This tag is associated with 14 posts

More for your money

I promised to review the Infrastructure Risk Group report on Managing Cost Risk & Uncertainty In Infrastructure Projects, a report which was launched last month at the ICE with the sponsorship of the IRM. The report is a result of work undertaken as part of the Infrastructure UK investigation of the high cost of infrastructure projects.  […]

What you’ve been waiting for

Matthew Leitch asked me to summarise my last two posts about risk definitions. I said it would take 5 minutes, but as I scoped it out I realised that a lot was involved to provide a proper explanation. Eventually I developed Prezi presentation with a voiceover to cover the explanations. It’s very boring so I’m […]

Pedant’s Corner (1)

In principle I’m a great fan of standards for risk management.  Given the problems we have, there is a very attractive idea that conceptually lucid, clearly written standards can help us find the way forward. In reality the large range of standards (ISO 31000, BS 31100, superseded A/NZ documents, etc) and quasi standards (PRAM, MoR/P3M3, […]

We need to talk

I’m getting sidetracked trying to write an article on resilience.  One of the hares I’ve chased is Robert Kaplan’s and Anette Mikes’ discussion of three types of risk.  This is because it is asserted by the World Economic Forum’s risk report to recommend resilience as the correct approach to long-term global risks.  Turns out it […]

Proud to be a war quant

I’ve just re-read Douglas W Hubbard’s The Failure of Risk Management.  It’s an odd book in that while I agree with most of what’s in it, I’m not particularly convinced by the overall story suggested by the subtitle: Why It’s Broken and How to Fix It. Hubbard’s theme is that we do not do enough, […]

Fragility management

I reviewed Nassim Nicholas Taleb’s book Antifragility with the promise to look separately at what the lessons might be for organisational risk management.  The answer is quite a bit, and this article will just be an initial high level view.  The thinking is developed pretty uncritically from the book.  There will be plenty of scope […]


Antifragility is the topic of Nassim Nicholas Taleb’s last book in his trilogy on our uncertain world and how to deal with it.  The other two were Fooled by Randomness and The Black Swan.  These are both relatively narrow in their scope – though well worth their own reviews at some point – whilst Antifragility gives […]

Always look on the bright side of life

Matthew Leitch has asked some questions on my Risk workshops post which I think are aimed at my use of terminology and, specifically, the treatment of good things which could happen.  This seemed to be worth its own Wandering. The term I’d prefer to use about the clouds of vagueness wreathing the ways things will work out […]

Fools and liars

My ears are burning (metaphorically).  I’ve just read Bent Flyvbjerg’s paper on quality control and due diligence in project management.  His theme is the inaccuracy in forecast project costs and benefits.  Specifically, the tendency to underestimate costs and overestimate benefits is attributed to the ‘planning fallacy’, a creation of our old friends Tversky, Kahneman and co.  The source of […]

Risk registers, bloody risk registers

It all sounds so simple.  Just make a list of all the risks.  Then you can start figuring out how to prioritise them and manage them in a comprehensive and visible way.  Job done. This was how it seemed back in the early 90s when we took some tools that had proven quite effective for the management of […]