Risk Analyses in Operational Planning
Risk analysis is assessing the probability of something going wrong, whilst at the same time also assessing the possible negative consequences if it does. Risk analysis can help reduce negative effects on an organisation is not completely eradicate them. Failure to conduct risk management can result in a lost of time, money, and status of managers. In more serious cases it can even lead to complete failure of a business.
When analysing risk, we may have to look at one or more factors which can affect the outcome. These might include (but are not limited to):
- Human – Illness, death, injury, or other loss of a key individual.
- Operational – Disruption to supplies and operations, loss of access to essential assets, or failures in distribution.
- Reputational – Loss of customer or employee confidence, or damage to market reputation.
- Procedural – Failures of accountability, internal systems, or controls, or from fraud.
- Project – Going over budget, taking too long on key tasks, or experiencing issues with product or service quality.
- Financial – Business failure, stock market fluctuations, interest rate changes, or non-availability of funding.
- Technical – Advances in technology, or from technical failure.
- Natural – Weather, natural disasters, or disease.
- Political – Changes in tax, public opinion, government policy, or foreign influence.
- Structural – Dangerous chemicals, poor lighting, falling boxes, or any situation where staff, products, or technology can be harmed.
Risk Management in Operational Planning
Once we have analysed and understand possible risks to our operation plan, we can set about managing risks and if possible completely eradicating risk altogether. One example of this is health and safety Risk Assessments which are discussed in more detail in the next section but risk can manifest in many other areas of an organisation including fiscal, reputational, and operational.
Managers should continually monitor and suspected risks on a regular basis to insure that the risk is being controlled as much as reasonably practicable. Controls can be implemented or changes made to keep any risk to a minimum. If possible, training or retraining can be provided. In my own organisation, we regularly train and retrain employers to ensure that any risk to them of exposure to asbestos fibres is minimised.