#184 – DEVELOPING RECOVERY PROGRAMS: WHAT CAN WE LEARN FROM HURRICANES IRMA AND HARVEY – GEARY SIKICH

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Untitled1-150x150Worst Case Scenarios

When planning for disasters we often time opt for “worst case” scenario plans.  Yet, time and again we are surprised when the “worst case” based plan that has been developed is superseded by an actual event that occurs.  Hurricane Katrina taught this lesson.  Will we be going back to school to learn the same lessons from Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma?  And, Hurricane Jose is coming in on the heels of Irma. Continue reading

#184 – STEPPING STONES IN THE LEAN JOURNEY – JOSEPH PARIS

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image001-2-300x300-250x250As very young children, we had an instinctive need to be very close to our parents – feeling a great deal of anxiety, even a sense of abandonment, if they were not within our sight.  As we grew older – and whether it was geographically, intellectually, or psychologically – we would become more comfortable with greater distances from what we felt were our basic truths, but almost always as stepping stones and rarely great leaps.  Think of early commanders of sailing ships always keeping sight of land until traveling ever greater distances was more predictable because of maps and navigation techniques and tools. Continue reading

#184 – RELIABILITY AND RISK MITIGATION ACTIONS – FRED SCHENKELBERG

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ABC-Fred-150x150Once reliability risks have been identified and analyzed, we have to do something.

Well, not really.

If the risk is acceptable to the stakeholders, then we can simply continue with the current plan and monitor or any new risks or changes in our understanding of the existing risks. Continue reading

#184 – THREE MANAGEMENT METHODS TO HELP YOUR BUSINESS IN THE TRUMP ECONOMY – GARY HINKLE

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02WEB-144x150-144x150President Trump promises a more business-friendly government that should stimulate economic growth. Regardless of the actual economic growth in our future, here are three methods that will help your business increase profits if you depend on successful completion of projects to make money.

These are relatively simple concepts, but they require in-depth knowledge, consistent effort and discipline to get full benefit. Continue reading

#183 – CONSEQUENCES OF INTERNATIONAL CONFLICT: NORTH KOREA VS. THE UNITED STATES – GEARY SIKICH

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Untitled1-150x150On the Path to Probability and Uncertainty?

Is the current situation with the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea on your radar screen as a business continuity planning consideration?  Is this situation a realistic risk that your planning should begin to address with a thorough analysis of the potential consequences of an escalation?  What about the situation in Syria?  Ukraine?  Iran?  India/Pakistan?  Or are these risks too far away and remote to begin to understand? Continue reading

#183 – USING LEAN TO MAKE REAL CHANGE IN YOUR CONTINUOUS IMPROVEMENT ROLE – PAUL SERAFINO

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head-shot-225x225My name is Paul. I grew up in the northeast part of the United States, and have spent most of my life here. I went to college in New York and landed my first job right out of school as a process engineer in the Boston area.

That was 17 years ago. Continue reading

#183 – BEING THE BOSS: WHY SO MANY LEADERS FAIL? – ELIZABETH LIONS

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Lions gold podiumNothing is more flattering than a promotion. When the executives choose you to be a leader, it sends a powerful message about your skills and knowledge.

But if a promotion is proof that a person knows what they’re doing at work, why is it so hard for so many employees to make the move from individual contributor to leader successfully? Continue reading

#183 – WE ALL NOW LIVE IN VUCA TIME – GREG HUTCHINS

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Greg HutchinsPick up any paper. Listen to any news. What’s the common thread that weaves through all news?

VUCA – Volatility, Uncertain, Complexity, Ambiguity

It’s the scary. It’s the unknown. It’s the unknowable.

Today’s new normal is VUCA. That’s why we say: “We now live in VUCA time”

Today’s Typical NY Times Front Page Headlines (August 30, 2017) Continue reading

#183 – BREXIT AND THE FAILURE OF ERM – GREG CARROLL

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team-carroll-150x150I have often written on my view that there is an over emphasis these days on Black Swans in risk management. The Brexit vote not only shot shockwaves through financial markets but has created a whole new paradigm to world economic stability both short and long term.  And if Risk is defined as uncertainty then as of today, this must be one of our greatest risks. Continue reading

#182 – SEEING THE BIGGER PICTURE: WHERE OPERATIONS MEET BUSINESS – ANDREW CAMPBELL

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2a16987Those working on operational excellence are typically focused on optimisation, waste elimination, capacity utilization, process redesign and other operational challenges.  This focus can lead to a lack of business perspective.  How can operational excellence professionals keep the business in mind while making operational improvements?

The business model canvas is one widely used tool.  By laying out the main elements of the business in a simple canvas, operational excellence professionals can make sure that their work is always connected with the needs of the business. Continue reading

#182 – RETHINKING RISK AND UNCERTAINTY – GEARY SIKICH

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Untitled1-150x150What is risk?  Think about it before you leap to answer.  Do we really know and understand risk?  Some facts to consider:

  • Risk is not static, it is fluid.
  • Risk probes for weaknesses to exploit.
  • Risk, therefore, can only be temporarily mitigated and never really eliminated.
  • Over time risk mitigation degrades and loses effectiveness as risk mutates, creating new risk realities.

Continue reading

#182 – ENGINEERING LEADERSHIP LESSONS FROM JAPAN – GARY HINKLE

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02WEB-144x150-144x150Toyota’s ongoing success is often attributed to their legendary quality and manufacturing systems. Another important element that doesn’t get as much attention is the role of Toyota’s Chief Engineers.

I recently read The Toyota Product Development System (by James M. Morgan and Jeffrey Liker) where I learned that each Toyota product has a Chief Engineer who is responsible for the design, manufacturability and sales of that product. Yes, even sales, because Toyota’s philosophy is that the vehicle’s design has to be attractive to consumers, and if they don’t get design and manufacturability right, sales suffer. Continue reading

#182 – TIPPING THE REPUTATIONAL SCALE – JAMES KLINE PH.D.

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aIMG_4231-150x150An organization’s reputation is important.  In the private sector it can account for twenty-five percent of its book value.  It can also make the difference between market dominance and slow decline. For government there is no good way to quantify reputation. However, having a good reputation may mean the difference between obtaining the needed funds and continuing to beg. Continue reading

#182 – WHICH NON-FINANCIAL RISK MANAGEMENT CERTIFICATION TO CHOOSE – ALEXEI SIDORENKO

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SIDORENKOThere seem to be a lot of angry talk about various risk management certifications on the web lately. Most such comments are coming from people who are very ill-informed about how certification, any certification, works in general. As a creater of 2 national risk management certification programs that have been hugely successful in Russia, here are my 5 cents. Continue reading

#181 – INDIVIDUAL AND CORPORATE RISKS ARE NOT THE SAME – ALEXEI SIDORENKO

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SIDORENKOIn the first of a four-part series, Alex Sidorenko, founder and CEO of Risk-Academy, explains how the key to managing corporate risks is often through dealing with the individual risks of decision-makers first.

If there is one thing I learned in my previous role as head of risk at a multibillion-dollar sovereign investment fund, risk management is not about managing risks. It’s about helping management make strategic, operational and investment decisions while keeping the risks in mind. Continue reading

#181 – HOW TO MAKE AUDIT MANAGEMENT EFFECTIVE – GREG CARROLL

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team-carroll-150x150Effectiveness is the holy grail of Compliance Management.  Whether regulatory or ERM, ensuring business is conducted as intended is the base requirement to optimising your organization’s performance.

Let’s face it, business spends its money where it will deliver the best return, i.e. to shareholders, so the key to increasing the compliance budget is to measure compliance as a factor of performance not as a safety net. Continue reading

#181 – THE ANTIDOTE TO FRACTURED MANAGEMENT THINKING – IAN DALLING

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DallngOrganisations, through their structures and processes, exist to deliver a purpose. They also impact their internal and external stakeholders’ needs, expectations and aspirations positively and negatively. Ideally, they should be delivering equitable win-win outcomes across their stakeholders while making the best use of the available resources which is the principle of integrated managementContinue reading

#181 – FIVE THINGS THAT NEED TO BE REMOVED FROM YOUR RESUME IN 2017 – ELIZABETH LIONS

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Picture1Everyone I know agonizes over what is on their resume because we all know if it’s not perfect, you may not get a call from a recruiter. This constant process of gathering feedback, from peers and experts alike, can make the job search confusing before you even start. Continue reading

#181 – Moose Lodge Syndrome – Greg Hutchins

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Greg HutchinsSome 20 years ago, I was volunteering with a not-for-profit organization to develop new products and services.

Our team had lots of ideas. We were excited to innovate, change, add value, and do better. You could feel the energy. It was electric.

The challenge: The organization was riding high and making lots of money on its core products. They did not want or did not need to look at anything new. Why fix something that was not broken from its point of view. OK. We got it.  Continue reading

#180 – MISUNDERSTANDING INNOVATION – GREG CARROLL

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team-carroll-150x150Last week saw the latest in misguided innovation talkfests, the AFR Innovation Summit #Innovation16.  For several days academics, public servants, journalists, and corporate employees put forward their insights into how Australia can develop an Innovation culture.

Excuse me, but this is a bit like 3 high street bankers sitting around discussing the plight of the homeless.   Very few of these self-appointed experts have ever started a business let alone been directly responsible for innovation in the marketplace.  Continue reading

#180 – WHY DO ACCOUNTANTS AND OTHER PROFESSIONALS NEED BETTER RISK MANAGEMENT COMPETENCIES – ALEXEI SIDORENKO

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SIDORENKORisk management competencies can significantly improve decision making in any profession. The bad news is that these competencies do not come to us naturally. They have to be developed. Even if you do not operate in a high risk, uncertain environment one should consider the extensive research, into what is referred to by scientists as heuristics and biases, cognitive psychology and psychometric paradigm, collectively called risk perception. Continue reading

#180 – HEALTHCARE, NO END IN SIGHT, POOR VALUE AT UNSUSTAINABLE COSTS – JOSEPH PARIS

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image001-2-300x300-250x250Something is seriously wrong…

The healthcare industry as a whole in the United States is corrupt, dysfunctional, ineffective, and inefficient.  And regardless of “party affiliation”, everyone appears to share this opinion.  The only real disagreement (and a heated disagreement at that) is what should be done about it, and whether what has been done to date has a chance of working as promised over time. Continue reading

#180 – A FRAMEWORK FOR RISK MANAGEMENT – FRED SCHENKELBERG

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ABC FredMaking or supporting decisions involving product or system reliability is fraught with uncertainty. Is it reliable enough? Will failures occur prematurely? Are failures dangerous?

Uncertainty is risk.

In recent years more organizations and international standard bodies have focused on risk management. Identifying, analyzing, and mitigating uncertainty in a systematic manner. Continue reading

#180 – I’VE SEEN THE FUTURE OF WORK AND I DON’T LIKE IT! – GREG HUTCHINS

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Greg HutchinsI live in the northwest of the US.  We are now the small business and start up mecca of the US.  Why?  San Francisco and Silicon Valley are too expensive.  So, folks are moving in droves to Portland and Seattle – 1/3 of the license plates in my hood are out of state.

