– Risk Management –
One of DePaul KSBG Weekend Program’s project management class’ major requirements is the management of a charity project. Boiled down, it is the creation and successful implementation of a project in which all proceeds go to a specific charity of a groups choice. In talking about Risk Management, many faced their wall early-on, when their project was considered unacceptable by our school board. Whatever planning took place in the first week was simply washed away, and the teams facing such catastrophic risks had to revise their plans from the ground-up to make the best of it.
Our team has officially labeled our project “Grace St. Tap going to the Dogs”, in which we hold a social-networking event at Grace St. Tap on July 28, from 3:00PM to 7:00PM- fun and sociable dogs welcome. Despite the initial set-back of our project possibly being cut due to not falling in line with our school’s guidelines, we were able to recieve approval and continue to work forward.
During the course of our project, we were asked to create a risk-management matrix. This is possibly one of the most difficult things aside from the actual implementation, as risks seem to spring up fromeverything. That’s right, that glass of juice you’re drinking? Melts enamel. You think that’s air you’re breathing? … probably is.
The point of this rant is that as any good risk management teacher or text will reiterate, time and again, risks must be identified, assessed, and continually evaluated. We identified several risks and evaluated them as a group- rowdy patrons, rowdy dogs, lack of donations, lack of attendance, etc. We created preventative measures as well as contingency plans for each. All members reviewed and felt the plan had responses to internal and external disturbances.
With another team-member, we went to visit our venue this past Saturday. The website says the venue is open from 11AM to 3AM on Saturdays. However, we met at 3:00PM at the venue… and the place was closed. Not closed for business, just still closed until 4PM. Definitely NOT expected.
And for those of you who want to get technical, this spawns a whole load of questions- Is this expected to continue? If so, do we need to change our flyer information? If we expect ‘X’ amount of donations per hour that day, how much will that affect our bottom-line(or segment-leading-to-bottom-line), losing that hour?
While in the case presented, the bottom line for us happens to be a grade, such “wrenches in the gears” can be applied to any business out there- and can cost a company much more than a simple letter-grade and a 3-4 figure max monetary amount.
So I ask the other groups in our 2012 cohort and any other readers- what soft of risks have you identified for your project/for your company and what contingencies have you come up with? And if we have any career risk-analyst readers, any horror stories like ours to share? To be honest, we should have seen this coming- it is an obvious sort of risk… but we are just-now learning to think that way, and we’ll have to let you know if it does affect our bottom-line despite our current revisions to our action plan.