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Managing risks that really matter

As project or change agents, we all know that we need to identify and manage risk all the time. Often though, this is viewed as difficult, unpleasant 'once a project' or 'when I get to it' task, possibly only undertaken when you know that the project management office or audit are going to ask to see your risk log.

What if we could turn this view on its head? On 20 May, Elmar Kutsch made the journey into darkest Norfolk to explain to the Norwich group that true management of risks could be one of the most productive tasks project managers undertake. Transforming the negative to positive and viewing risks as opportunities to improve, Elmar explained that the traditional risk management mind set could be replaced to see risks as opportunities for innovation.

OK, it takes a bit of courage, but by identifying the risks associated with critical incidents that occur during a projects life cycle, it is possible to build up sufficient knowledge to anticipate risks that are likely to materialise on a particular project in the future. There will always be the unknowable risks but - if those risks it is possible to anticipate are known and dealt with - the unknowable becomes easier to manage. Pulling out the fact that people will manage those risks they are expert on and, generally speaking, ignore those they dont quite get, helped the group focus on areas where real practical changes can be made in virtually any project environment. By avoiding the lures of the measurable and controllable and focusing on more than just the risks you can articulate and quantify will allow you to build a rich picture of a projects risk exposure and start to make a real difference to how you manage them.

This is a snippet, a nugget of the wisdoms shared; if you want to know more, take the risk and invite Elmar along to an event near you!

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