Risk Management is the process of measuring, or assessing risk and
developing strategies to manage it. Strategies include transferring the
risk to another party, avoiding the risk, reducing the negative effect
of the risk, and accepting some or all of the consequences of a
particular risk. Traditional risk management focuses on risks stemming
from physical or legal causes.
Financial risk management, on the other hand, focuses on risks that can be managed using traded financial instruments. Regardless of the type of risk management, all large corporations have risk management teams and small groups and corporations practice informal, if not formal, risk management.
An ideal risk management starts with establishing the context, inclusive of the identity and objectives of stakeholders, the basis upon which risks will be evaluated and defining a framework for the process, and agenda for identification and analysis. The next step in the process is to identify potential risks-events that, when triggered, cause problems.
Hence, risk identification can start with the source of problems, or with the problem itself. Once identified, they must then be assessed as to their potential severity of loss and to the probability of occurrence. After which, a decision on the combination of methods to be used for each risk shall be made. Each risk management decision should be recorded and approved by the appropriate level of management.
In as much as no initial risk management plans will be perfect practice, experience, and actual loss results will necessitate changes in the plan and contribute information to allow possible different decisions to be made in dealing with the risks being faced. In the end, risk analysis results and management plans should be reviewed, evaluated, and updated periodically.
Risk management also faces difficulties in allocating resources. This is the idea of opportunity cost. Resources spent on risk management could have been spent on more profitable activities. Again, ideal risk management minimizes spending while maximizing the reduction of the negative effects of risks.
If risks are improperly assessed and prioritized, time can be wasted in dealing with risk of losses that are not likely to occur. Spending too much time assessing and managing unlikely risks can divert resources that could be used more profitably. Unlikely events do occur but if the risk is unlikely enough to occur it may be better to simply retain the risk and deal with the result if the loss does in fact occur.
Prioritizing too highly the risk management processes could keep an organization from ever completing a project or even getting started. This is especially true if other work is suspended until the risk management process is considered complete.
Risk management is simply a practice of systematically diagnosing, quantifying severity, selecting cost effective approaches for minimizing the effect of threat realization of the risks to the organization. All risks can never be fully avoided or mitigated simply because of financial and practical limitations. Therefore all organizations have to accept some level of residual risks.
About the Author:
Aweng recommends Risk Management Software-The EPCB Complete Continuity Toolkit provides comprehensive and integrated guidelines, tools and templates which supports your planning processes and strengthen your preparedness outcomes. Aweng also recommends RISK & INSURANCE magazine--in-depth articles designed to supply readers with the inside track on trends and events in risk management. FREE to qualified professionals.