Forums Managing Risk in Complexity SIG
(MRC SIG)
Working Group A: What practical, useful risk tools and methods are available that can help project managers to visualise and understand complex interconnected risks and their implications?

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  • Richard Barber
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    Traditional Bowtie is widely used to explore specific hazard events.  In 2019, RiskIQ collaborated with the Australian National University to explore how Bowtie could be adapted.   The ambitious aims of the work were produce a risk tool and process that is recognisably Bowtie and that would:

    • deal with risks of all kinds and complexities.
    • seamlessly deal with deal with opportunities and threats
    • work on multiple interrelated uncertainties (threats and opportunities) at the same time, for best overall advantage.

    The result of that work is embodied in the attached “Systemic Bowtie” diagram.  It has three key stages of work, as briefly summarised in the second slide.  The Systemic Bowtie was tested in practice and delivered excellent outcomes for a risk review of a complex project, difficult project.

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    Davin Shellshear
    SIG Chair
    @davin-shellshear
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    Did you know that the Institute of Risk Management in UK also has a Special Interest Group working on Complexity and Risk. In the last meeting we talked about looking for other sources of advice and opinion. The link to IRMs SIG is

    https://www.theirm.org/join-our-community/special-interest-groups/risk-and-complexity/

    The site includes some uTube talks and papers – available to non-members

    Richard Barber
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    We had a good meeting on Wed 9th June.  The meeting notes are attached.   They are worth a quick read, especially if you weren’t able to be there.

    Some of the topics covered include:

    • “What are we seeking to visualise and work on – individual risks or multiple risks?”
    • Predict! Risk visualisation tool.
    • Are we in the game of mega complexity, or much smaller?
    • Risk professionals – who and what?
    • Should we provide a decision tree for selecting risk tools?

    Other Actions Arising:   The following additional actions were suggested or agreed during the meeting:

    • Trevor will upload a 2-page summary about the use of n-square matrices in systems engineering.
    • Richard will provide an overview of the “Systemic Bowtie” tool he mentioned.
    • Davin will have a look at what IRM’s SIG “Risk in Complexity” is doing and let the group know.
    • Richard will start a dialogue on the forum about the idea of a “decision tree”.

    Regards,  Richard

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    Val Jonas
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    @Stephen.Gray I agree that finding and breaking loops is a very powerful technique.

    Richard Barber
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    Meeting #3

    Ready for more exploring of visualisation methods & tools?

    Especially keen to hear what Shree Lakshmi Ramesh Babu has to say about complex risk visualisation software?

    The agenda for our next meeting (Wed 9th June 5:30pm Canberra time) is attached!!

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    Richard Barber
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    We had another good meeting last Thursday, albeit with only a few people present.

    Please find the meeting notes, including some descriptions of tools/approaches.   Also find attached two documents describing two of the tools discussed.   Please use this forum to comment, extend, question.

    The next meeting will be Wednesday 9th June, at 5:30pm Melbourne time.

    Warm regards,  Richard

     

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    Richard Barber
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    Hi,

    Attached is a slide-set for the working group meeting today.  It lists some risk tools/techniques for discussion.   You might find it useful to have these slides printed or on a second slide.

    Regards,  Richard

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    Davin Shellshear
    SIG Chair
    @davin-shellshear
    Post count: 103
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    Hi Team,

    I thought it might be of interest to share a methodology for understanding the risk profiles of leadership and management teams in Alliances and Collaborative Contracts. We have been using this approach for the last 12 years. Drawing on the comments from Working Group B that complexity issues frequently arise from behaviours, this approach specifically focuses on the behavioural pre-disposition of leadership and management teams. The approach does not seek to pick up aberrant behaviour, but rather recognises that the normal behaviours of individuals and teams do not always align with what is required of those teams to drive successful outcomes. The approach does draw on ISO 31000, but seeks to add sophistication to the linear thinking of that standard through recognition of the complexity of behaviours emerging from any given worldview, and seeking a sophisticated response to questions of Impact and Effect – effectively seeking a narrative risk map around each scenario.

