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3 Tips For Risk-Proofing Your Business Strategy

April 12, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 171

How do you accomplish your business strategy? How do you move a business from one course to another?

The answer is a project or set of projects and a set of skills called project management.

There is a tendency to think IT or Construction whenever project management is mentioned. After all, those functions need project management to keep them on track. And there is a reason project management is so important to those functions. A reason that is shared with any truly strategic endeavor.

Any true business strategy will cross the silos that develop within your business. I'm not talking about marketing strategies that are just another word for an advertising campaign. I'm talking about creating a new business, introducing a new direction to the company, introducing an innovation, reacting to a market. All those things that truly affect the company where it lives. All of these are achieved by a project or series of projects.

One of the areas of concern that every project manager soon learns to deal with is risk management. Not insurance, although that can be an option. Rather the reduction and avoidance of the negative effects of risk events.

In this article, I'm going to share 3 tips that I've learned about risk-proofing your business strategy from my many years in project management and entrepreneurship.

I'm not going to get into the whole "risk isn't what you think it is" discussion here. I've covered it in other articles and blog entries. But as an entrepreneur or CEO, you need to know and understand the difference between a risk, a risk event, and an exposure. Why? Because you're playing in the area between -- both for opportunities as well as threats. Instead, in this article I'm going to focus on the threat side of the equation.

1. Plans work best when they exist

I know, it sounds silly. But building a business or maintaining a business is a matter of riding the horse. You have to be constantly reacting to what is going on around you. And sometimes (most times) there is a tendency to try to fly by the seat of your pants. But with a risk event, you need to be able to react quickly. Survival often depends on it. Definitely, your ability to influence events depends on it. But to react quickly, you need to know what your reaction is going to be. And that means you need to plan for risk events up front.

2. Know what the risk event looks like.

How many times have you realized what is happening after it's already happened? Even though there were clear warning signs. You still didn't see the threat event happening. One of the advantages of planning for risk events is that you identify the characteristics of the risk event. One of the key characteristics is the predictor. In short, part of the risk management plan is to identify how you will know a risk event is occurring. A second part is actually monitoring for those indicators.

3. Never commit unconditionally.

Things happen. Things that should happen don't. Things that shouldn't happen do. If you only have one choice, you've automatically increased your exposure. Not good. Having a plan in place to prevent or reduce the effects of risk events is all well and good. But if you don't have a fall back plan, you will eventually get into trouble that you can't get out of. If you don't have any choices then all you can do is ride the pony off the cliff. And in the real world that tends to kill both mount and rider.

Do you want to read more free information like this? Visit us at and read our blog. While you're there check out other articles by Glen Ford

Or check out my newest book available on Amazon at

Glen Ford is an accomplished project management consultant, trainer and writer. He has over 20 years experience as a project manager in such diverse projects as Construction, IT, Software Development, Marketing and Business Startup. He is a serial entrepreneur who quite literally learned to be an entrepreneur at his great-grandfather's knee.

Source: EzineArticles
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Risk Proofing

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