Six Questions to Start or Enhance Your Risk Management Process


Six Questions to Start or Enhance Your Risk Management Process

In our last post on risk management – The Current State of Risk Management, we stated that many organizations struggle to get started with, or get value from, their risk management efforts.

Dr. David Hillson, the Risk Doctor, has outlined the following six questions to help you get started with risk management or to get more value from your current risk management efforts.

To illustrate how these questions can be used in practice, we’ve created a fictitious organization called the Disease Prevention Association (DPA).  Let’s assume the DPA’s mission is to eliminate a disease through the advancement of research, and to provide enhanced care and support for all affected by the disease.

Q1, What are you trying to do? (Your objectives)

DPA has determined one of its strategic objectives is to increase the reach of care and support services by increasing volunteer-powered delivery.

Q2, What might affect you, good or bad? (Your risks)

DPA has determined it could be affected by the following:
– Challenges in retaining and recruiting volunteers
– A potential decline in donations
– New funding that may materialize pending negotiations with a large potential donor

Q3, Which of the things that might affect you are most important? (Risk assessment)

DPA has determined one of the most important things that could affect the organization is the reach of care and support services could suffer due to challenges in retaining and recruiting volunteers.

Q4, What should you do about your most significant risks? (Risk treatment)

To address its most significant risk, DPA’s board has instructed management to develop reasons as to why people might want to volunteer for DPA and to communicate this information as part of an ongoing volunteer recruiting program.

Q5, Did what you planned to do work? (Risk treatment Follow-up)

Six months out, DPA’s board plans to review the results of its volunteer recruitment plan to assess the extent it worked to attract volunteers.

Q6, What has changed? (Identification of new or emerging risks)

Twice per year, DPA’s board has a standing agenda item to review any changes in its operations or operating environment that could create new or emerging risks.


Now you can see how asking six simple questions can help you to be more effective in your risk management efforts.

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Francis Liska
CEO OTUS Group | OTUS Group
Francis is a Chartered Professional Accountant, Certified General Accountant, Certified Information Systems Auditor, Certified Internal Control Auditor and a Certified Management Consultant. He holds a degree in Business Administration from Cape Breton University and a Post Graduate Diploma in Applied Information Technology. He has also completed graduate studies in decision analysis at Carleton University.

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