Most organisations have long been committed to understanding and managing their risks for a variety of reasons. Risk registers will typically capture, operational risks, health & safety risks, perhaps strategic risks, and also those risks associated with the delivery of projects. Great. However, in working with a diverse range of clients, over a long period of time, our Riskcom team will almost always identify an area of risk exposure that is commonly overlooked. Those risks that are generated as a result of a business improvement, or change, that are delivered into other business area(s) – Risk in Change. It’s one thing to deliver a great improvement that has significant benefits to the business, but are there risks generated as a result of this change? Do the risks delivered actually outweigh the benefits received from the change/improvement?
Some key questions have to be answered:
So why is the Risk in Change process, and its delivered risks, often overlooked? It simply comes down to engagement and communication. There is often a ‘silo’ mentality that prevents business and project teams looking outside their immediate area/activity. In identifying operational risks business area leads will tend to be ‘inward looking’. They have a great understanding of their business activities and can readily identify those risks associated with the delivery of their activities. Similarly project managers, delivering an improvement or change, will have an excellent understanding of risks to budget, scheduling and quality of the deliverable but don’t necessarily explore those risks that the project is generating that have an impact outside of the project.
Is all this starting to sound familiar?
Risk in Change is a process that effectively integrates risk management and change management processes, to enable the proactive, timely, identification and management of those risks that are delivered from a business improvement/change activity, into another business area(s). It is, therefore, obvious, that successful implementation of the Risk in Change process requires close engagement and collaboration of various work teams (ie project team and the impacted business areas). Together, at project commencement, they identify potential delivered risks and then design and implement mitigation strategies throughout the project to ideally reduce the level of delivered risk, and to also avoid any unnecessary surprises for the impacted business area, at project closure.
Riskcom is well placed to provide Risk in Change consulting advice and support given that for the past year Michael Maclennan, a highly skilled and experienced risk management consultant, and has recently lead the development and roll out of Risk in Change in a large Commonwealth agency. Margo Fox (Principal Consultant at Riskcom) is a highly experienced change management practitioner. We can work closely with you to:
Please call Riskcom if you’d like to discuss this article and our risk in change processes.