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Risk management

Pulse of the profession recognises executive concerns that business environments are increasingly complex, global priorities are expanding and clients have a continued drive for innovation as well as a ‘do more with less’ attitude. Perhaps most frequently, we hear about risk and the unacceptable financial risk of failed projects – resulting from poor delivery performance.

We have linked our approach with lean and innovative principles to minimise waste and optimise opportunities respectively.

Our robust approach in identifying, assessing and controlling all sources of project uncertainty through a suitably tailored methodology of project risk management has played a key role in delivering successful financial and operational outcomes for capital intensive organisations around the world.

From the earliest stages of identifying potential benefits to be gained, be it asset enhancement, capacity increase, or process or organisational change, we deploy risk management to leverage opportunity and improve resilience. We continue to use risk management coupled with value based methods to support and optimise cost, schedule decisions and good governance as part of a wider suite of leading-edge project management and controls tools.

Improved decision making using our expertise in challenging and analysing threats and opportunities, through scenario planning on both resource/cost and time constraints, increases the confidence that management and boards have in steering the project towards a successful business and stakeholder outcome.

We've recognised the importance and been instrumental in the development of infrastructure risk management and governance for over 10 years. We have been advising and supporting private and public sector organisations ever since the publication of our Optimism Bias report on large public procurement, which continues to be used by the UK Treasury to obtain best public value and manage risks from programmes and projects. Our approach across a range of engineering and infrastructure sectors recognises levels of capability maturity and ensures appropriate application of technical skills and experience to support improvement. This allows us to help organisations drive development and deployment of best practice methodologies and tools across projects, whatever the size.

We recognise that implementing project risk management requires experience of using appropriate standards including ISO 31000 and BS31100, and guidelines such as RAMP, PRAM, M_o_R and Institute of Risk Management guidance. This allows us to implement the optimal framework process, tools and expertise, to underpin and engage with stakeholders to drive project success.

Often our approach also has to satisfy other compliance requirements such as corporate governance and social responsibility. We ensure that policy and internal controls or audit functions are fully catered for. This not only provides appropriate visibility and integrity of risk data, but also permits escalation of threats and opportunities to the best management level within agreed risk tolerance levels.

While we can deliver commissions focused on deployment of project risk management or analysis on specific schemes, we are increasingly integrating our project risk management approach with the suite of project controls and management tools which underpin development and delivery. This permits our identification, assessment and treatment of scenarios that can threaten the project objectives, or indeed the opportunities to make amends for added benefit. This allows us to drive cost, schedule quality and compliance performance in an integrated and cost effective manner. We believe that a built-in rather than bolt-on approach is the best way to do more for less.

Our integrated and tailored approach has led to deployment in earlier and later phases of the project lifecycle. This includes alignment with value and benefits management and evaluating the sources of uncertainty at an early stage, so as to permit the further development of the project scope in view of cost effective response plans. We have linked our approach with lean and innovative principles to minimise waste and optimise opportunities. We also exploit our risk management processes to identify and assess the potential risks facing operation of an asset being delivered to ensure improvements can be addressed during design development.

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