Risky Business

Updated: Apr 21, 2020

From an early age, we are taught about risks with dire warnings about not running with scissors, or playing with matches. Life is full of risks, but somewhere there is a balance between staying in bed under the covers all day, and speeding down the road without your seat belt fastened while checking your Facebook status. Sure, you might get away with it now. But, play on the edge long enough, an avoidable risk will catch up to you.

Like life, a business will face a world full of risks. However, it is important that you do not play on the edges, because, it will catch up to you. Innovative Software Solutions (ISS) practices risk assessment with our customer’s projects. During the assessment, we help the customer discover avoidable risks. We then find ways to help mitigate those threats. Risk assessment is particularly important when the project involves a health care device, in this case an overlooked hazard could cause harm to a patient, which would have a devastating effect on a business. Risk assessment can also discover issues that will help keep the project away from technical and regulatory risks that could also cause a business to stumble.

The Deepwater Horizon oil rig disaster is a study that exemplifies what may occur when proper risk assessment is not performed. The Deepwater Horizon rig cost about 1 million dollars a day to operate and the goal was to move the rig to the next assignment as quickly as possible – every day the rig was idle meant $1 million was spent with no progress on the next gusher. Prior to the disaster, the managers were anxious to move the rig, they did not want to “waste” time assessing the risks. Because they did not take the proper time to assess the risk, they didn’t use the best practices for ensuring safety in the tools they planned to use. This resulted in an explosion that killed 11 people, sank the expensive oil rig, and created the largest marine oil spill in history. When all was said and done, the company ended up paying $42 billion to settle the civil and criminal payments, while wreaking havoc on the people who make their living in and around the Gulf of Mexico.

While risk assessment cannot uncover 100% of the many risks that exist, taking the time to think about risks and the many ways to moderate them. A simple assessment can go a long way to keeping your business healthy.

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