    The relevant web site is http://www.managementdrives.com.au although it is somewhat out of date at the moment

    Cheers, Davin Shellshear

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    Stephen Grey
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    I have found n-square matrices useful for analysing all sorts of systems of related items including risks where I have generally used a relationship A tends to exacerbate B

    Rearranging the order of items to find clusters with closer linkages within themselves than with the rest of the system can be very powerful – identify dominant items, feedback loops, isolated items that offer an opportunity to break a loop, groups of items that can be joined into a higher level concept to simplify understanding

    I uncovered a toxic feedback loop in a public sector job once in this way. Inadequate senior management horsepower was allowing people at the working level to do things that upset stakeholders, who spoke to the press to vent their irritation, who published the information in the local newspaper that was picked up by the Minister who called in the senior management to demand reports and briefings that reduced the amount of attention they could give to the working level and allowed even more spot fires to develop

    The DSM movement advocates these ideas

    Tools can make it a lot easier than working by eye

    Lattix is one I have found very good but there are others including some listed in the DSM website

    Richard Barber
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    Please see an updated problem statement map in the form of a risk map, for Working Group A.

    I’ve left it in powerpoint format so anyone can chose to add, delete, modify.   Please feel to download, make changes and then upload.  No need to do mark-ups on comments except where you want to.     This can be an emerging process.

    For discussion at our next meeting – this coming Thursday, 5:30pm Canberra time.

    Regards, Richard

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    Richard Barber
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    Hello again.  We agreed in the last meeting to share information about practical tools for visualising and understanding complex interrelated risks.  To that end I’ve attached a sample of three tools and one process, for discussion.

    Another tool I think is very much of interest is the complex risk visualistion software being developed by Shree Lakshmi Ramesh Babu – a PhD researcher from Perth.  She will be presenting an ICCPM webinar soon – see the ICCPM website.  I think what she is doing is worth a close look.

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    Richard Barber
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    Hi everyone,

    Meeting #1 of this working group was last Thursday 13th May.  A big thank you to those able to attend.  We had a thought provoking conversation.   The notes arising from that meeting are attached.  Please comment, provide ideas or contribute in other ways to this important topic using this forum.  Please also strongly consider being part of the next meeting of this working group, planned for Thursday 27th May at 5:30pm Canberra time.

    <u>Next Steps</u>

    1. Meeting Notes:
      Please use the meeting notes as a start point for comments, questions, ideas on the forum.
    2. Existing Tools/Methods:
      Please suggest useful methods or tools (or processes) for inquiring, visualising, understanding interconnected risks and how they relate to project purpose, outcomes, success.
    3. Problem Statement Map:
      The Problem Statement Map will be updated as a soon as possible, in powerpoint format. Please have a look at it and make comments on the forum or even to download it, make comments and then upload.
    1. Next Meeting:   It was decided to meet again in two weeks (same day/time) and then consider how often we meet after that;.

    Regards,  Richard Barber

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    Richard Barber
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    Attached are the slides for the Working Group A meeting at 5:30pm today (Thursday 13th May).  Feel free to turn up even if you did not register.  Arriving late to the meeting is also totally okay.

    See details that follow.

    Regards Richard

    Working Group A. Thurs 13<sup>th</sup> May; 5:30pm-6:30pm AEST
    Proposed Topic: Review whether and how network analysis (and or other existing tools and methods) can be used as valuable, practical aids for understanding and managing interrelated risks in complex projects.

    Join Zoom Meeting:
    <u>https://zoom.us/j/99740095190?<wbr />pwd=<wbr />MVNhY1JIZi9zVFhlc2ZqSjlDY1FmUT<wbr />09</u>

    Meeting ID: 997 4009 5190
    Passcode: 344000

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    Stephen Suminguit
    SIG Community Manager
    @stephen-suminguit
    Post count: 35

    This topic is for discussions by Working Group A.

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