Thursday, November 16, 2006

November 16, 2006 - Risky Business Part 4

In the first part of this series I mentioned the risk of being bit as you walk down the street. As you see the dog you identified the risk and automatically begin assessing the probability and impact of getting hurt. The value you assign to each of these depends on the answers to questions like: Is it a full-grown pit bull or a Chihuahua puppy? Is there a fence between you and it? Does the sign on the fence say “beware of dog?”

Assuming it is a pit bull with no fence and he staring intently at you while growling, several options form in your mind on how to avoid being bit and seriously hurt.

Mitigate. Those ideas are mitigation steps. They are actions you can take now to reduce either the probability of being bit or the impact of the bite. To lower the probability you could slowly backup and turn onto another street. Wearing protective gear with thick padding could lower the impact of the big, sharp teeth.

Review the top 3-5 risks on your list and document action steps that can be taken to either lower the probability or the impact. Make sure the steps are specific and able to be performed. It must be more than “watch it to see if it gets worse.”

As simple as it sounds, this is the first step away from a list of pre-recorded excuses for failure and actively eliminating risks before they kill your project.

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