But, there are challenges.   The cost of housing and living in the NW is now approaching San Francisco standards of 4 years ago.  The challenge is that the surplus of new folks (millennials in their late 20’s and early 30’s) moving into town require livable wage work.  So with the influx of folks into the NW, Seattle and Portland are raising the minimum wage to $15/hour. Continue reading

#179 – LACK OF AN ERM POLICY IS RISKY – JOHN AYERS

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AAA-150x150Background

A defense company I worked for wanted to get into the Sonobuoy business. At the time, one company dominated the market and usually received the largest share of the Navy contract.  A couple of other suppliers got the balance of the production quantity to keep it a competitive business.

My company developed a win strategy based on a ¼ scale prototype and purposely under bidding the competition. It worked. They won the largest piece of the production contract. Continue reading

#179 – THE ART OF TELLING PEOPLE WHAT TO DO – GARY HINKLE

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02WEB-144x150-144x150When you were a kid, people told you what to do. Later in life, the same. We don’t like to be told what to do.

When we think about delegation, it comes with this baggage: that being told what to do is a drag. We only take it well from people we really respect. We don’t want to be that awful Do this! person, and we don’t want to be resented by people we’re delegating to. So, it’s easy to fall into the trap of not delegating enough. Continue reading

#179 – REDEFINING BUSINESS CONTINUITY – GEARY SIKICH

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Untitled1-150x150Redefining the BIA – Usefulness and Uses

If we agree on the basic premise that Business Continuity can be defined as sustaining what is critical to the enterprise’s survivability during periods of discontinuity; then we must recognize that the activity known as the Business Impact Assessment (Analysis) or BIA needs to be redefined.  The BIA, as currently practiced does not necessarily achieve the following:

  • Define what is critical to the organization;
  • Develop strategies to recover/sustain during times of discontinuity.

Continue reading

#179 – FUTURE OF DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION – GREG CARROLL

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team-carroll-150x150Senior management have to come to grips with the fact that Digital Transformation is not an Event but rather the operating environment of 21st century business.

Like music, photos, TV, and data, once something becomes digital it becomes a consumable and moves from the domain of the specialised expert to a public commodity.  As with Blockbuster, Borders, Capital Records, and newspapers, businesses based on non-digital product are the hand-crafted hobbies of the 21st century.  Craft markets will exist into the future but they are generally not profitable and rather a labour of love. Continue reading

#179 – OPERATIONAL EXCELLENCE: WHAT IS IT? – JOSEPH PARIS

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image001-2-300x300-250x250Operational Excellence is a term you’ve probably heard a thousand times.  So what is operational excellence—what is the definition of operational excellence— what does it mean?  And why is it important?  Before we can be it, we have to know what it is.  If I were to stub my toe on it, what would it look like?

Let’s start by differentiating operations from operational. Operations is about processes, whereas operational deals with systems—even entire enterprises. Accordingly, there must be a difference between excellence in operations, or process excellence, and operational excellence. Simply put, excellence in operations is efficiency—doing things right—but operational excellence is effectiveness—doing the right things. Continue reading

#178 – HOW TO REDUCE SECURITY RISK WHEN MOVING TO CLOUD COMPUTING – GREG CARROLL

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team-carroll-150x150In my last article “Is Cloud based Risk Management worth the Risk?” I confirmed cloud solutions can be the right and effective solution given that you do the appropriate due diligence on being fit-for-purpose.  If a cloud solution is appropriate, that’s any application not just risk and compliance, then how can you minimise your internet infrastructure risk?

With over 16 years’ experience working in security conscience environments at Dept of Defence, Victorian Infectious Disease Ref Labs, and Australian Border Security, I have put together my top 10 suggestions for mimimizing your risks when moving to cloud computing. Continue reading

#178 – THREE MANAGEMENT METHODS TO HELP YOUR BUSINESS IN THE TRUMP ECONOMY – GARY HINKLE

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02WEB-144x150-144x150President Trump promises a more business-friendly government that should stimulate economic growth. Regardless of the actual economic growth in our future, here are three methods that will help your business increase profits if you depend on successful completion of projects to make money.

These are relatively simple concepts, but they require in-depth knowledge, consistent effort and discipline to get full benefit. Continue reading

#178 – LISTENING SKILLS FOR RELIABILITY ENGINEERS – FRED SCHENKELBERG

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ABC FredDid you hear what they said? Or, were you busy loading for your next verbal barrage?

As my mother would remind me, one should listen twice of often as speaking. Something about the ratio of ears to mouths in the population. I have to agree with her, that one can learn a lot by listening.

Listening may not seem to be a skill that one needs to master. Yet, how often have you walked away from a meeting where one or more participants obviously were not listening? How often are points repeated in an effort to be heard?

Continue reading

#178 – WHY TYPE A PERSONALITIES DON’T ALWAYS GET AHEAD AT WORK – ELIZABETH LIONS

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Picture1You know the kind of person I’m talking about in the office. The one that is always talking, driving and in your mind – knows how to play office politics.

Type A personalities are often described as:

  • Assertive
  • Ambitious
  • Passionate
  • High achievers
  • Controlling
  • High strung
  • Perception Sensitive
  • Do-ers

Continue reading

#178 – QUALITY AND INNOVATION – JAMES J. KLINE PH.D.

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aIMG_4231-150x150Introduction

In 2015, innovation was added to the Baldrige Excellence Framework.  While there is no doubt that innovation is important for an organization’s survival, a fundamental question is: How much does a quality improvement process, which is encouraged by the Baldrige Excellence Framework, contribute to innovation?  While there is no simple answer to this question, some indication can be seen in an examination of the focus of the quality improvement process and what happens to a company, with a reputation for innovation, when a quality improvement process is implemented.  Continue reading

#177 – WICKED PROBLEMS – JOSEPH PARIS

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image001-2-300x300-250x250There are all manner of problems (being an optimist, I rather use the term “challenge”) that we face each and every day.

Most of these challenges are simple enough: what’s for dinner this eve; is there traffic on the highway that is going to impede my progress; do I have any clean underwear, and so on.  Some challenges are more complex; how are we going to meet our production schedule; my primary vendor has failed and I need to bring a replacement on-line; which automobile or house should I purchase and what are the financing options, etc… Continue reading

#177 – RECOVERY: LEAST UNDERSTOOD ELEMENT OF BUSINESS CONTINUITY LIFECYCLE – GEARY SIKICH

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Untitled1-150x150The post-crisis recovery phase is one of the least addressed in planning, training and simulations.  This is an area that, if not properly managed, can cost financially, reputationally and operationally.  Communications, internal and external are, at best, misjudged.  Guidelines for recovery are lacking and most entities lose focus when it comes to discussing recovery operations.  It may be that recovery is one of the most complicated of the lifecycle elements and that no two recoveries are going to follow the same pattern.  Continue reading

#177 – NON-COMPLIANCE PROBLEMS COST 3X MORE THAN A STRONG COMPLIANCE PROGRAM – GREG CARROLL

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team-carroll-150x150Study shows that non-compliance problems cost nearly three times as much as doing it properly from the start.

Many companies view compliance programs as a headache — something they’re required to invest time and money in, but which produces little. A benchmark report from the United States shows that the opposite is the case. Investing in strong compliance programs saves money in the long run. Continue reading

#177 – THE FUTURE OF AUDITING – PETER HOLTMANN

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179fed3-150x150Social collaboration, online audit tools and in-house expertise point the way forward for the future audit.

Using social platforms to support the audit process with electronic audit tools and remote auditors is the way of the future. How we start to position ourselves for the future audit is something I have been thinking about since I first wrote parts of this article in 2013. Let’s look back now to go forward. Continue reading

#177 – ROOT CAUSE ANALYSIS FRAMEWORK: HOW TO LEVERAGE AND ADAPT A FRAMEWORK TO MEET YOUR UNIQUE NEEDS – JIGNESH PADIA

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Picture1-5-150x150Albert Einstein once said that … “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” If you find yourself doing a root cause analysis on the same problem again and again, it may be a time to revisit the root cause analysis from a framework point of view rather than a tool.  In this article, I will go over an example of root cause analysis as a risk management framework rather than one of the tools or a process that you use for troubleshooting a problem.   Continue reading

#176 – CAN ENGINEERING AND MARKETING GET ALONG? – GARY HINKLE

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02WEB-144x150-144x150They’re selling features we haven’t even designed yet!—is a common complaint from engineers about sales and marketing. Requirements are a moving target, thanks to marketing. They’re not well-defined. They’re growing and changing, yet deadlines and schedules are firm.

While engineering is pointing fingers at marketing, marketing is pointing back. Engineers aren’t getting the importance of cost, schedule, and features. To marketing, it seems that engineers care about creating technically superior solutions, regardless of cost or schedule. Continue reading

#176 – POWER COMMUNICATIONS – PETER HOLTMANN

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179fed3-150x150If I gave you six minutes only to communicate your next project; your current workload; the past hurdles; your wish list of positive activities; your best learning’s, how would you use the time? Remember only six minutes.

If I asked you to write down for me your thoughts on how you would change your work outcomes, how much would you write about the past, the present and the future? Let’s say I gave you six paragraphs to do it in with a 250 word-count limit. Continue reading

#176 – TEMPERATURE AND HUMIDITY ACCELERATED LIFE TESTING – FRED SCHENKELBERG

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ABC FredHigh temperature & humidity is a common test condition. For specific failure mechanisms there are models available (or you can create a model) to determine the translation from test to use conditions.

These acceleration models generally only apply to one specific failure mechanisms and do not apply to a system level estimate of life. If the failure mechanism is the dominate failure mechanism for the product, then an ALT exploring just that mechanisms would provide a life estimate. Continue reading

#176 – REPUTATIONAL RISK AND ERM – JAMES K. KLINE PH.D. CERM

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aIMG_4231-150x150Introduction

It is estimated that an organization’s reputation accounts for over a quarter of its market value. As such managing reputational risk has become an important issue for C-Suite members.  This piece examines the issues surrounding reputational risk and how an Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) approach can help manage this risk. (This piece is an extension of an earlier piece on Reputation and Risk presented in #153.) Continue reading

#176 – HORSESHOWS AND CERTIFICATIONS – MURRAY GONZALEZ

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Untitled-150x150-1My family has owned horses for many years. Showing horses is a natural extension of this ownership. Equestrians are, by nature, typically somewhat athletic, but also, they can be fiercely competitive. The true purpose of horseshows, however, is for the equestrian to hone his or her skills to become more proficient at riding. Carriage driving, another equestrian sport I’ve engaged in, can also be quite competitive. As it turns out, those who prepare the best win the most in both showing horses and in the professional arena. Continue reading

#175 – REAL WORLD VOLATILITY: IMPLICATIONS FOR SCENARIO GENERATION – GEARY SIKICH

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Untitled1-150x150Introduction

In the risk-neutral world, all business and government continuity planning would be risk-balanced. However, in reality, risks, threats, hazards and their consequences change depending on an organizations exposure, sensitivities to impact and other factors.  For instance, a natural disaster, can occur without much warning and can have direct and indirect impact on an organization.  Complicating the Business Continuity Planners life is a simple fact, events have unforeseen consequences that can rarely be planned for. Continue reading

#175 – IS IT ‘WORTH THE CLICK’? – JOSEPH PARIS

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image001-2-300x300-250x250From the publicly-traded, multi-national conglomerates, to Girl Scouts selling their cookies (Thin-Mints rule), to the budding entrepreneur who opens a lemonade stand – and everything in between – there are all manner of companies and individuals offering a near infinite variety of products and services.  And about as diverse as the companies and their offerings are, are the ways in which they attempt to build awareness (and the hoped-for resultant sales). Continue reading

#175 – RISK TIP #6 – MANAGING SHARED RISKS – ROD FARRAR

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Rod FarrarI have often been asked to provide insight into the management of shared risks, particularly by those working in Commonwealth Government Departments.

