Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Risk Management in everyday life

As mentioned in my profile, and first blog I am obtaining my degree in Technical Management (emphasis in Project Management)  I have really enjoyed almost all of my courses (I hated Statistics!) leading up to my degree.  Most times I am able to "double dip" school with work, and vice versa work with school.  I am constantly applying what I learn in school in the office, and I try to use my work projects as models for discussions, and essays. 

This semester I am taking a course on "Risk Management".  At first I felt overwhelmed I not only had two (physical) text books but an essay due each week, and quiz every other week and a huge project due on week 8.    Once the course got started I started to relax a little.  I found that the process of risk management was something that I was already very familar with... and of course within no time I was again "double dipping".

Last Thursday our IIPP (Injury, Illness, Protection Program) committee we held a Safety Seminar for our staff to discuss Safety and Preparedness.  We had a Safety director from a local hospital come in to help our committee with our plan.  We went through and listed potential hazards (EQ, Fire, etc)  then ranked them in order of potential likeliness, and severity.   Once the hazards were identified, and prioritized we discussed how we could mitigate (avoid) these risks.  We identified opportunities (clear hallways of clutter), and best practices (setup regular drills)  As we were going through this exercise, all of the sudden this was sounding oddly familiar to me.... I was actually living my course lecture from the prior week.   This was Risk Management simplified.

Straight from my lecture here are the eight steps of the Risk Management process:

1. Define objectives
2. Identify relevant uncertainties
3. Prioritize uncertainties for future action
4. Develop appropriate responses
5. Report results to key stakeholders
6. Implement agreed actions
7. Monitor changes to keep up to date
8. Learn lessons for the future

For our committee we reduced these steps to three main steps.

1. Identify Risk
2. Assess risk
3. Mitigate Risk

These are three very easy steps that can be done with any project, or decision. This practice allows us to identify opportunities, and best practices and avoid painful "lessons learned!".