Risk Management in a challenging situation serves as a platform, or a tool, for reducing stress and loss, and communicating possible solutions. In reality, we often have to deal with challenging situations. I give you below, a realistic scenario.
In the scenario above, it is obvious that the original project risk of not meeting the regulatory deadline was not well managed. Missing the deadline became a certainty and the organization has to face the consequences (e.g., eroding reputation, financial loss, legal issues).
Could the organization have deployed the service without the service support? What are the risks of deploying a service without service support? Possible consequences (of deploying the service without the service support) are users’ confusion and dissatisfaction, perhaps some exposure to security and privacy risks, probably low performance. The inherent risk (i.e., risk that is not mitigated) is probably still High.
I think that everyone would agree that deploying an IT service and not supporting the service is poor Service Management practice. An IT service is not operationally ready if its service support is not in place. Nevertheless, in the above context, it is a viable alternative. It is worthy of consideration to determine whether some measures can decrease the risk to Medium, or even to Low.
You can consider temporary measures, for example, a time-window after the service deployment, during which the development team provides service support. Furthermore, all users can be provided a contact (in the development team). Within the planned time-window, your project team will design and implement service support and hand it over to the service desk. These measures can significantly reduce the risk, so the residual risk, that is, the risk remaining after all risk mitigation measures are implemented, can probably be reduced to Medium.
In the above scenario, deploying without service support is a viable alternative for not meeting the regulatory deadline, and will have to be communicated to the team and senior management and assessed. Risk management gives you the tool to assess challenging situations and recommend alternatives. Without effective risk management it is much more difficult, time-consuming and stressful to determine and communicate alternative solutions. We will discuss more about how to communicate and facilitate decision making in such a situation in the next column.
To conclude, effective risk management increases organizational ability to adapt to internal and external changes. As more and more organizations are facing ever-increasing pace, Risk Management is becoming ever important to the point that it may become an enabler of organizational agility.