Element 7 of the Commonwealth Risk Management Policy states that: each entity must implement arrangements to understand and contribute to the management of shared risks.  It goes onto to define shared risks as: those risks extending beyond a single entity which require shared oversight and management. Accountability and responsibility for the management of shared risks must include any risks that extend across entities and may involve other sectors, community, industry or other jurisdictions. Continue reading

#175 – COMPENSATING FOR SHAREPOINT DOCUMENT CONTROL DEFICIENCIES – GREG CARROLL

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team-carroll-150x150The benefits of SharePoint as a content management system and information portal tool are indisputable.  With great search functionality and user definable portal pages SharePoint is now the leading Content Management solution chosen by most IT departments.

But what if your business demands strict document controls protocols, not just because it’s good practice but life depends on it?  Unfortunately there is generally a poor appreciation by IT departments of the importance of document control in mission critical business. Continue reading

#175 – ‘MY IDEAS ARE WAY BETTER THAN YOURS’ – EGOS IN ACTION – GARY HINKLE

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02WEB-144x150A leading electronics company suffered a setback when a systems engineer was pushing his own ideas hard, all the while belittling the ideas of others. It was clear to everyone he thought highly of his own ideas and expertise and not much of everyone else’s. The irony is that his approach for developing an important new product was actually great but ended up rejected because he alienated the rest of the team. Continue reading

#174 – OPERATIONAL EXCELLENCE MATURITY MODEL – JOSEPH PARIS

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image001-2-300x300-250x250I have met countless Continuous Improvement and Operational Excellence professionals over the course of my career.  And, in turn, I have become acquainted with their roles and efforts in regards to driving value to their organizations.  Oftentimes, these professionals, although possessing great passion for, and pride in, the value they drive to their companies, express their frustrations at the lack of proper support from their company in their efforts. Continue reading

#174 – TIME COMPRESSION ACCELERATED LIFE TESTING – FRED SCHENKELBERG

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ABC FredThe easiest ALT is one that you operate an item more often then operated by the customer. Removing spans of time the item is not being bent, moved, heated, etc allows you to use time compression.

For example, a home kitchen toaster may be used for a few cycles during breakfast time in your home. In the lab, we can avoid having to wait the day of idle time and just make toast more often than just at breakfast to accelerate the operation of a toaster. Continue reading

#174 – MISUNDERSTANDING INNOVATION – GREG CARROLL

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team-carroll-150x150Excuse me, but this is a bit like 3 high street bankers sitting around discussing the plight of the homeless.   Very few of these self-appointed experts have ever started a business let alone been directly responsible for innovation in the marketplace.

After being in the computer software business for over 3 decades I have been directly involved in the most innovative period mankind has seen.  From the introduction of “mini” computers to the “cloud” to IoT (the Internet of Things), technical change has been a staple of the industry.  But from text files to relational databases to big data, the evolution of information as a tool has been the backbone of innovation in the aptly named “information revolution”.  Continue reading

#174 – SELECTING BOARD OF DIRECTORS – JIGNESH PADIA

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Picture1The Board of Directors are vital for any organization’s good governance. Governance determines how an organization is centered and where it stands. “The Boards of Directors are a group of individuals within an organization that are either elected or appointed as representatives of Shareholders or Owners to establish Corporate Governance and enterprise risk management policies”. (Source: ERMGovernance.com) It is given that for an organization to be successful, it should have a Board of Directors (BOD) with a broad mix of skills to oversee the wide range of issues that may arise. Continue reading

#174 – THE BUSINESS AND LEADERSHIP CONFLICT – GARY HINKLE

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02WEBIt’s ridiculous if you think about it – businesses invest billions of dollars per year on leadership development, yet we continue to have a shortage of true leaders in business. Not every business suffers from this shortage, but I know that within most organizations involved in technology development and manufacturing there are major leadership voids in the management ranks. Continue reading

#173 – PUBLIC APATHY IN THE PATH OF PREPAREDNESS – GEARY SIKICH

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Untitled1-150x150Introduction

I was supposed to be in Boston presenting at “The Disaster Conferences” a few years ago on 28 January 2015.  Well, the weather just put us out to 19 March 2015 for the now, rescheduled Boston conference.  I guess that they are still feeling the effects of this week’s blizzard, now named “Juno”; that left Boston with over 24 inches of snow.   Continue reading

#173 – A STATE OF READINESS – JOSEPH PARIS

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image001-2-300x300-250x250It’s taken a long time—but the time has finally come.  The release of my book, “State of Readiness”, has arrived.

My project officially started almost two and a half years ago.  That was the day I formally sat down and decided to write a book.  But it’s beginning can be traced to an article I wrote in 2012 entitled, “The Operational Excellence Manifesto”.  It was one of the more significant articles I had written and was the result of a considerable amount of listening, learning, and experiencing. Continue reading

#173 – OPERATIONAL RISK MANAGEMENT AND COMPLIANCE MANAGEMENT IN AN EMERGENCY DEPARTMENT – JIGNESH PADIA

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Picture1I recently got a question from one of my clients regarding risks associated with non-compliance in Emergency Department concerning two patient identifiers. The risk identified by my client is not uncommon among many healthcare organizations and falls under operational and compliance risk management.  In order to comply with the required organizational practices (ROPs), we first need to have a closer look at it. Continue reading

#173 – SUPPLY CHAIN RISK, RELIABILITY, RESILIENCE & FUTURE PROOFING – CHRIS DAVIES

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Introduction:

Previously I have introduced Supply Chain Risk Management in 5 Questions (link here). The aim here is to highlight elements of supply chain Risk, Reliability, Resilience and Futureproofing

What does Supply Chain Reliability & Resilience mean?

Supply Chain Reliability is where your supplier or service provider can repeatedly satisfy your purchase requirements. Resilience in very basic terms is how quickly your business can respond to and recover situations or issues (Risks) to the last good part, state, or improved condition, that otherwise could have a real or potential impact on your business operations Continue reading

#173 – I BEFORE ME, EXCEPT AFTER WE – HOW YOU LEAD WITH YOUR WORDS – PETER HOLTMANN

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179fed3-150x150The intentions of your words of leadership may be hijacked by their impact. Words like I, Me, We and their synonyms can bring people together, drive people with purpose and passion; or they can divide people and demotivate. Knowing the context of these words and how they impact, can define your leadership. Continue reading

#172 – FAIL FAST – FAIL SMALL – LEARN AND MOVE ON – JOSEPH PARIS

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image001-2-300x300-250x250Nobody likes to fail. Failing causes us embarrassment. Failing bruises our ego. Failing might be a dark spot on our performance assessments. All we have to do is reflect on our childhood for when we failed and how poorly we felt. Even if our parents did give us encouragement, we still felt bad about failing. Let’s face it – failing sucks.

In most countries, if you fail at business, you carry the stigma of that failure with you for a long time – perhaps forever. The Economist did a great article entitled “European entrepreneurs; Les misérables” in June of 2012. Continue reading

#172 – MATHEMATICAL MODELS, ALGORITHMS, AND RISK MANAGEMENT METHODOLOGIES – GEARY SIKICH

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Untitled1-150x150Introduction

We are enamored by risk models, mathematic algorithms, equations and formulae.  As a matter of fact, we have become so enamored by complex mathematical algorithms, formulas, models and derivatives that we have abdicated much of the analysis of risk, to these complex formulas and quantitative analysis methodologies touted by firms far and wide.  Where has this gotten us?  Are we better able to predict and measure risk exposures?  Are we managing risk more effectively? Continue reading

#172 – INTRODUCTION TO THE QUALITY TRIANGLE – FRED SCHENKELBERG

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ABC FredHave you ever worked on a project with no deadlines, unlimited resources, and boundless scope? Probably not.

You may have worked under the guidelines of a quality triangle, also known as a project management triangle, iron triangle, or project triangle.

Why is that? Why the limits to our ability to create a product or improve a system? Continue reading

#172 – ADVANCING AUDITOR RECOGNITION – ASSESSMENT OF INDUSTRY KNOWLEDGE – PETER HOLTMANN

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179fed3-150x150For many years the selection of audit professionals to audit technical areas, industrial categories, NACE codes, IAF codes, etc has relied on the logging of audits to codes and the review of work experience via resumes.

Whilst this process provides a qualification focus it does not standardize the knowledge or even base line technical competence. For those involved in the assessment and certification, management and coordination of auditor to audit, this is the holy grail. Continue reading

#171 – DOING RIGHT VS. DOING IT RIGHT – JOSEPH PARIS

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Paris_Aug2012It seems that not a day goes by without our reading about someone getting caught in the processes of a system – aggreged not (necessarily) by nefarious intent, but by a process that didn’t take into consideration some set of circumstances.  Sometimes, the angst endured is amplified by the subsequent processes initiated in a chain of events.

Take the situation of Dr. David Dao who, on April 9th 2017, was supposed to fly from Chicago to Louisville on United Flight 3411.  Continue reading

#171 – EXPLOITING NEW CHALLENGES IN ENTERPRISE RISK MANAGEMENT – GEARY SIKICH

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Untitled1-150x150Heightened Awareness or Reactive, Backwards Looking?

From financial crises to energy catastrophes to earthquakes and threats of terrorism, we hear a lot about events that challenge our ability to identify and manage risk.  Unfortunately some of the things that emerge from many of these events are reactive regulatory rules and requirements.

What this means is that businesses and governments need to be even more vigilant in their prosecution of enterprise risk management initiatives.  Private and Public Sector operations are complex and becoming more complex as more entrants to the global marketplace compete for fewer and fewer available resources at an ever quickening pace. Continue reading

#171 – YOU ARE A RELIABILITY LEADER – NOW MAKE A DIFFERENCE – FRED SCHENKELBERG

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ABC FredLeadership is not a position or title within an organization. It is an attitude.

You’ve seen the internet meme’s about the difference between leadership and management. There is a difference and while not everyone is going to be in top management, everyone can (and should) be a leader.

As a reliability professional, you are conveniently looked to for leadership. You are expected to use your knowledge and skill to solve problems. To help teams solve problems. To improve the reliability performance of your system and across your industry. Continue reading

#171 – WHAT IS GRC AND WHY USE COMPLIANCE MANAGEMENT SOFTWARE – GREG CARROLL

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team-carroll-150x150When starting out on the Compliance Management journey, understanding the alphabet soup of acronyms can be confusing.  Here we try to explain the terms, what needs to be done, and need for compliance management software in the process.
Continue reading

#171 – ERM AND INTELLIGENT RISK – JAMES J. KLINE PH.D.

