Get your risk management out of the boardroom

Get your risk management out of the boardroom

Analysing and controlling enterprise risk is one of the most important functions within organisations today. These risks cover such areas as competitive, compliance, economic, innovation, legal, operational, quality, reputation and strategy risks. Yet, in many instances many of these risks are managed only by the intuition of the process manager or management team.

While many are skilled enough to investigate and control most of these risks, the number of processes that fail to adequately meet expectations within tolerable risk limits serves as testament to the fact that the complexity of risk management is beyond the capabilities of the current, mostly manually-driven and disjointed, systems used within organisations today.

In large organisations, multi-disciplinary teams of experts may investigate and score risks using a standardised methodology, communicate regularly with relevant stakeholders and evaluate proposed solutions to issues against established criteria, only to see those processes also suffer from problems relating to awareness, accountability, ownership, follow-through, etc.

Problem statement

Many of the processes and tools used for evaluating and controlling risk in existence today only operate well at one particular phase of the risk management life cycle. Indeed, many organisations still use spreadsheets to create risk registers for the various departments and functions. These are then consolidated into one spreadsheet in order to form a holistic view of the risk landscape.

Whilst the process of risk identification and assessment is therefore easily digitised using spreadsheets, the ensuing phases of identifying and assessing controls and required control actions becomes a lot more time-consuming.

It becomes even more onerous for the risk management team to follow up with control owners and control action owners on a regular basis as to the status of implementation.

This manual approach leads to a great deal of inefficiency in the process and tends to undermine the accuracy and effectiveness of the risk management process overall; in fact, it could lead to the perception that risk management is merely an administrative burden that doesn’t really add much value to the organisation overall.

But what if things didn’t have to be that way?

What if the assessment and ongoing management of risk could be intrinsically woven into the daily workflow of employees?

What if employees had the ability to identify and report on risks as they are identified instead of waiting for an annual risk assessment workshop?

What if you could instantly see all the actions intended to mitigate risk, together with action owners and agreed implementation dates and manage these tasks from one, central location?

What if internal audit or the risk management team could quickly identify actions that have been completed as input to the review process without having to reach out to all control owners to confirm status in a time-consuming and manual process?

It's time to challenge the status quo

The deployment of an integrated solution that leverages the best of digital technologies presents organisations with the opportunity to not only more effectively manage enterprise risk but also to radically transform the risk culture and employee attitude toward risk management.

To get this right, the tools used for risk management must not only work throughout the entire risk management process, they must also prompt decision makers to select the correct option according to a pre-defined and standardised risk management framework that clearly sets out considerations for impact analysis and assessment of control effectiveness.

If a risk is somehow underestimated or overestimated by the person interpreting the analysis, the risk assessment and control process has not performed properly. The other problem is that even when control owners have identified required mitigating actions and assigned these to team members, those team members often lose sight of the required actions, leading to missed deadlines or, worse yet, continuing with implementing actions that might no longer be appropriate to mitigate the risk.

What is needed, is a system that successfully digitalises the entire risk management process, exposes necessary information to stakeholders and accountable people and drives transparent and effective communication at all times to all affected parties. All of this is to be achieved without affecting the productivity of employees or imposing onerous administration and reporting responsibility on stakeholders.

All this is possible .... today!

This situation is not so far-fetched as it once would have been.

The workflow, security and notifications mechanisms built into the core of the readyplatform architecture put almost all of the data required for this risk assessment and control system in a centrally accessible place.

Risk Manager on readyplatform presents a comprehensive, integrated risk management and control solution that enables risk managers to transform internal risk management practices and, indeed, the organisational risk culture as a whole, greatly improving the success of risk interventions. It presents a fresh approach to digitally driving the risk management process, involving all affected stakeholders at the appropriate time and reducing the administrative burden of capturing the outcomes of assessments and reporting to various committees.

Key features and benefits of Risk Manager include:

  • Data is input into one, central location using any browser-enabled device. Role players are able to record, update and view information on any device and at any time they choose without needing access to proprietary spreadsheets or other supporting software – or to have the latest copy emailed to them before they can start working. There is also no need to consolidate risk registers through copy-and-paste – a practice which usually leads to information becoming misaligned and out-of-date very quickly.
  • Easy of use. Any employee, anywhere in the organisation can quickly and easily record a risk using a simple to complete form, accessible on every screen in the webapp, that is configurable by your administrators.
  • Information is made available on an as-needed basis using the integrated user security framework. Staff see only the information they are supposed to. More importantly, they see everything that affects them either as a stakeholder, accountable party or responsible person driving greater accountability across the organisation by making the risk management process more transparent.
  • One-click reporting. All the information needed to present reports to stakeholders is available through an intuitive reporting dashboard without the need to prepare lengthy reports or graphs into reporting packs. Presenting data in the live system also presents the benefit that the most up-to-date information is always displayed reassuring stakeholders that they can rely on the information presented as been correct.
  • Work flowing of notifications makes sure that stakeholders are kept informed as to their responsibilities. For example, when control actions fall due, the system will send a reminder if the actions are still outstanding.
  • Intuitive interface. When users log in, they are presented with their personal dashboard that shows them the control actions they are responsible for. Easy access to reports lets them keep track of the risks, controls and control actions for which they are responsible.
  • Highly configurable. Administrators an configure all the options presented to users, including guidance, colour schemes, routing rules, etc.

Check out Risk Manager today and take the first step toward a more creative and intuitive approach to risk management!

Author: Eugene Pfister

CEO, ReadyPlatform Technologies