Author Topic: Anyone know where to discuss project/risk management?  (Read 799 times)

Offline bluefoxicy

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Anyone know where to discuss project/risk management?
« on: November 18, 2013, 06:14:26 PM »
I can find a number of project management forums online; but there's just nowhere that seems active and, to put it simply, helpful.  Compare Homebrew Talk and AHA, Badger And Blade and Straight Razor Forums, Gamefaqs, BikeForums, and so on with ... PMzilla or the Project Management Forums.  All of these places are active... except the PM forums, which have a handful of users and posts days out of date in the one or two forums that haven't been dead for weeks or months.

I'm trying to find some information on risk management.  A lot of RM stuff seems to be technical and mechanical--identify risks, rate them by probability versus severity, develop mitigation and contingency, estimate cost and risk tolerance, develop a risk management plan, risk breakdown structures, and so on.  There isn't really a lot of "how to estimate risk", though; and I happen to be very good at this.  So good that so far nobody can point me at anything that's ... enlightening.

I'm up to a point where I've been writing my own risk analysis theories, based on experience in things I've had to analyze.  For example, some places tell you that risk can be estimated in terms of probability versus severity:  Probability often starts as "Never, Unlikely, Likely, Definitely" and becomes "Infrequent, uncommon, common, frequent" and eventually just time spans like "Every 3 years" "Every 1 year" "Every 6 months" "Weekly" "Daily" "Multiple times per day".  Severity similarly goes from abstracts like "Negligible, Moderate, Severe, Catastrophic" to "Dollars, Thousands, Hundreds of Thousands, Millions, Billions".  That's not a progression so much as the refinement:  low-probability events WILL happen "eventually", and a situation is not severe unless it carries a cost (money in business).

My experience has lead me to more complex concepts such as lease terms:  when you have the choice to invest so much up front to reduce the cost of a certain ongoing operation, you're facing a lease.  It costs $500/mo to keep a Large Amazon EC2 server running, or $150/mo with an up-front pay-up of $3600 for 3 years.  This means $250/mo, and means you're saving $250/mo.  Okay, so the risk diminishes over the lease:  You're risking $3600 if you no longer have a need for this up-front; but every 1 month diminishes the risk by $250--10 months in, if you have to ditch this and move up, you're only behind by some $1100 (and had you gone big up-front, the difference in cost over 10 months would make this only a little cheaper... or more expensive).  Plotting this diminishing over time, versus probability, versus risk tolerance, you can do complex risk assessment ... with calculus and basic algebra.

It gets complex.  I can't find an appropriate forum or any books that go into the really crazy s*** I've gotten balls-deep into, and I can't imagine I'm factually better at understanding risk than every other person on this planet.  Somebody's written books about this.

Online duboman

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Re: Anyone know where to discuss project/risk management?
« Reply #1 on: November 18, 2013, 06:20:39 PM »
Not sure what you do for a living but I know in my business I speak with my accountant first who also happens to be a business evaluator also and this conversation comes up a lot in terms of how we decide to spend our money and when insurance issues are concerned as well I bring in my insurance guy as well and we have a pow wow
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Offline thisoneguy

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Re: Anyone know where to discuss project/risk management?
« Reply #2 on: November 18, 2013, 07:28:59 PM »
Consider looking around some actuarial forums. The Society of Actuaries offers a Chartered Enterprise Risk Analyst credential. I'm not sure what you know about actuaries, but you'll probably find that it's a bit more rigorous than "never, ... , defnitely" and "negligible, ... , catastrophic".

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« Last Edit: November 18, 2013, 07:49:15 PM by thisoneguy »

Offline bluefoxicy

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Re: Anyone know where to discuss project/risk management?
« Reply #3 on: November 18, 2013, 09:09:17 PM »
Consider looking around some actuarial forums. The Society of Actuaries offers a Chartered Enterprise Risk Analyst credential. I'm not sure what you know about actuaries, but you'll probably find that it's a bit more rigorous than "never, ... , defnitely" and "negligible, ... , catastrophic".


Ooh, that looks interesting.

The frequency (time) versus severity (cost) metric is extremely common.  It is the established operational risk management pattern used to plan military action, and is referenced in some form in most texts I've looked at for risk.  Kepner-Tregoe Potential Problem/Opportunity Analysis cites a format where you list risks with likelihood and severity; this is the same thing as an ORM chart, and I tend to implement it as such.  Risk management always comes down to mitigation (actions taken to reduce risk ahead of time--probability and/or severity) and contingency (actions taken when a risk event occurs--reduce severity).  These can create new risks (i.e. if a RAID drive fails, you have to replace a drive at a cost; if multiple fail, you have your original risk in greatly reduced probability).

My big problem is most texts on risk management are in one or more of three categories:

  • Light and fluffy:  Good, basic concepts.  The same stuff I've gleaned already, the same stuff you could get out of Google in five minutes.  You know the drill:  "Here's the most basic concepts, and let's talk a lot about them."  Think about if Kepner-Tregoe's "The Rational Manager" was just entire chapters devoted to each single one of the 11 specifying questions, no overall process to tie them together, and a lot of talk about the supposed virtues of each--still 300 pages, but no decision analysis, no risk management, no actual processes, and no final chapters tying it all together and discussing a solid overall strategy.
  • Unqualified dumpster bait.  Leadership is an important skill; there are volumes and volumes on leadership that read like Dilbert's PHB wrote them.  That is:  they deliver feel-good advice, but it's mostly wrong and teaches you to be a s***head.  There are books on Risk Management which, similarly, droll on about risk as some abstract thing, explaining how it's not well-handled and how it's all over the place and gets ignored, and talk about how you have to do something about it... without actually explaining how to look at a risk and qualify its importance in any meaningful way.
  • Specialized.  Insurance, financial, investment.  Books about how to be All-State or how to run a Bank or manage a Mutual Fund.

What I want is something technical in the operations risk management area... which CERA seems to fit.  Good catch.  I'll look into that.

Offline thisoneguy

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Re: Anyone know where to discuss project/risk management?
« Reply #4 on: November 18, 2013, 09:40:59 PM »
Good luck. Admittedly, you'll likely find specialized info in actuarial circles,  as we tend to work mostly on insurance problems. However, you should find many of the tools useful; lots of them can be generalized to other areas.

Offline majorvices

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Re: Anyone know where to discuss project/risk management?
« Reply #5 on: November 19, 2013, 05:03:21 AM »
Straight Razor forums? Really???
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Offline morticaixavier

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Re: Anyone know where to discuss project/risk management?
« Reply #6 on: November 19, 2013, 08:39:47 AM »
Straight Razor forums? Really???

Hurray!

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Offline bluefoxicy

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Re: Anyone know where to discuss project/risk management?
« Reply #7 on: November 19, 2013, 04:57:17 PM »
It doesn't have a kitchen!  I took the kitchen apart to build a vastly superior design, but work on it stalled.

My design would have cost $384 more in materials and labor (at $50/hr) if used in the initial construction of the kitchen (rather than costly demolition and reconstruction).  It provides a more open floor plan with better appliance accessibility (oven and refrigerator open better); 40% more storage space (pantry); 35% more counter space; and 40% more appliance space.  It also eliminates the need for a dining room table.

Essentially, I moved a counter from a non-useful position to a useful position, with access to electricity and water (dishwasher!!!).