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aIMG_4231-150x150In the Baldrige Excellence Framework the term “Intelligent Risk” appears.  It is defined as: “Opportunities for which the potential gain outweighs the potential harm or loss to your organization’s future success.”  This definition expresses a concern that risk might inhibit innovation. With the addition of Enterprise Risk Management to the 2017-18 Framework has a condition been created where two best business criteria, innovation and risk management, might cancel each other out? More basically, does Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) inhibit innovation related risk taking? Continue reading

#170 – CONSIDERATION OF RISKS IMPROVES THE VALUE OF STRATEGIC PLANNING – J. WOODY STANLEY, MICHAEL GRAF, DANIEL FODERA

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Michael J. Graf P.E.

Michael J. Graf P.E.

Government agencies continually face the challenge of addressing complex societal problems with constrained resources. Among Federal agencies, strategic planning is a common practice that helps agency leaders identify their priorities and improve performance. While strategic planning does not guarantee they will foresee all future events and issues, a risk based strategic planning process is more likely to highlight emergent trends and, as a result, agency managers are better positioned to face an uncertain future. Continue reading

#170 – WHAT DOES ELOQUENT DESIGN MEAN TO YOU? – JOHN AYERS

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AAAEloquence has many definitions primarily applied to speaking and writing.  One definition is the art or practice of using fluent, forceful, and persuasive discourse. Over the ages, authors have variously described eloquence as “words sweetly placed and modestly directed” (William Shakespeare), “a painting of thought” (Blaise Pascal), “the poetry of prose” (William Cullen Bryant), “the appropriate organ of the highest personal energy” (Ralph Waldo Emerson), and “the art of clothing the thought in apt, significant and sounding words” (John Dryden). Continue reading

#170 – IT’S ALL ABOUT SURVIVABILITY – GEARY SIKICH

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Untitled1-150x150If you want senior management to pay attention give them something that challenges their focus – and understand that their focus is not on how many computers you have or RTO, RPO stats.  It is on business survivability – will we be in business tomorrow given the issues that we face today.

What is more important to your organization’s continuity of operations – how many computers you have or where your competition will be coming from in the next five years? Continue reading

#170 – THE NEED TO IMPROVE THE RELIABILITY NARRATIVE – FRED SCHENKELBERG

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ABC FredLittle Compromises and Future Costs

In a recent Seth Godin blog, Counting beans he talks about the eventual costs of little compromises. The immediate benefit may be celebration worthy, yet

But overlooked are the unknown costs over time, the erosion in brand, the loss in quality, the subtraction from something that took years to add up.

This certainly applies to reliability as well. Deferring maintenance just one more month, addressing one more software bug can be done after shipping, and similar small shifts erode reliability of your system. Continue reading

#170 – HOW THE JOB SEARCH CHANGED SINCE 2009 – ELIZABETH LIONS

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Picture1Did realize how many people are looking for a new job?

According to LinkedIn’s survey report in 2016, 87% of passive and active candidates are open to a new job. The number one reason for wanting a new job is career advancement and growth.

In the last three years, I’ve been surprised to find clients come to me looking for new roles that have been with a company ten years or more. Baffled with how much the job market and recruiting trends have changed, they seek solid advice. Continue reading

#169 – PDCA IS NOT BEST PRACTICE – GREG CARROLL

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team-carroll-150x150There is a gaggle of Management Consultants pushing the 20th century mantra of Good Management Practice as a panacea to all the ill of today’s business environment. The key plank in most of these methodologies is that old chestnut “the PDCA cycle” for Continuous Improvement. If your consultant wears this as a badge, run a mile

Business Management is no longer just about Financial Accounting or Office Administration.  And Best Practice is not just someone’s vague opinion.  Leading businesses from around the world have, thru the international standards organization, put down a comprehensive set of guidelines for a broad range of Systems Management areas covering the lifecycle management Best Practices. Continue reading

#169 – BALDRIGE CYBERSECURITY AWARD IS COMING – GREG HUTCHINS

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Greg HutchinsWe are all familiar with the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award (MBNQA).  Now simply known as the Baldrige Award – the Performance Excellence Award.

Well, a new award is coming – The Baldrige Cybersecurity award may be out in a year or so.

Why?  Well, information and data is where value is more commonly found.  The information may be organizational, personal, or intellectual property.  This information is hugely valuable and is commonly digitized.  The information has to be protected through cybersecurity. Continue reading

#169 – IS YOUR ORGANIZATION’S PLANNING BRITTLE – GEARY SIKICH

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Untitled1-150x150Good intentions do not make for the creation of a robust/resilient organization.  Business Continuity plans, Disaster Recovery plans, Emergency Response plans, etc., that are standalone documents generally reflect good intentions – whether to meet regulatory requirements or to address governance.  I would have to say that this should be a wake-up call for executives in all industries.  We live in a complex and interdependent world.  Complex systems are full of interdependencies that are hard to detect.  The result is nonlinearity in responses to events, especially random events/shocks.  Continue reading

#169 – CEO’s AND THEIR SAUSAGES – LEARN TO LOVE THEM LIKE THEY DO – JOSEPH PARIS

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image001-2-300x300-250x250It’s been another week, much like the many other weeks for me.  In addition to running a couple of companies, working on a few projects and pitching others, and the routine management and engagement of the Operational Excellence Group on LinkedIn; I had a few more conversations with the leadership of Continuous Improvement or Operational Excellence (CI/OpEx) Programs at various companies (most in the Fortune 1,000).

Continue reading

#169 – GIVE A LITTLE TO GET MORE – TIM RODGERS

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24b3bf6I’ve been managing supplier relationships for almost my entire career, including hardware component suppliers, contract manufacturers, technology alliance partners, and engineering service providers. Over that time I’ve worked with a number of people at all levels who seem to believe that their one-up position as the customer entitles them to demand more from suppliers while paying less. The attitude seems to be: “Do as I say or we’ll take our business elsewhere.” Continue reading

#168 – SUPPLY CHAIN RISK MANAGEMENT: PUTTING THE PIECES TOGETHER – GEARY SIKICH

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Untitled1-150x150Introduction

It is mid-year 2014 as I write this article.  We have recognized the need to better manage supply chain risks for the better part of a decade now.  Yet, we still seem to be deluded into thinking that the modern supply chain is resilient to the point of invulnerability.  Most organizations have a supply chain that is a mix of competencies, from manufacturing to professional advisory services.  Continue reading

#168 – CUSTOMERS EXPERIENCE PRODUCT RELIABILITY IN REAL TIME – FRED SCHENKELBERG

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ABC FredIn a customer’s mind, the product works or it doesn’t. If it doesn’t work as expected it has failed. This may or may not be a reliability problem.

A customer or someone using your product brings a set of expectations to the experience. The range of expectations may range from very little to very high functional, value production, and durability.

Failures are defined by customers. Continue reading

#168 – THE PM CONSULTANT – WHAT DO THEY DO (& WHY); BUT WHAT SHOULD THEY DO(& HOW)? – MALCOLM PEART

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Malcom-Peart-pixThe PMC Role

In a nutshell, many people think that the role of the Project Management Consultant (PMC) is to look after the Client’s best interests.  But what are the Client’s best interests and does this just amount to keeping the Client happy and not upsetting him?

I would suggest that completing the project in terms of time, cost and quality prevail and that this is the PMC’s real role. This requires the PMC to let the Client know that his best interests are (1) being met, (2) not being met, (3) what needs to be done to meet those interests, and (4) explain why the Client needs to pay or be delayed, or fail. Continue reading

#168 – 800COMPETE.COM – NEW SUPPLY MANAGEMENT BUSINESS MODEL – GREG HUTCHINS

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Greg HutchinsThe Challenge

Think of the following: your CEO gets a tweet from President Trump calling out your company for being Un-American for offshoring jobs? No!

“The biggest idea (globalization/offshoring) of the past three decades is in deep trouble,” says the Economist

President Trump advocates critical infrastructure spending to build/upgrade the electric grid, roads, and airports. The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) rates the infrastructure D+. Domestic investment will be $1 up to $4 trillion. Most of the infrastructure will be sourced domestically. Continue reading

#167 – THE RISK OF FALSE DEMAND – STEVEN BRADT

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steven bRisk of False Demand

When organizations consider risk it is usually centric to mitigating sentinel events or Black Swans (Special Cause) and not usually focused on what is called common cause variation.  By definition these special cause events have a low probability to predict because it is a random from an unusual occurrence and is unstable and unpredictable.  Common cause or process variation is stable and predictable as it is part of the system which means we can identify and reduce variation which reduces risk. Continue reading

#167 – RISK EXPOSURE REDUCTION AND MITIGATION – GEARY SIKICH

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Untitled1-150x150Exposure to threats, hazards and risks leads to vulnerabilities that an organization must deal with.  Commonly these are addressed via a mitigation process.  Once mitigation is accomplished, often times the organization feels that the risk, threat, hazard does not need to be revisited.  However, as a result of the mitigation efforts on the part of the organization, the risks, threats, hazards reconfigure and re-emerge in a different form.  Continue reading

#167 – USE AND ENVIRONMENTAL PROFILES – FRED SCHENKELBERG

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ABC FredUse / Environmental profiles

Did you know that hot air doesn’t rise when there is no or very little gravity?

The electronics used to steer an oil exploration drill head 5 miles deep in the earth experiences 200°C sulfuric acid immersion along with continuous 50,000G shocks.

I used to think the environment under the hood a car was difficult. Continue reading

#167 – 4 STEPS TO INTEGRATE RISK MANAGEMENT INTO STRATEGIC PLANNING – ALEXEI SIDORENKO

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SIDORENKOLet me first start by saying integrating risk management into strategic planning is NOT doing a startegic risk assessment or even having a risk conversation at the strategy setting meeting, it is so much more. You will also find it difficult to relate if the objectives have not been defined or documented in your company or if the objectives are not measurable.  Continue reading

#167 – IS RBT THE ‘NEW’ TQM? – MILT DENTCH

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Milt-150x147Will Risk Based Thinking (RBT) as a cultural change for organizations be successful in reducing quality or business upsets for organizations of all sizes and complexity? In the past 50 years, there have been several quality improvement initiatives that attempted to bring about a change in a company’s culture that have not had a sustainable impact on the company’s quality or business results. Continue reading

#166 – BALDRIGE CRITERIA POSES CHALLENGES TO THE QUALITY PROFESSION – JIM KLINE PH.D.

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aIMG_4231-150x150Introduction

The title may sound strange given the Baldrige’s origin as the U.S. National Quality Award.   Yet, its migration to a Performance Excellence Criteria and the addition of Cyber Security, Innovation, and Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) does pose challenges to the quality profession.  This is particularly true since the many of the Baldrige examiners are quality professionals. Continue reading

#166 – FUTURE OF CONFORMITY ASSESSMENT – GREG HUTCHINS

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Greg HutchinsWe are seeing more global certification bodies create their own assurance and branded certification schemes.

Like ISO 31000 letter of conformance for airports.

Dubai Airports this week received a letter of conformance for ISO 31000 – 2009 Enterprise Risk Management from Lloyds’ Register Quality Assurance (LRQA). Continue reading

#166 – CHANGING A CONTINUOUS IMPROVEMENT INITIATIVE INTO A GLOBAL PROGRAM – JOSEPH PARIS

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image001-2-300x300-250x250The “laws of nature” are absolute.  When we discover a contradiction to a supposed law of nature, it is not nature that is wrong, but our understanding and definition.  Once, it was believed that the Earth was the center of the solar system, supported in our understanding of the science at the time – and was proved incorrect.  And it was once believed that the Earth was flat – and this too, was disproved.  Continue reading

# 166 – THE BEST LEADERS I KNOW DID THIS – ELIZABETH LIONS

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Picture1Leadership is every bit an inward process as much as it is an outward process.

