The primary goal of risk management is to navigate the uncertainty found in any initiative. As the development of the risk management process begins, here are four more general principles to keep in mind to guide decision-making:
- Timebox risk assessments. Because all uncertainty is not identifiable and the process needs to be scalable to the size of the initiative, allocate some fixed time.
- No two risk assessments will produce the same result. Due to the human thinking involved, it is best to consider risk continuously, through ongoing activities and reviews.
- Bias is inevitable. Psychologists have identified over 100 cognitive biases affecting human thinking, including individual risk appetites and thresholds. The best way to start mitigating this is with a) teamwork following the process and b) strong facilitation.
- Alignment is important. Align risk responses to response strategies (e.g., don't make a major, expensive change in plans for an accepted risk) and align the responses with initiative goals.
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