I am encouraged to write this blog because of the book on Risk, by Dr. Ben Carson.  His model for risk takes on a simpler approach than other models for risk management.   It seemed a little strange that a world renowned neurosurgeon would write a book on risk.   What’s even more baffling is the fact that he could shed light on how to handle risk in project management and business analysis.  I was pleasantly surprised after reading the book, because of how simple his approach is and how it can be applied in a wide range of situations.

Dr. Carson’s approach on risk was to evaluate the risk in order to aid in making a decision.  Also note that choosing to take action or doing nothing at all has its share of risk as well.

In my reading of the book in which Dr. Carson describes his approach, he gives numerous examples of how he has used this approach in his successful career as Chief Neurosurgeon at John Hopkins University.  The approach as I see it is not a numbers based approach; it is not based on a number of statistics and mathematical formulas.  It is, in a sense, a qualitative approach where you have to weigh the pros and cons of a decision that you are faced with.

Here is an overview of the Risk Approach from Dr. Carson:

  1. Identify and define the decision that you have to make.
  2. Look at the decision for two perspectives, what if I decide to do something or decide not to do something. These are the only elements you will consider.
  3. For each decision, what are the positives that will result, and what are the negative results.

Here is a simple template to apply this Risk approach:

Decision being considered Positives Negatives
Decide to Act    
Decide not to Act    

 

  1. Brainstorm the elements to include in each of the four quadrants. Think through the details and record the information in the table above. Look at the decision that you will make and consider the pros and cons of each choice. After you have recorded your information on paper sit it aside for at least one day and evaluate the answers.    If you identify all the elements and evaluate them using this template, you will be able to identify the best decision based on the facts that you have recorded.
  2. Here is a simple example to illustrate this process. Assume you want to make a decision about learning to program with Java.

 

Decision being considered Positives Negatives
Decide to Act

Take training in Java Programming

 

Build my skills in my resume (5points)

Make me more marketable (10 Points)

Takes Time each week to learn (-3 points)

Cost $1000.00 for course (-1 Points)

May not guarantee job.

Decide not to Act

Don’t Take Training in Java Programming

Have more time to work on other projects (4 Points) Risk having my skills outdated (-5 points)

 

The analysis of the table should lead you to making a decision to take the Java Training Class.

 

Summary

The Business Analysis Knowledge areas suggest that the Business Analyst conduct risk analysis during the business analysis process.   There are several tools that can assist you in dealing with Risk.   This technique from Dr. Ben Carson is not complicated and when you apply it correctly you will see results that can bring added value to you and your company.

Aug 19, 2016 | Project Managment | 0 comments

New Approach To Handling Risk

Project Managment | 0 comments

I am encouraged to write this blog because of the book on Risk, by Dr. Ben Carson.  His model for risk takes on a simpler approach than other models for risk management.   It seemed a little strange that a world renowned neurosurgeon would write a book on risk.   What’s even more baffling is the fact […]

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