I’ve been lucky in my career. I’ve had the pleasure to work with some of the best Directors and Vice Presidents in several major technology companies. Listening to what kept them up at night, taught me a lot.

What I found was this: Every good leader sets aside time for self-reflection. Continue reading

#166 – THE MANY WAYS WE USE VARIANCE – FRED SCHENKELBERG

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ABC FredThe term variance is a statistical concept related to the spread or dispersion of a set of data. Second to the mean, it a common value we may calculate.

We find standard deviation easier to understand and use (it uses the same units as the data) whereas variance uses the units squared.

We use variance in quite a few different ways. Let’s review just a few. Continue reading

#165 – ISO 9001:2015 SHOULD BE AMENDED – PART 2 – MILT DENTCH

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Milt-150x147Introduction:

My previous article in CERM Insights #164: “The ISO 9001:2015 Standard should be amended”, described my thoughts related to the confusion and ambiguous requirements in both the text of the Standard and the Annex to ISO 9001:2015. This article describes additional requirements that, in my opinion, are not clearly presented in ISO 9001:2015.

  • The difference between purchasing and outsourcing;
  • ISO 9001:2015 does not include definitions and with helpful guidance:
  • The requirements of the Design and Development clause and project complexity;
  • Organizational Knowledge and client confidentiality.

Continue reading

#165 – GOOD ADVICE FOR RISING STARS: YOUR PERSONAL BRAND SAYS A LOT ABOUT YOU – CHRIS MCMANES

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Screen Shot 2017-02-19 at 9.03.44 AMTwo recent TV appearances…two vastly different reactions.

Mariah Carey, singing on New Year’s Eve, had a meltdown and proceeded to blame others for her flawed performance. Lady Gaga, during halftime of Super Bowl LI, soared to (and from) new heights.

The impression they left on viewers were at polar opposites. Carey was generally lambasted by traditional and social media. Gaga scored high marks and saw downloads of her songs soar nearly 1,000 percent. Continue reading

#165 – DRIVERS OF CHANGE: GEOPOLITICAL, ENERGY, AND COMMODITY RISKS – GEARY SIKICH

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Untitled1-150x150Introduction

Unpredictability is the new normal. As the world approaches 7 billion in population this year, there is an ever increasing demand for food, energy and a voice in how things are run. How do these changes affect business continuity planners, you may be asking? Then simple answer is, they will have far reaching effects on how business continuity planning is conducted. No longer can we be satisfied with the assurance that our “hot site” is available, or that we can maintain business operations in the face of a pandemic; or that we can deal with the aftermath of a natural disaster. Continue reading

#165 – INTRODUCTION TO DESIGN FOR RELIABILITY – FRED SCHENKELBERG

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The reliability of a product is strongly influenced by decisions made during the design process.

ABC FredThe key message here is reliability occurs at the point of decision. Each time someone makes a decision, selects a component, chooses a material, assumes a use profile, the eventual product reliability takes shape. Continue reading

#165 – USING THE ‘RIGHT’ MEASURES TO CREATE OPPORTUNITIES AND REDUCE RISK – STEVEN BRADT

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steven bWhen considering the organizational objectives, we have to know three essential pieces of the puzzle before we can even begin.

  1. What are the measureable objectives?
  2. What is the baseline?
  3. What is the relationship to where we need to move the measurable objective?

Continue reading

#164 – BALDRIGE ADDS ENTERPRISE RISK MANAGEMENT – JAMES KLINE PH.D.

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aIMG_4231Introduction

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) just issued the 2017-2018 Baldrige Excellence Frame Work.  There were modifications to a number of categories such as Category 1 Leadership, Category 2, Strategy and Category 6 Operations.  Included in the modifications were substantive additions for Cyber Attacks and Enterprise Risk Management (ERM). Continue reading

#164 – POST TRUTH, ALTERNATIVE FACTS, FAKE NEWS – THE CRISIS OF LEADERSHIP – GEARY SIKICH

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Untitled1-150x150Post Truth, Alternative Facts, Fake News – The Crisis for Leadership

Introduction

If you want senior management to pay attention give them something that challenges their focus – and understand that their focus is not on how many computers you have or RTO, RPO statistics.  It is on business survivability – will we be in business tomorrow given the issues that we face today.  What is more important to your organization’s continuity of operations – how many computers you have or where your competition will be coming from in the next five years? Continue reading

#164 – GUIDE TO RISK MANAGEMENT 3.0 – FREE BOOK – ALEXEI SIDORENKO

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SIDORENKORisk management is ultimately about creating a culture that would facilitate risk discussion when performing business activities or making any strategic, investment or project decision.

In this free book, Alex Sidorenko and Elena Demidenko talk about practical steps risk managers can take to integrate risk management into decision making and core business processes. Continue reading

#164 – ISO 9001:2015 STANDARD SHOULD BE AMENDED – MILT DENTCH

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Milt-150x147Introduction:

I have been an RABQSA (Exemplar Global) lead auditor for twenty years. My auditing experience includes conducting over 500 audits for worldwide organizations and providing dozens of Internal Auditor training classes. I am currently assisting several companies in upgrading to the ISO 9001:2015 quality management system (QMS) requirements. While the previous ISO 9001 revisions had their share of interpretation issues, the latest revision, ISO 9001:2015, has many issues which are hampering the transition to the new standard in my opinion. Continue reading

#164 – AUDITOR ETIQUETTE: MAKING A GOOD IMPRESSION – J.P. RUSSELL

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Russell-PIC7AAn audit system manager recently told me that it was relatively easy to identify quality auditors who had good technical skills for collecting and evaluating data. What was really hard was to find auditors with good people skills (perhaps auditors need to go to charm school). Even though an auditor is not trying to win a popularity contest, the impressions that the auditor makes with auditee management, interviewees, and escorts can influence the audit and its effectiveness.

#163 – THE GIG ECONOMY – NO JOBS JUST WORK! – JOSEPH PARIS

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image001-2-300x300-250x250There has been a lot written lately of the “Gig Economy” – the notion that, in the future of earning a living, there will no longer be jobs, just work.  It’s an earnings environment where the supply and demand for skillsets are contracted between those that have a need and those who can fulfill that need. Continue reading

#163 – COMPLEXITY: THE WAGER – ANALYSIS OR INTUITION? – GEARY SIKICH

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Untitled1-150x150Introduction

Business Continuity professionals need to rethink some of the paradigms of the practice.  All too often we tend to fall back on what are considered the tried and true ways of doing things.  This essentially leaves us in two camps; the first, evolved out of information technology and disaster recovery and the second, evolved out of emergency preparedness (tactical planning), financial risk management (operational) and strategic planning (strategic).  These two camps each offer much to be desired.  Continue reading

#163 – SYNTAX ERRORS IN HEALTH INFORMATION SYSTEMS INCREASE PATIENT RISK – STEVEN BRADT

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steven bIncorrect interpretation of drug abbreviation’s can lead to serious harm for patients. Consider the following: At 7:00 AM, Jane, a registered nurse enters the details for Mary, the last of her five patients as she completes a 12-hour shift.  As the day begins, Ann is checking on patients and reviewing their charts.  She is confused by an abbreviation “MTX” for a medication given to Mary at 4:30 AM. It can be interpreted as methotrexate (used for rheumatoid arthritis) or mitoxantrone (a cancer drug). Continue reading

#163 – #2 BEST JOB – RISK MANAGER – GREG HUTCHINS

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Greg Hutchins“One Thing is Certain: 2017 Will Be the Year of Uncertainty for CEO’s’”

Shouted a recent Wall Street Journal article.[1]

Why?

Let’s look at the reasons at why we live in VUCA time (Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity, and Ambiguity).

  • President Trump is disrupting business rules and business models.
  • Technological change is increasing.
  • Mass immigration is resulting in political divisions.
  • Climate change is real and increasing.
  • Globalization benefits are unclear due to job and work transference.

Continue reading

#162 – TRUMP DISRUPTS BUSINESS MODELS – GREG HUTCHINS

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Greg HutchinsYou’re a company that has been outsourcing for the last 10 years.  This makes good business sense, since you can’t find local or domestic sources that can make products or provide the services you need.  Also, the savings of outsourcing can be substantial so this increases your revenue and is good for your shareholders.

Then, you get tweeted: President Trump calls your company out as being UnAmerican for outsourcing jobs. Continue reading

#162 – CASCADING EFFECTS RIPPLE THROUGH ORGANIZATIONS ILL PREPARED TO DEAL WITH THEM – GEARY SIKICH

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Untitled1-150x150Introduction

We live in a world of consequences.  Everything that we experience is a consequence of some action, decision, reaction and/or choice.  For organizations the consequences of a choice, action, decision and/or reaction can cascade throughout the organization and extend to its “Value Chain” rippling through all the known touchpoints and the as yet, unidentified touchpoints. Continue reading

#162 – WHY DO WE USE THE SUM OF SQUARES CONCEPT SO OFTEN? – FRED SCHENKELBERG

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ABC FredThe data analysis course professor tended to focus on the practical application of statistics.

Avoiding statistical theory was fine with me. Learning statistics for me was on how to solve problems, optimize designs, and understanding data. Continue reading

#162 – LEAD FROM WITHIN – ELIZABETH LIONS

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Lions gold podiumLeadership is every bit an inward process as much as it is an outward process.

I’ve been lucky in my career. I’ve had the pleasure to work with some of the best Directors and Vice Presidents in several major technology companies. Listening to what kept them up at night, taught me a lot. Continue reading

#161 – INTRODUCTION TO THE SIX SIGMA DESIGN APPROACH – FRED SCHENKELBERG

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ABC FredSigma, σ, is the Greek character we use to represent standard deviation. 6 σ represents the spread of data about the mean. For data with a normal distribution 6 σ includes 99.7% of the data.

The 6 σ design approach incorporates knowledge of the variation that will occur within the design such that the design has is unlikely to fail. Continue reading

#161 – THE ISO 9001:2015 STANDARD AND THE PLAN-DO-CHECK-ACT CYCLE – MURRAY GONZALEZ

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Untitled-150x150ISO 9001:2015 was revised for many reasons. The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) cited the needs driving those changes:

  • Adapt to a changing world
  • Reflect the complex environments in which organizations operate
  • Provide a consistent foundation for the future
  • Ensure the new standard reflects the needs of all relevant interested parties
  • Ensure alignment with other management system standards1

Continue reading

#161 – RISK BASED THINKING IN HEALTHCARE 2.0 – TED SCHMIDT

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00141In my May 2015 article on Risk-Based Thinking (RBT), I discussed the current state of healthcare related to risk and our current performance as a profession.  Since that article, there have been other journal articles that showed improvements in our performance, related to risk, which we all know translates to patient safety.  Today I see that 241 hospitals appeared on the CMS HAC (Hospital Acquired Conditions) list for the third year in a row. Continue reading

#161 – WHAT DONALD TRUMP’S WIN TELLS US ABOUT DECISION BIAS – GREG CARROLL

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GregCarrollJust like the Brexit win 2 months ago, Donald Trump’s election as US President beggars belief but has some valuable lessons to learn from both a Risk Management and corporate governance perceptive.

