A Risky Business?

The start of a new year can often be a time for reflection when businesses look ahead and make plans for evolution and change. This change usually brings risk and managing that risk is always a good idea. Tracking identified risks and mitigating them makes sense, failure to do so leaves the success of your business down to pure luck, but looking at risk isn’t the whole picture. If you are making change, it is presumably to improve your business, so naturally you’ll be tracking the outcomes too.

These two elements offer fundamentally different views. Pure risk management is inherently negatively focused, looking for the doom and gloom scenarios. And tracking and measuring the target outcomes is often difficult and almost always overly positive.

In my experience, it’s best to manage the delivery of value in a project. This is done through tracking both risk and project deliverables, but also by measuring the value they will add (or subtract). By using this approach, you get a more balanced view.


Change Risk Management = Mitigating the risk of not delivering the Best Value Possible

It’s easier said than done though. In my experience you need to look at the business end-to-end including:

  • Strategy and Planning
  • Governance, Controls and Policy
  • Operations
  • Systems and Tech
  • Central and Support – Finance, HR
  • Brand, Comms and Reputation

Whether your business is regulated or unregulated, the process is the same. The key is to take the project deliverables and dependencies, and ask yourself (and your senior stakeholders) ‘What could possibly prevent me from delivering these?’

This approach also means your stakeholders are constantly engaged in the project, know what is expected of them, and are in touch with what the project will actually deliver. An additional bonus is that if it’s not going to meet their requirements, you can catch the problem early.

This is managing change so you deliver value, whilst at the same time link the big picture ideals to the detail on the ground.

There are lots of change management methodologies and in my experience one size does not fit all. During my career I have developed my own tools to review, report and track complex change in business, but they are routed in the principle:

 Manage the change by constantly mitigating the risks AND measuring the projected value of deliverablesfeatured

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