What makes an effective risk management plan?

Do you have one in place? Is it worth the effort?

Jef Lippiatt

Jef Lippiatt, Owner at Startup Chucktown

Without being too specific or general I have some advice that anyone should be able to put in place within their venture.

An effective risk management plan:

  1. Has a range of options. Any risk management plan that relies on a single strategy is likely to have multiple points of failure or gaps of information that are unaccounted for. Have a mix of risk management plans in place. Think of the most likely things that could go wrong and come up with more than one way to resolve or mitigate that risk.
  2. Considers more than the obvious failures or vulnerabilities. Once you think of a possible risk, go 1 or 2 steps deeper within that same problem. Also, think of the edge cases or less likely risks that could still be problematic if they occur.
  3. Communicates clearly in a timely manner. Ensure that the entire company knows the plan and procedures in advance (even if you have to stage a mock event).
  4. Makes training and resources available. You may need a "risk management team" in place or at least identify key individuals that can help implement the plan and ensure they understand the material and have access to training.
  5. Gets revisited on a regular basis. Risks are an ever-changing environment. Stay prepared by making time to revisit the current plan and make any adjustments as new risks are discovered, old risks are obsolete or just to refresh your risk management memory.