Why is business now OK with Trump? It’s due to widely adopted view of billionaire Peter Thiel (co-founder of PayPal) to “take Trump Seriously, Not Literally”. Continue reading

#161 – CAN THE US GOVERNMENT TRANSFORM ITSELF? – STEPHEN VILLAESCUSA

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9901834.CERM_Risk_News__92 (2) UntitledThe $3.5 trillion U.S. Federal Government is one of the largest and most complex organizations in the world. Recently the Office of Management and Budget mandated all federal agencies to implement and integrate Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) into their strategic planning, strategic review and internal control processes (Revised OMB Circular No. A-123, July 2016). Continue reading

#160 – BUILDING RISK CULTURE IS EASIER THAN MAKING HOT DOGS – ALEXEI SIDORENKO

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SIDORENKOYes, building risk culture is that easy! Before I explain, let me first clear few weird misconceptions about risk culture that have been floating around in the non-financial companies:

Making decisions under uncertainty is not natural for humans Continue reading

#160 – OFFSHORING RULES HAVE CHANGED – GREG HUTCHINS

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Greg HutchinsOne article title this week screamed: “Trump Put Companies on Notice: Outsource At Your Own Peril.[1]

President Elect Trump had his first news conference this week and a reporter asked a question of US companies continued sourcing.  His response was:

“when you want to move your plant to Mexico or some other place … you’re going to pay a big border tax.”

Ouch.  We have heard the tax may be 10% to 35%. Continue reading

#160 – HOW PLAYING WITH JIGSAW PUZZLES CAN HELP REDUCE THE RISK OF DEMENTIA – KEITH RIDGEWAY

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Keith ImageWhat did Albert Einstein, Ludwig von Beethoven, Leonardo da Vinci, Marie Curie and George Washington Carver all have in common? They were all extraordinarily tapped into the imaginative and visual power of the right brain.  Playing with jigsaw puzzles daily will tap into the right brain and will could help reduce the risk of dementia. Continue reading

#160 – ESTABLISHING AUDIT PROGRAM OBJECTIVES – J. P. RUSSELL

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Russell-PIC7ATo most, establishing program/department objectives seems like the normal thing to do. However, that is not always the case. Sometimes managers of programs/departments only focus on the purpose of their program/department. For example, the purpose of the audit program is to conduct audits. Continue reading

#159 – ARE WE MISSING THE POINT OF RISK MANAGEMENT ACTIVITIES? – GEARY SIKICH

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Untitled1-150x150Introduction

The focus of this article is on the application of guidance (ISO 31000, FFIEC, etc.) often resulting in the appearance of compliance resulting from a checkbox perspective rather than actually and actively identifying and managing risk(s) by organizations.

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#159 – IS YOUR OPERATION AT RISK? – JAMES KOVACEVIC

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JamesKovacevic300x400There are many internal & external pressures on our operations. Many we don’t even think about, or are even aware of. These pressures greatly influence our ability to be profitable, and therefore sustainable. Being aware of these pressures & barriers will allow us to head them off and ensure our profitability. Continue reading

#159 – I JUST DON’T LIKE WORKING WITH WOMEN – ELIZABETH LIONS

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Lions gold podium“I just don’t like working with women. They are so catty. I’d prefer to work with men and when I look around, all of my friends are men too.” she said to me over coffee.

“I used to feel that way.” I responded. “Then I realized that the women I didn’t like were more like me than I thought they were. Somehow rather than reject them, I embraced them.”  Continue reading

#159 – CANADIAN JUSTICE FAILS AGAIN FOR VICTIMS OF LAC MEGANTIC – BILL POMFRET

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AAA PomfretnUntitled1Can you believe that two workers, but no management have been formally charged in the Lac Megantic railway disaster back in July 2013, what is Canadian Justice about?

The safety related laws of Canada are, generally speaking reasonably adequate, at least on paper, but the administration and enforcement of these laws can only be described as pathetic and widely influenced by politics at the highest level’. Continue reading

#158 – PROBLEM SOLVING AND RISK MANAGEMENT – DR. JOOP REMME

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We human beings are born problem solvers. We even band together in order to more efficiently soJoopleslve problems (we are reminded of the definition of “culture” from Fons Trompenaars: “social context for shared problem solving”[1]). This can even be seen as hardwired into our very being, once we see the evolution of human beings and then specifically their brains. The oldest part of the human brain, often called the “reptilian brain”, alerts us to danger and forces us to respond to the threat from that danger. Continue reading

#158 – THE UNPREDICTABILITY OF UNCERTAINTY? – GEARY SIKICH

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Untitled1-150x150Introduction

Recently I wrote an article titled “Can You Calculate the Probability of Uncertainty?” The article posited that the heavy dependence on mathematics to determine the probability of risk realization may actually create “false positives” regarding the basis for the determination of probability. My point was that there is too much uncertainty, things that we just do not know, to be able to calculate the probability of uncertainty with any degree of confidence. I received several comments from readers telling me that I was confusing the issue and that determining the probability of risk is all about “uncertainty”. I have to say that this gave me pause to think. And, my conclusion is that risk is all about the probability of identified certainties that carry an uncertain realization. Continue reading

#158 – STRANGLEHOLD ON SUPPLY CHAINS – STUART ROSENBERG

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Stuart Rosenber pixThe dispute concerning chemical regulation rages on – Congress had its first hearing on the Safe Cosmetics Act.   The outcome of these hearings is that the FDA has decided against the regulation of bisphenol-A in food packaging.   So this leaves us with this question; what if anything will be done to update the thirty-six year old Toxic Substance Control Act. Continue reading

#158 – 3 THINGS LARGE CORPORATIONS CAN LEARN FROM SME’S WHEN MANAGING RISKS – ALEXEI SIDORENKO

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SIDORENKOCouple of weeks ago I was very fortunate to host one of the roundtables during the FERMA risk seminar in Malta. I am very thankful for the opportunity because the experience of brainstorming for 45 mins with the representatives from various small and medium enterprises (SMEs) really highlighted some major problems with modern day risk management and risk managers.

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#185 – ISO 31000 CHALLENGES – GREG HUTCHINS

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Greg HutchinsISO 31000 is going to be used more often as more ISO certified companies adopt Risk Based Thinking.  However, ISO 31000 can be challenging.  Why?

Interestingly, the descriptive nature of the ISO 31000 standard may well be its strength, but may also be its weakness.  The standard without the proper guidance of a risk practitioner maybe come discretionary and even arbitrary.

ISO 9001:2015 has Risk Based Thinking requirements.  Note ISO 31000 was developed in 2009 and is not harmonized with the new annex SL standards and ISO 9001:2015. Continue reading

#157 – 7 POWERFUL SUPPLY CHAIN TRENDS YOU SHOULD NOT IGNORE – DR. MUDDASSIR AHMED

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DSC_7134_recrop_89%Old industries are dying and new ones are rising. We have seen Amazon destroy the book stores, Uber transform the transport industry and Netflix make a video store a fond memory.

Today’s technological disruption is fast and ruthless and it is transforming most of the industries. But I think we are behind supply chain if you compare the disruption happening in other functions like marketing and finance and it is time to focus on key supply chain trends. Continue reading

#157 – SUPPLY CHAIN PROCESS CONTROL AND CAPABILITY – FRED SCHENKELBERG

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ABC FredIf you buy more than one of an item used in your product, you will have to deal with variability. In general, the variability from part to part is minimal and expected. Occasionally, the variability is large and causes reliability problems.

According to O’Connor and Kleyner, “The main cause of production-induced unreliability, as well as rework and scrap, is the variability inherent in production processes.” O’Connor, Patrick D. T. and Andre Kleyner. 2012. Practical Reliability Engineering. Chicester: John Wiley and Sons. Web. Continue reading

#157 – INTEGRATING ISO 9001:2015 WITH ISO 17025 – GREG CARROLL

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GregCarrollIt is not uncommon for laboratories to be saddled with maintaining both ISO 17025 and ISO 9001 certification. Although it is simpler to create and implement two QMS – and to “merge” those activities which can be merged – this approach is arduous, inefficient, and prone to mistakes.

Understanding the difference

ISO 17025 is an “Accreditation” standard which means the laboratory is authorised to issue “Certifications” i.e. they have the qualifications and capabilities to issue certificates of authentication from the tests they carry out.  ISO 9001 relates to the quality and reliability of service a customer can expect from the testing company. Continue reading

#157 – HOW TO START AN ERM INITIATIVE? – INTERVIEW WITH GEARY SIKICH

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Untitled1-150x150Tell us a little about yourself and your latest risk engagements?

I have over 30 years of experience in what I will term the broad base of risk management.  I have been engaged by over 100 clients nationally and internationally, representing major components of the public and prvate sectors. I have written four books on crisis management, business continuity, pandemic planning and have published over 380 articles relating to crisis, risk, business continuity, pandemic planning and contingency planning issues. Continue reading

#157 – WHY RISK MANAGEMENT IS A TOP PRIORITY? – JAMES BULLOCK

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34e68d6How effective an organization manages risks can be the difference between success and failure. The effectiveness of how risk management works relies on the information feeding into it, a commitment to continuously improve deficiencies, and how well the tools are applied. Adequate time is required for risk management which is an integral part of planning. Continue reading

#156 – ELEMENTS OF WARRANTY MANAGEMENT – FRED SCHENKELBERG

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ABC FredWarranty is a part of doing business. Warranty management is not just the terms listed on the box.

Understanding the entire warranty process, along with your options, permits you to manage your warranty, rather than the other way around.

This is a short overview. Pieces of a warranty program occur well before the first product ships and may affect the company bottom line for years after you ship your last product. Brand promise, marketing, finance, customer service are not common areas for a reliability engineer. Yet, the impact of product failures tends to dominant warranty expenses. Therefore understanding the many elements around warranty management is essential for any reliability engineer. Continue reading

#156 – BLACK SWANS, VOLATILITY, AND FLEXIBILITY – GEARY SIKICH

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Untitled1-150x150We live in a volatile world full of uncertainty.  It’s all about targeted flexibility, the art of being prepared, rather than preparing for specific events.  Being able to respond rather than being able to forecast, facilitates the ability to respond to the consequences of an event. Continue reading

#156 – HOW TO IDENTIFY A BULLY AT WORK? – DR. TRUDY

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Dr. TrudyBullies come in different forms, shapes and ages.  Nevertheless, people tend to have typical images of bullies, usually little boys in elementary schools and playgrounds.  Or an adult bully demonstrates violent and threatening behaviors or emotions.  Those typical bully images were forged in the editing room of anchors and journalists through the lens of most of the popular media. Continue reading

#156 – RANSOMWARE IN HEALTHCARE ORGANIZATIONS: THE HUMAN FACTOR – JEFF HARRIS

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AAA-Jeff-150x150Bob is a hockey fan. His Facebook timeline is filled with posts about his favorite team and his search for tickets. Bob also works in the department of Health Information Services for a major hospital in a large city. One day Bob receives an email at work informing him that he has won two tickets to the upcoming semi-finals in which his beloved team will be top seeded. Finally entering in every contest for free tickets that popped up on social media had paid off! He eagerly clicks on the link but nothing seems to happen. The next week the hospital’s network is down and a shadowy group is demanding thousands of dollars to unlock critical records. Continue reading

#156 – ISO 14001 CHANGES – MILT DENTCH

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MiltWhat are the key changes in ISO 14001:2015?

