Challenges of Adopting Management of Risk (M_o_R)

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Risk management has become extremely relevant in the world of business, both as a specialization and a general skill. With businesses finding themselves constantly subject to change and the Digital Age regularly revealing new challenges, failing to invest in risk management practices is itself a risk – something more and more organizations are starting to realize.

‘Management of Risk (M_o_R)’ is a risk management framework created by AXELOS. It provides best practices for identifying, assessing, prioritizing, and responding to risks depending on their severity and relevance to short or long-term considerations. These processes, once embedded in a business, can help teams avoid and reduce the damage of various threats and achieve reliable business continuity.

While it considers elements of project and program management, it also takes other perspectives into account. This is vital, as risks can have a significant impact across a business, and taking a holistic perspective is often the best way to facilitate an effective. It also examines risks at a strategic level, making it easier for high-level managers and executives to make informed decisions.

However, the benefits of M_o_R do not change the fact that implementing the framework for the first time can involve its own share of challenges. It’s these potential pitfalls that we’ll be taking a look at today.

Here are the most common challenges of adopting M_o_R and how to handle them!

Train the Right People

The M_o_R framework is intended to be embedded in an organization. As such, it goes without saying that at least some employees will require training in how to utilize the framework’s tools and practices – simply because they will create a new status quo.

However, it is important not to restrict who takes part in M_o_R training. Risk management factors heavily into strategic planning, though the framework is also implemented on the project level. Managers, in general, will also be expected to champion the framework and confirm the authority of risk managers.

Apply to All Risks

When considering risks, some may seem lesser than others. Depending on the priorities of a business, it can be easier to focus on short-term threats rather than long-term risks and vice-versa.

Luckily, M_o_R is designed to cover short, medium, and long-term risks, addressing everything from daily operations, to small-scale business changes, to major strategic programs. This is another reason to invest time in implementing M_o_R at different levels and across your organization. Different practitioners within an organization can even share unique insight depending on their area of expertise, helping to create a more holistic understanding of threats for decision-makers.

Make It a Permanent Solution

As we mentioned earlier, risk is a constant presence in the world of business. You don’t invest in risk management for the sake of a single project or program, no matter how important it might be.

The M_o_R framework itself is designed to be embedded permanently within a business. Building and maintaining an effective risk management culture requires that practices be utilized at all levels on an ongoing basis. Luckily, the framework itself is largely agnostic. Organizations of varying sizes and structures can continue applying it to a variety of potential threats. Gaining experience in using the framework also aids practitioners in understanding how to apply it in a way that best suits their business.

Consider Multiple Perspectives

One of the things that make M_o_R unique is that it considers risks from multiple angles. This is crucial, as risk responses have the potential to positively impact multiple facets of an organization. Threats can range in size from localized to enterprise-wide, and successful M_o_R practitioners know when to widen their field of view when necessary.

Because of this, it will be important for you to ensure that these perspectives are being taken into consideration after implementing M_o_R. Managers who are used to working in more insulated environments may not be used to this. Even following a successful M_o_R training program, you may need to have a senior leader check practitioners are not falling back into old habits.

That is not to say that you cannot make this process easier, of course. Encouraging more streamlined communication between different teams and departments can help managers gauge and consider different viewpoints. You may even want to consider upskilling these groups in M_o_R’s practices and terminology, as this can highlight gaps in their own risk management practices.

Change Management

Introducing any kind of major change to a business can create friction or even outright resistance. While risk management is a highly relevant skill, investing in implementing a framework or training program may cause problems. What about other tasks and deadlines? What about those who don’t see the training as relevant? Why does the status quo even need to change?

Part of the solution will be actively selling the benefits of studying M_o_R. This is not simply about business-level gains, of course. Getting certified in the framework can be a great way for candidates to stand out and take on new responsibilities. You can also emphasize how ineffective processes will be improved and how individual benefits will empower the company as a whole.

The next part will require you to minimize any possible disruption to essential tasks. Online or blended training can be the answer here. Avoiding rigid class schedules – particularly those requiring time out of the office – can help employees integrate training into their own timetables. E-Learning providers also make materials available via web-enabled devices, giving employees a chance to study at home or elsewhere.

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