Many of you might have seen this image recently when it went viral on social media, and reactions might have included laughter or a shaking of heads. If you work with risk, it might have crossed your mind that you would never be involved in anything like this.
But are risk professionals just like the worker at the top of the scissor lift with a hard hat on?
Just like his hard hat, our risk analysis tools are giving us the reassurance that we are doing things properly - but missing the bigger picture.
The image cannot convey the whole situation. We don’t know:
Was the best course of action due to decisions beyond the control of the workers?
Was inspecting that roof beam on a critical path to ensuring that a key event could start on time?
Did the workers think they were saving or rescuing the project and creating an opportunity to be heroes?
Do robust whistleblowing procedures exist to ensure the psychological safety to step out from the crowd or group-think?
Or were management (or client paymasters) exerting pressure to cut corners, and their appetite for risk had changed since they last defined what activities and behaviors they would absolutely do and absolutely not do?
This swimming pool example could very easily be a microcosm for many of the much larger and more important projects that fail to deliver what they promise. Are they failing for the same reasons? Do we need to actively incorporate bigger pictures and contexts into our discussions on the tolerance of risk and resilience in the face of risk?
Discrete risk analysis is different from a holistic risk management process. Both risk professionals and organizations cannot treat the two with the same approach and expect consistently positive outcomes.
Safran is helping organizations to see the bigger picture around risk and improve risk management maturity with better risk management software to manage and assess risks dynamically. Safran Risk Manager. allows project controls professionals to work collaboratively, so you can monitor every stage of your projects with confidence.