Organizations currently certified to ISO14001: 2004 will need to address the new (or expanded) requirements of ISO14001: 2015 with the following general groupings:

  • Understanding the context of the organization and expectations of interested parties
  • The integration of the environmental management system (EMS) requirements into the organization’s business processes
  • Actions to address risks and opportunities
  • Expanded top management commitment
  • Expanded definition of Operational Controls

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#155 – THREE FATAL MISTAKES MOST RISK CONSULTANTS MAKE – ALEXEI SIDORENKO

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SIDORENKOWarning: this article may upset some conservative risk managers

Risk management in modern non-financial companies is very different compared to say 5 years ago. The level of risk management maturity, for lack of a better word, has grown significantly.

As more and more companies across the globe are looking to implement robust risk management, the demand for risk management consultants is also growing. Unfortunately, not all risk consultants are able to generate long term value for their clients, here are three reasons why:  Continue reading

#155 – BLACK SWANS OR JUST WISHFUL THINKING AND MISINTERPRETATION – GEARY SIKICH

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Untitled1-150x150Introduction

There seem to be a lot of sightings of “Black Swans” lately. Should we be concerned or are we wishfully thinking, caught up in media hype; or are we misinterpreting what a “Black Swan” event really is? The term “Black Swan” has become a popular buzzword for many; including, contingency planners, risk managers and consultants. However, are there really that many occurrences that qualify to meet the requirement of being termed a “Black Swan” or are we just caught up in the popularity of the moment? Continue reading

#155 – JOHN AYERS – LIFE LESSONS EARNED™ – GREG HUTCHINS

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AAAJohn Ayers has been writing for CERM Risk Insights for two years.  His pieces are among the most popular.  In this piece, he provides his perspective on life lessons earn.  Earning a living.  Having fun.  Making a difference.

Greg Hutchins (GH)

Why did you pick engineering for a career?

John Ayers (JA)

When I was a sophomore in high school, a friend of mine told me his father was an engineer. I had not heard the term before. After my friend explained it to me, I began to think about it and decided to pursue it in college. Continue reading

#155 – EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE – ELIZABETH LIONS

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Lions gold podiumRecently a client called me and wanted me to do a speaking engagement for a major insurance company and the topic of emotional intelligence came up. When I stated that my presentation is based in facts and science, the client didn’t understand. I explained that it would take a great deal of pain for an executive to take input and would only do so if changing would create more of what they wanted in terms of career. For example, a Vice President that suddenly loses a 175k base salary and finds himself or herself in job search, would have an impetus to change. Continue reading

#155 – ADVICE TO PRACTICALLY EVERYONE): LEARN TO COOK N’ CODE – KIRBY URNER

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AAA IRBYProgramming or coding is becoming the 4th basic skill for everyone following writing, arithmetic, and reading.  This is global statement.

Coding for kids is a global industry that is on the verge of disrupting global education. And is as important as learning to cook. Continue reading

#154 – ROBOTICS, TRADE, JOBS, AND WHOSE RESPONSIBILITY – DR. MICHAEL HOPKINS

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AAA HOPKINSThe question of technology replacing jobs has a long history.  Perhaps the most famous was the notorious so-called half-wit Ned Ludd who led a movement to destroy cotton making machines in 17 th Century Britain.  That incident led to a movement called Luddites. They were much criticised as being in the way of progress.  Yet Luddites appear often in contemporary society – most notably Donald Trump during his 2016 USA Presidential bid.  The consequence of Trump Luddism, echoed by Bernie Sanders on the left of the bid, has also led to a huge attack on trade and implicitly technological progress itself. Continue reading

#154 – BLACK SWANS, GREY SWANS, WHITE SWANS … – GEARY SIKICH

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Untitled1-150x150We hear a lot about things that are being called “Black Swans” today thanks to Nassim Taleb and his extremely successful book, “The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable,” now in its second edition. I have written several articles centering on the “Black Swan” phenomenon; defending, clarifying and analyzing the nature of “Black Swan” events. And, I am finding that wildly improbable events are becoming perfectly routine events. Continue reading

#154 – SAFETY AND GEMBA WALK – JAMES KLINE PH.D.

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aIMG_4231Introduction

The United State Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) estimate that $60 billion is lost annually from workplace injuries and illness. Using their $afety Pays Program calculator, twenty Carpal Tunnel Syndrome injuries will cost a company $1,260,000 in direct and indirect costs. A single back injury would cost $101,933 total. This makes safety a prime target for risk analysis. Continue reading

#154 – THE ENVIRONMENTAL TEST MANUAL – FRED SCHENKELBERG

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ABC FredLet’s say you run across a lightweight, inexpensive, easy-to-manufacture metal that you are considering for a new bike frame. Beyond the functional considerations of strength, size, and finish options what else do you consider?

Is it durable? If it fails, how does it fail (e.g., a shattering of a bicycle frame would not be good). You may also consider how the bicycle will be used and stored. What stress will the frame experience over its lifetime? Continue reading

#154 – COMMUNICATE YOUR STRATEGY LIKE A NINJA – SHAJI BHASKARAN

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BhHow often have you faced issues in effectively communicating a well formulated strategy to the right stakeholders? Understanding organizations’ strategic plan by all who are involved in the execution is as important as optimally creating it. A well-orchestrated process must be in place to facilitate better understanding of the strategy and the specific roles to be played by different teams. Unless the goals are understood clearly, chances are that you end up having a big gap between intended strategy and the realized strategy. Continue reading

#153 – MILT DENTCH – ISO 9001:2015 IMPLEMENTATION HANDBOOK INTERVIEW

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MiltTell us a little about your self?

I have worked in manufacturing quality for over 40 years in a wide variety of industries, including pulp and paper, chemical, plastic and rubber processing, battery manufacturing, converting, electronics assembly and machine building. I was employed by the Polaroid Corporation for 27 years as a process engineer; manufacturing manager and technical director. My last assignment at Polaroid was Director of Materials for World Wide Instant Film Manufacturing. In this role I was responsible for supplier quality. Additionally, I was Plant Manager for the Custom Coating Plant of the Furon Company (now Saint Gobain) for several years.

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#153 – HOW THE GRINCH IS STEALING OUR HEALTHCARE RECORDS – JEFF HARRIS

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AAA JeffAs I mentioned in the previous article, Healthcare Privacy, Farrah Fawcett and Blockchain, a blockchain is a distributed database that acts as a ledger for transactions. It is best known as the technology behind Bitcoin, a type of digital currency that is both easily accessible and very secure. Blockchain technology allows users to transfer bitcoin anonymously and securely while still insuring that the data itself is trustworthy. Continue reading

#153 – PROJECT SPECIFIC RELIABILITY PLANS – FRED SCHENKELBERG

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ABC FredA project-specific reliability plan is a guide or roadmap for intended action. It is also a collection of specific tasks and milestones, enhanced with rationale to allow the entire team to fully understand its role in accomplishing the reliability objectives.

The plan is a way to achieve the desired business objectives. This means that the product must be reliable enough to meet customer expectations, minimize warranty expenses, and garner market acceptance. The plan is just a plan. It is the accomplishment of the tasks, the decision that improve the design, the signals monitored that stabilize the supply chain and assembly process that all make the difference. Continue reading

#153 – THE COST OF QUALITY ACCORDING TO THE EXPERTS – MURRAY GONZALEZ

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UntitledPhilip “Phil” Crosby, Dr. W. Edwards Deming, and Joseph Juran, all made paramount and lasting contributions to the field of quality management. Each was truly phenomenal in his own right. Thanks to the knowledge shared by consultants W. Edward Deming and Joseph M. Juran, war-torn Japan improved their products and their processes. The Japanese became so proficient at quality management, their success was a catalyst for Western companies to adopt their philosophy and practices. Continue reading

#153 – REPUTATION AND RISK – JIM KLINE PH.D.

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aIMG_4231INTRODUCTION
Increasingly organizations, both public and private, are recognizing that what citizens, customers, shareholders, legislators, and the financial markets think about their integrity or competency has a significant impact. In a 2014 Global Survey on Reputation Risk a majority of the companies were concerned about situations beyond their control that could affect the reputation of their companies. Continue reading

#152 – ARE WE MISSING THE POINT OF EXERCISING OUR PLANS? – GEARY SIKICH

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Untitled1-150x150Introduction

Imagine that your plan has been implemented as it was designed. You and your organization carried out the plan following every detail that was contained in the planning documents. Your plan has failed. That is all you know. Your plan failed. But, you think, “We exercised the plan!” Yes, indeed you did exercise your plan. And now you are being taken to task because the plan failed and this reflects on you and your planning team and on your customers – those who provided input and those who were supposed to execute the plan. Continue reading

#152 – THE DERATING AND SAFETY MARGIN MANUAL – FRED SCHENKELBERG

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ABC FredDo you have derating & safety margin manual in your organization? Is it used regularly? If not, your organization’s products are likely not as reliable as they should be. You are shipping products that are not as robust nor as reliable as your customers deserve.

Derating and safety factors provide a means to select components or create design features that have sufficient margin to accommodate variation in use and strength over time. So why are these tools routinely ignored or given only fleeting attention? Continue reading

#152 – CAN RISK MANAGEMENT EVEN BE EFFECTIVE – ALEXEY SIDORENKO

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SIDORENKOLately, everyone, from the government agencies to regulators to corporate board members, seem to be talking about the need for better, more effective risk management. The challenging part is that, despite the guidance provided in ISO 31000:2009, the concept of risk management effectiveness still remains vague. This article attempts to summarize the basic components of effective risk management which should help risk managers to respond to the challenges set by regulators and shareholders. Continue reading

#152 – WHEN YOUR ‘A PLAYER’ QUITS THE TEAM – ELIZABETH LIONS

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Lions gold podiumTake a moment and really look at your team. My sense is that you know exactly who your A player is, but have you bothered to check in with them and ensure they are happy? It’s easy to work day after day and rely on that one person that can hit all the deliverables and never really pay attention. Suddenly, (or at least it seems sudden), they give notice and you are stuck wondering how you’ll ever go about replacing them.  Continue reading

#152 – ON FARRAH FAWCETT, HEALTHCARE PRIVACY AND BLOCKCHAIN – JEFF HARRIS

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AAA-Jeff-150x150Farrah Fawcett, actress and model, was diagnosed with cancer in 2006. She battled the disease until her death in 2009, the details of which were widely publicized in tabloid magazines often before she had a chance to tell her friends and family. In an interview in 2009, given just before she died, she is quoted as saying, “It seems that there are areas that should be off limits.” Of course she was a celebrity, the average person has nothing to fear, right? Continue reading

#151 – RISK MANAGEMENT FOR IMPROVED RELATIONSHIPS – JOHN AYERS

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AAARisk management methodologies are utilized today in many industries and companies successfully to minimize risk impact to the company and projects. In light of this, my question is: can risk management be applied effectively to new relationships to maximize the probability of a successful relationship? I explore this idea below. Please keep in mind that I have presented a simple picture of risk mitigation to get my points made. Continue reading

#151 – CAN YOU CALCULATE THE PROBABILITY OF UNCERTAINTY? – GEARY SIKICH

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Untitled1-150x150Many aspects of risk management are deeply rooted in mathematical formulae for determining probability. This heavy dependence on mathematics to determine probability of risk realization may create “false positives” regarding a risk that can be either positive or negative. There is also a limitation on how much data can be gathered and assessed in respect to the development of the probability equation regarding the risk being assessed. Continue reading

#151 – PRODUCT RELIABILITY DESIGN GUIDELINES: THE DESIGN FOR RELIABILITY MANUAL – FRED SCHENKELBERG

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ABC FredOne way to capture and disseminate reliability engineering related information and advice is through internal documents. This of course only works if they are both useful and used.

