The only difference between you and a highly recognised leader – someone you want to emulate – is the broadness of the comfort zone. Confident Leaders are forever growing and expanding their skills and knowledge.

Become the person who is always on the “grow.” Read daily, Teach what you learn quickly. Speak in public and step out of your comfort zone. Increase your competence, improve your confidence and elevate the impact you have on others.

I work with innovators, entrepreneurs, business executives, leaders and emerging leaders. Most of my clients are looking for ways to improve both productivity and their bottom line. I help businesses increase profits by moving the comfort zones in a supportive manner, expanding the possibilities available to clients and improving understanding, easily and effectively. My strategies have a significant impact on redirecting the focus of organisations toward positive outcomes rather than negative expectations.

Thanks for reading.

Contact: stephen.paxton@proddio.com

Are you REALLY in control?

Are you REALLY in control?

Rarely do projects, programmes or portfolios go wrong overnight, but rather they tend to gradually go off plan and bleed time through inadequate planning and poor communication!

We find that causes are rooted in uncertain or ill-defined requirements, delays in clearing burning issues which, in turn, forces work to be revisited or introduces more changes. Rework, we suggest, is caused by delayed decision making or lack of understanding on how the project, programme or portfolio of work is connected to your business, your people and the needs of your clients.  This is a scenario that occurs all too often, but it doesn’t have to be this way.

The tools for driving out uncertainty, and for providing a platform for clear decision making are well understood in the project management community, but rarely are they connected in a closed loop system to help stop information and communications getting lost or misunderstood.   At PRODDIO we find that connecting three core disciplines together drives better certainty into the challenge ahead and provides a model that produces data for clear decision making against a range of options.

We call the model the Business or Bermuda Triangle, where quality, time and costs are lost! However, this triangle provides you with the data to understand where your next move or adjustment needs to be made and the probable resulting impacts on outcomes and benefits.




We know what we want/need to achieve (to varying degrees either through a contract or business plan), we need to understand how this change is going to impact its target destination and environment, and we must understand the problems and uncertainties in making this change happen.

If we can manage these fundamentals, very little else is left to chance, as we have a collective understanding across the team and client while constantly testing assumptions and closing out issues.  Below is a brief on these three tools or structures that, when used at the right level of complexity, will drive out uncertainty and provide clarity for timely decision making.


Let’s jump into a little more detail behind the P3-TBT Model


Bermuda on ownRTM – (Requirements Trace Management)

Capture all the requirements from the Vision, Business Plan, supporting Business Cases, Legislation and Regulation including related Contracts and the wider Stakeholder Community views (The “System” in which we will really operate), especially the views of those stakeholders who can have a “negative” or “positive” impact on a project’s outcome (this has to include all implied requirements).

Then establish what the “Minimum Conditions of Satisfaction” or Success Criteria are against the requirements. By understanding this collective environment or system we can start to understand what is required and therefore start driving out “uncertainty” iteratively by making it explicit and continuously improving confidence in delivery and required outcomes.


Bermuda on ownCPIM – (Critical Project Interface Management)

Capture all the interfaces that are dependent and interdependent on each other’s performance.  Understand the relative criticality to each other and the overall programme’s success.  If any of the interfaces fail, then a number of requirements will be suboptimal or will not get delivered.

All critical interfaces have an assigned person responsible to ensure expectations are realised between projects and the wider environment.  A critical interface is one that, if not met, may hinder or not deliver one or more of the programme key requirements and therefore not deliver the outcome required


Bermuda on ownRICE – (Risk, Issue, Cause and Effects Management)

We believe that if you only capture the risk and manage this, then you are really not managing the uncertainty to the programme effectively and, inevitably, risks will keep resurrecting themselves in differing guises.   This is because the cause of the risk still remains; therefore risks will keep proliferating until this is treated, especially in programmes spanning a number of years.


We actively identify the causes of risk and evaluate the possible effects to fully understand what actions are really required to reduce the risk to the portfolio/programme or project.

Our core objective is to eliminate the cause of risk before they are possible risks, in doing so we systematically reduce the risk/uncertainty and “risks”.  This approach systematically reduces rework so management can focus on delivery.

When issues are identified we turn these into “requirements” to ensure management attention is focused on these too, and these are addressed depending on their prioritisation and possible effects on the project or programme – this, we argue is a managed risk approach.


Thanks for reading.