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March 2015 – Top ten myths of risk

APM Project magazine, Spring 2015, pages 58-59

Since the dawn of time, mankind has used myths to make sense of the uncertainty that surrounds us. Unfortunately many myths have grown up around risk management. These may have some basis in truth, but they are far from an accurate representation of reality. This article explores the top ten risk myths, and how to counter them.

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March 2015 – Exploding common myths about risk management in contracts

IACCM Contracting Excellence online magazine

Contracts are a mechanism for transferring risk between contracting parties. For most people however, the way this is understood and implemented is limited to choosing the form of contract. But there is a better way to understand the relationship between risk and contracts. By recognising the true nature of risk, we can ensure that our contracts address it intelligently and appropriately, sharing the risk challenge equitably between the contracting parties so that risk is managed effectively and the contract purpose is achieved. This paper explains how a wider view of risk in contracts will maximise our chances of success.

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Oct 2014 - How risky is your project? And what are you doing about it?

Presented at the PMI Global Congress North America 2014, Phoenix, AZ, USA, 26 October 2014.

This paper clarifies the concept of overall project risk, explains its importance, and outlines how it can be identified, assessed, managed and reported. Only by broadening our risk approach to include this aspect can we answer two key questions from project sponsors, stakeholders and customers: “How risky is your project? And what are you doing about it?”

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Oct 2014 - How to manage the risks you didn’t know you were taking

Presented at the PMI Global Congress North America 2014, Phoenix, AZ, USA, 27 October 2014.

Most people define risk as an uncertain future event that would have a negative effect on achievement of time and cost objectives. But risk includes much more than this. This paper explores the other types of risk that are usually missed from the typical risk process. Drawing on leading thinking and current best practice, the paper explores the full range of project risks that need to be managed, starting from the proto-definition of risk as “uncertainty that matters”.

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May 2014 - Managing overall project risk

Presented at the PMI Global Congress EMEA 2014, Dubai, UAE, 6 May 2014.

How do you respond when your sponsor asks “How risky is this project?” Leading standards for project risk management define “overall project risk” to answer this question, but most of us ignore it. Take your risk management to the next level and discover how to assess and manage the overall riskiness of your project.

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April 2014 - Perspectives on risk management & behavioural finance

Journal of Risk Management in Financial Institutions, Vol 7 No 2, 2014, 114-121

This opinion piece offers four views on whether risk management frameworks should take account of behavioural research, and whether it is possible to regulate “reckless behaviour” in financial institutions. Differing answers are provided by Dr David Hillson (The Risk Doctor Partnership), J R Soberhart (Citi Franchise Risk Architecture), Irina Ursachi (KPMG) and Prof Frank Riedel (Bielefeld University).

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Oct 2013 - The A-B-C of Risk Culture - How to be Risk-Mature

Presented at the PMI Global Congress North America 2013, New Orleans, USA, 28 October 2013.

Understand what drives risk culture, what a good risk culture looks like, and how to develop one in your project or business. Discover how choosing the right risk attitude can lead to appropriate risk behaviour, which in turns produces a mature risk culture. 

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May 2012 - How much risk is too much risk? Understanding risk appetite

Presented at the PMI Global Congress EMEA 2012, Marseille, France, 8 May 2012.

How hungry are you for risk? How much risk should you take? This paper explains where risk appetite comes from and why it matters. Discover how choosing the right risk attitude can lead to appropriate risk-taking for your business, your project, or your personal life.

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August 2011 - The IKEA approach to risk

Project Manager Today Magazine (ISSN 1366-6851), August 2011, page 15

Self-assembly furniture from IKEA can be found in many homes across the world. This article suggests that IKEA’s self-assembly instructions could provide a template for improving the way we describe our risk processes.

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July 2011 - The definition debate – Continued

Journal of Project, Program & Portfolio Management, Vol 2 No 1, 2011, 1-9

The ISO31000:2009 international risk standard introduced a new definition of risk as “effect of uncertainty on objectives”. In a Risk Doctor Briefing issued soon after the publication of ISO31000:2009, David Hillson challenged this definition and pointed out some unintended consequences of the change. Three leading academics from UK, US and China reflect on David’s challenge and provide their own insights.

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