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A world in which all projects succeed - but not without risk management

Monday 10th October 2016
Location: Macclesfield 
For more information about the conference and to book please click here

Current list of session information (subject to change)

Anne Parker
How does state of mind affect risk perception
This workshop will draw on the principles of mindfulness to demonstrate that a ‘world view’ at any given moment is linked to physiological states as well as habitual ways of thinking.  It aims to demonstrate that the perception of risk is not just linked to its own components but to the internal states of those who are making judgements in the field or in their planning or in their day to day operations.

The perception of risk or threat and the perception of reward are primal circuits in the human system.  They are basic survival drivers.  This workshop will give examples of primal, survival reactions as they play out in sophisticated 21st Century organisational contexts.  It then aims to give delegates an opportunity to investigate what this means to them both personally and in their projects.

The session will be interactive with exercises to stimulate exploration, learning and practice and there will be opportunities to ask questions and play with ‘what ifs’ in order to keep the content relevant and real.

Peter Simon
The importance of describing risks properly (learning to speak meta-language)
Too many risk registers contain risk descriptions that are poorly written. This can lead to an ineffective risk management process because:

  • Risks are identified that do not impact the project, programme or portfolio objectives.
  • Risks are not fully understood (and appreciated) by either senior management or the project team.
  • Causes of risks are not separated from the uncertain event and the impact(s) on project, programme or portfolio objectives.
  • Assessment of probability and impact are flawed (both pre-response and post-response).
  • Responses are poorly defined and fail to address the cause, risk event or impact.

Using his extensive experience in risk management Peter Simon will teach you how to describe risks properly and by doing so improve the effectiveness of risk management in your organisation.  Attendees will take away Peter’s new paper on the top tips for describing risks.

Simon White
Practical project risk assessment
The future is uncertain, but we can improve our understanding of it using risk assessment, and we can improve how we respond to it using risk assessment, analysis and risk management. 

It is difficult to talk and think about things that are uncertain, without a specialist knowledge of mathematics, probabilities and statistics. But, increasingly, projects  and organisations are trying to capture their internal beliefs about their uncertainty about the future, from the non-mathematicians within their teams, and trying to use that knowledge to increase their chance of success.

Simon will use interactive examples to show his practical approach to expressing and managing project uncertainty and risk, and describe how it helps his customers better plan and forecast their projects with an honest awareness of uncertainty. For any project or business venture, the approach helps teams express their current knowledge and beliefs about the future, and then draw logical conclusions about how they should negotiate contracts, set realistic expectations, and manage the uncertainty as the project progresses.
The presentation will help break down the “black-box” image of risk assessment and analysis, and will give some concrete ideas to help us think about uncertainty. Along the way, it will help delegates clearly visualise and understand such key concepts as: “expectation”, “probability”, “three-point estimates”, “impact”, “exposure”, “contingency”, “mitigation”, “probability distributions” and “P10, P50, P90”. 

Lynn Stalker
Where do risks (threats and opportunities) arise from?
All projects have risks, whether that be a threat or an opportunity, and these can come from a multitude of different external and internal sources.  The first stage in identifying any risks to a project is to understand where the sources of risk can arise from.  This presentation is aiming to consider what the various sources of risk are and provide examples of said risks.

Mike Ward
When managing programmes is there any difference between risk and benefit management?
We have recently noticed a trend to look at the achievement of outcomes and the realization of benefits as the key measure in the success of a programme. When talking about these measures we frequently talk about the types of data we want to measure and then discover that the organisation actually uses the same data types when categorizing risks. Our suggestion is that if you manage the benefit lifecycle correctly, you will automatically be managing the programme’s risk. This session will explore the overlap between risk and benefit management within a programme and opportunities to align them.

David Shearer
Aligning Strategy Decisions with Risk Appetite – A Simple Approach
Risk Appetite is a current topic of development within many organisations. The presentation will look at current terminology and a number of models being presented within the sector. A case study will describe how the topic of risk appetite has been discussed and received within a technical consultancy organisation against a backdrop of growth and business expansion, and how strategy development has been aligned with risk appetite. The case study will highlight a simplified approach aimed at providing leaders with a structure and knowledge base to drive business growth and risk management initiatives.

Michael Lawrence
Governance in enterprise risk management 
In 2014, the Financial Reporting Council (FRC) issued their updated Code of Corporate Governance, the update places a greater focus on Company Boards and their role in managing risk.  In his talk Mike describes the improvements to the risk management system that Rolls-Royce have made to meet these new requirements.

Dr Keith Harrison
Treatment and mitigation of risk 

Having spent time and effort identifying, documenting and assessing the risks on your project, you now have a register containing a number of threats and hopefully at least some opportunities. The next part of the process is to work out what; if anything, you can do about them. This session will discuss the various treatments options that are available; explaining the advantage/disadvantages of each, in order to help you choose on the most appropriate one.

Keith Gray
Risk analysis for project decision making
Project performance, or rather poor project performance, is often in the headlines. There is a tendency to look at the project team as the cause of project performance. However, the project can be set unrealistic budget and timescales. Studies on the causes of project failures by Calleam concluded that there are 101 common causes of project failure grouped into 13 major categories, one of which is Estimation. Two examples from this category are i) decisions are made on singular values of duration and costs rather than using a range of values that reflect the risks and uncertainties in the estimates for the forthcoming project phase(s) and ii) there is a failure to build in contingency to handle risks and uncertainties.

This presentation looks at the risk process in general and the assess step in particular which includes qualitative and quantitative analyses. These analyses are defined and their outputs are reviewed and the help they can offer project decision makers. Decision points in the project life cycle phases are identified. Some of the challenges for project decision makers are listed and there is an opportunity for delegates to add more, phase by phase.

Finally, answers to the question “Can risk analysis help?” are offered for discussion as a contribution to the conference theme of “A world in which all projects succeed - but not without risk management”.

Ben Fry
A simple approach to contingency drawdown
Irrespective of the size or complexity of your project, at some point in time each and every risk will disappear. This may mean that the risk has occurred and you need to fund its consequences or it is no longer a threat and any budget allocated to it needs to be released. Whatever the reasons for a risks closure, what happens to any budget associated with it needs to be handled in a controlled, auditable and well governed manner. This is not always as easy as it sounds with some teams creating complex control methods for managing this seemingly simple problem, potentially resulting in premature drawdown of the risk budget or lack of clarity in a projects baseline. In this presentation Ben will explore simple methods as well as potential pitfalls for drawing down risk contingency budgets both in terms of cost, time and performance/requirements.

John MacGregor
Portfolio risk management (details to follow)

Kimberley Hart
Building business continuity through risk management (details to follow)


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