One of my favourite scenes from the movie ‘Saving Private Ryan’ illustrates the importance of the “minimum necessary” principle. It also reminds me of the story about America spending big on biro development while Russia achieved the same outcomes using a pencil 😂. Myth. But a good joke – which unfortunately became internet mischief.
It is a useful concept as it helps us get a better handle on future uncertainties.
The AgileBCP risk lens can (and should) be applied BEFORE a disruption event – andAFTER a disruption event.
Nature’s warning color – red – is used to stimulate discussion. A ‘red flag’ calls for serious and immediate considerations. Orange – important but probably not immediate, Yellow – cautionary and needing to be watched closely, Green – sound but still keep an eye on it.
Risk puts on notice the need for conversations about what ought to be done – and what does not need to be done. Indeed the only reason for risk assessment is in order to inform action – or inaction. Risk assessment has no inherent merit. It ought not to be academic. Risk exists, as a concept, in order to inform decisions.
Once a decision is made, any implementation plan(s) should be kept as long as necessary but as short as possible. Specifying what needs to be done and what is needed to do it. Implementation plans are then supported by standard management practices of monitoring the achievement of the required outcomes by ensuring the plans are on track, on budget, and on time.
I’m sure there are quite a few old sayings about “hindsight always being useful to learn from – but foresight being better to not have to“. Sage.
I was reminded of the value of foresight in a recent conversation on LinkedIn. Reflecting on the essence of the conversation – supporting good decisions with foresight – I noted several key principles – a list I share below as “Five for Foresight”.
Be clear about your objectives
Fully appreciate your context
Be specific about your assumptions (and uncertainties)
Be rigorous about your decision criteria (and their weightings)
Plan to include the active monitoring of variations
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