Risk has to be considered in business planning. Work unit managers in large organisations are required to develop annual business plans.
If you’re one of those managers, and you are looking for some help on the risk side of business planning, you’re in the right place. Detailed tutorials are being posted as a series of articles on this site. You can jump to the start of the tutorial series right now.
The rest of this page is for risk specialists more than for unit managers.
If you’re a risk expert and it’s your job to help the unit managers, you too will find some suggestions and resources here.
The current series is framed specifically for unit managers challenged to risk-assess their annual business plan. It does not mention other applications of risk management. A generalised version of this risk management process has been published on LinkedIn (Risk consequences as the final effect on objectives). That version is directed to risk specialists. It generalises beyond business planning to ERM and to project risk management, and discusses risk appetite and tolerances directly.
Why this approach is different
- It is about middle managers’ real world experience with business planning and risk. It is not a grand vision for Enterprise Risk Management in which the majority of managers are left behind.
- The process is for middle managers to follow and use, without reliance on a risk expert.
- It positions actual stakeholder concerns as the sole driver for any attempt at risk management. For middle managers, stakeholders are represented by a boss, who can be seen across a desk. It is not about fulfilling the abstract dreams of risk experts, consultants, or risk software vendors.
In short, this approach is all about real managers, and managing the important effects of uncertainty on objectives, not ‘doing risk management’ for compliance or other less compelling reasons.
You will first want to know if this is a safe place to send your clients, or even if this stuff is worth reading. To help you answer those critical questions, there is an overview of the recommended approach to risk management in business planning. It is written in a compact style for experienced risk specialists, and includes references.
The tutorial series for unit managers is explained fully. It does not assume any knowledge of risk management. There are worked examples and models. There are no templates that can be separated from tutorials, because, as you probably know, unthinking reliance on templates has been a near-fatal cancer within risk management.
You can refer your unit managers to the tutorial series directly, or create your own guidelines reflecting some or all of the risk management process recommended here.
Most of all, you can comment on each of the pages on this site, as can unit managers. Thoughtful challenges and questions will be good for all of us.
Next in the series: