Risk management is not just about managing bad risks; it is also about managing good risks, otherwise known as “opportunities.” It could be the case that not enough businesses appreciate how much there is to gain for exploiting these good risks. In a post for Strategy Execution, Rick Graham analyzes why this could be the case and how to remedy ways of thinking.
Managing the Bright Side
Several thoughts could factor in to why opportunity management is forgotten. For instance, opportunities are difficult to categorize as “yes/no” events. Another reason is that opportunities that look too good might start to be treated as “needed to happen” by the business, rather than a more accurate “might happen.”
But let’s fixate on the yes/no aspect. Graham writes this about the yes/no aspect as it applies to managing threats:
A common challenge faced by project risk facilitators is that, at first pass, sometimes very few of the identified ‘threats’ may actually be risks in an event, yes/ no, risk register sense. We may see sources of risk (‘we are using a new technology’), categories of risk (‘contractor’), questions (‘are we translating into Spanish?’), actions (‘we must check compatibility’), constraints (‘all staff must have level 2 clearance’), estimating uncertainties (‘we do not know the competence of the client project manager’). Of course none of these can be entered into the risk register as they are. They are not yes/ no events, and cannot therefore be assigned a probability, impact and priority.
Nonetheless, risks are dug down into until they are comprehensible and plans for action can be implemented. The same attitudes should be brought to opportunity management. Teams should want to sniff out chances to produce more business benefits as much as they want to sniff out risks that could hurt delivery of benefits.
For additional elaboration, you can view the original post here: https://www.strategyex.co.uk/blog/pmoperspectives/risk-management-threat-and-opportunity-mirror-images/