The focus should be on gathering and providing essential and meaningful information that will improve the reliability of your product. Another element that makes these design guidelines valuable is if they save time. Engineers love to save time. Continue reading

#151 – OMB A – 123: HOW DID WE GET HERE AND WHAT DOES IT MEAN? – JAMES KLINE PH.D.

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aIMG_4231INTRODUCTION
In a recent e-mail in which he noted that of U.S. Office of Management and Budget (OMB) is issuing its update to Circular A-123 on July 15, 2016, Greg Hutchins, co-founder of the CERM Academy, commented “this is really big. The circular is entitle “Management’s Responsibility for Enterprise Risk Management (ERM)”. It requires all federal agencies to adopt ERM. ERM is a framework by which federal agencies can identify and mitigate risk. I agree with Greg, this will be big. Thus, it is worth stepping back and seeing some of the factors which lead to the adoption of ERM. Continue reading

#151- LEADERSHIP TURNOVER RISK – ERIC SCHULSE

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A Eric“Elevated turnover among hospital CEOs seems to be a feature of the current healthcare environment,” says Deborah J. Bowen, president and CEO of the American College of Healthcare Executives. 

Leadership turnover is a known risk; thus, you should have it in your risk management program. Continue reading

#150 – SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY IS THE NEW BLACK IN RISK – GREG CARROLL

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GregCarrollEven more than reputational risk or cyber risk, social unrest is lining up to be a greater disrupter than any other issue. From Brexit to ISIS to race relations, civil unrest is shaping up to have a profound impact on business.  For the management of uncertainty on business objectives to be truly effective then risk needs to also include all items that disrupt the marketplace.  As such, Social Responsibility is the primary strategy to ensure business resilience. Continue reading

#150 – ERM PLAYBOOK – FOR THE US FEDERAL GOVERNMENT – GREG HUTCHINS

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Greg HutchinsWe’ve been talking about ERM for the US Federal Government for a while.  While, the US federal government has been implementing risk management in many departments, operational ERM to all Federal agencies is a game changer.

The Executive Office issued Circular A 123 last month with the specific requirement that:

“The Administration has emphasized the importance of having appropriate risk management processes and systems to identify challenges early, to bring them to the attention of Agency leadership, and to develop solutions. …  Over the years, government operations have changed dramatically, becoming increasingly complex and driven by changes in technology. Continue reading

#150 – FUTURE PROOFING – THE PROCESS OF ACTIVE ANALYSIS – GEARY SIKICH

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Untitled1-150x150Overview

The ability to effectively respond to and manage the consequences of an event in a timely manner is essential to ensure an organization’s survivability in today’s fast paced business environment. With the emergence of new threats, such as cyber-terrorism and bio-terrorism; and the increasing exposure of companies to traditional threats such as, fraud, systems failure, fire, explosions, spills, natural disasters, etc. an “integrated” approach to Business Continuity Planning is essential. Continue reading

#150 – DO YOUR KPI’S ADVERSELY IMPACT RELIABILITY – FRED SCHENKELBERG

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ABC FredKey performance indicators (KPIs) are measurable values related to essential business objectives. A KPI provides a means to monitor the performance of a specific function.

In larger organizations, with sales & marketing, research & development, operations, supply chain, and other teams working to bring products to market, each department has a specific role. For example, the sales team engages with potential customers to assist with the customer’s purchase decision. The organization and the sales team may want to focus on sales growth or average profit margin as KPIs. Continue reading

#150 – CSR THE NEW WAY … WAS I WRONG? – DR. MICHAEL HOPKINS

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AAA HOPKINS… in Europe and, as we can see, in the US too. Entirely false promises are being made, but this is a fantasy that comforts many. It is a fantasy of withdrawal from a globalised world, stopping the free movement of people and labour.  The real challenge for anyone vaguely liberal/left is to counter this, not with some old-school internationalist vision, but with something that is both local and modern, that accepts there is anxiety instead of telling people they are simply wrong and stupid to feel it, or that it is some kind of false consciousness.
Continue reading

#149 – MINIMIZING CAREER PATH RISK – JOHN AYERS

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AAASome people say take what you love in college. Problem is, not too many high school seniors know what they love. Others say college should be an intellectual journey. Problem is many degrees will not prepare you for the real world in terms of making a good living. I believe college is to prepare you for a career which can support you and a family down the road. If important, intellectual studies can take place outside of work using the internet. Continue reading

#149 – WORKING IT (FREE REVIEW BOOK) – GREG HUTCHINS

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Greg HutchinsThis book is my story and in many ways may become the story of your work, career, and job. So, pay heed.   Understand the conventional rules and challenge/hack the rules described in Working It: The Rules Have Changed.

Freemiums:
1.  At the end of this article, we share how you can get a free review copy of the 200 page book.
2.  Visit WorkingIt.com for additional fun and insights on work. Continue reading

#149 – THE BIG SHORT: COULD IT HAPPEN AGAIN? – ANNETTE DAVISON

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AAA&Risk as a term, is often used or perceived as being synonymous with defence. Being defensive is not a bad thing – but being solely defensive, means your organisation may be missing opportunities. Events of recent times, global financial crisis (GFC) and others, have shown that the historical approaches to governance oversight have not worked. Key points arising from the inquiry into the GFC included:

  • Widespread failure in regulation
  • Breakdowns in corporate governance
  • Policymakers lacked a full understanding of the system they oversaw
  • Systemic breaches of accountability and ethics

Continue reading

#149 – INCORPORATING RELIABILITY INTO DESIGN REVIEWS – FRED SCHENKELBERG

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ABC FredReliability Input into Design Reviews

Consider the following scenario: You are a reliability engineer working for a large corporation that plans to launch a new product. On occasion, you and the team sit down to review the design. The idea is to check the design for any issues with the combined wisdom of all the players involved. Or, perhaps, the review serves as just a status update for the entire team, providing a focus on the most important issues and action items. Continue reading

#149 – SOFTWARE WASTAGE: TIME SPENT, CANCELED PROJECTS, CYBER ATTACKS, AND LITIGATION FOR POOR QUALITY – CAPERS JONES

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Capers Jones pixSoftware demographics and software work patterns show interesting changes over the past few decades. A study in 1990 noted 116 software occupations but only 5 involving quality and none involving risks or cyber-attacks. An updated study in 2016 noted 205 total software occupations of which 32 were involved with risks, cyber-attacks, and quality. This is due to the huge increase in numbers and types of software cyber-attacks. Continue reading

#148 – UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES OF RISK REPORTING – GEARY SIKICH AND JOOP REMME

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Untitled1-150x150Introduction

In this article we posit three questions. The first question is: “Is it a social responsibility of companies that they undertake a comprehensive risk assessment?” The second question: “Does the notion of conscience and its application to the generation and use of risk information and information in general, create an obligation for the organization to disclose
the results of the comprehensive risk assessment
?” The third question “How do the people Jooplesin the organization communicate the information from the comprehensive risk assessment to stakeholders and yet preserve security and protect the organization?” Continue reading

#148 – US GOVERNMENT ERM REQUIREMENT FINALIZED – GREG HUTCHINS

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Greg HutchinsWe’ve been discussing how ISO 9001:2015 has adopted Risk Based Thinking that will impact 1.2 million companies.  ISO 14001:2015 will impact 400,000 companies.  Now, government agencies are adopting and putting into statute risk management.

We’ve been talking up the fact the US government is requiring Enterprise Risk Management (ERM), specifically Office of Management and Budget Circular OMB A 123, of all US departments.  This is a game changer for federal agencies.  In this article, we’ll look at some of the significant changes in ERM for Federal agencies. Continue reading

#148 – HOW TO MAKE AUDIT MANAGEMENT EFFECTIVE – GREG CARROLL

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GregCarrollEffectiveness is the holy grail of Compliance Management.  Whether regulatory or ERM, ensuring business is conducted as intended is the base requirement to optimising your organization’s performance.

Let’s face it, business spends its money where it will deliver the best return, i.e. to shareholders, so the key to increasing the compliance budget is to measure compliance as a factor of performance not as a safety net. Continue reading

#148 – 3 THINGS YOU HAVE TO KNOW ABOUT ISO 9001:2015 RISK’S DEFINITION BEFORE MOVING ON – MOHAMMAD ELSHAHAT

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AAAWhy do you think most executives and quality practitioners are focusing on the strategies, techniques, and tools when it comes to Risk Based Thinking?

I bet you’ve heard or even read these questions before; What are the best tools to address risks? Is it SWOT or FMEA will be more helpful? How can I implement this risk-based thinking? Continue reading

#148 – USING YOUR ACCREDITATION TO MAINTAIN HIPAA COMPLIANCE – TED SCHMIDT

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00141With the recent changes to the enforcement of HIPAA and HITECH (Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act), “covered entities and their business associates” (aka hospitals and their providers) will now be subject to fines/penalties for noncompliance. Since HIPAA was enacted in 2005, the consensus is that there has been little enforcement of these requirements. Continue reading

#147 – THE NINE CIRCLES OF PLANNING HELL – GEARY SIKICH

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Untitled1-150x150The Nine Circles of Planning Hell (Adapted from Dante’s Inferno)

Introduction

Inferno, the first part of Dante’s Divine Comedy that inspired the latest Dan Brown’s bestseller of the same title describes the poet’s vision of Hell. The story begins with the narrator (who is the poet himself) being lost in a dark wood where he is attacked by three beasts which he cannot escape. He is rescued by the Roman poet Virgil who is sent by Beatrice (Dante’s ideal woman). Together, they begin the journey into the underworld or the Nine Circles of Hell. Continue reading

#147 – DONATING TO CAUSES YOU CARE ABOUT IS EASY WITH YOURCAUSE – KELLY EISENHARDT

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Kelly EisenhardtMore and more companies are offering employee engagement programs within their benefits package. It is a winning benefit for the employee, the company, the nonprofits and those the nonprofits serve. While there are multiple platform providers that support employee engagement programs there is only one that has always ensured that no portion of the donation is deducted to cover the platform providers’ operational expense…YourCause. Continue reading

#147 – ICT FASHION VICTIMHOOD – HOWARD WEINER

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AAAWhen I think of the term ‘Fashion Victim’ these two shots from Brazil (one of my favorite movies of all time) come to mind:

There seems to be no length to which some of us will not go to prove that we are on top of the latest and greatest trends. Katherine Helmond’s character in the film, above, is a case in point. Over the course of the film she sports ridiculous clothing and submits herself to intrusive, painful and ultimately destructive medical procedures, all for the sake of fashion. By the end of the film she has virtually destroyed herself. Continue reading

#147 – ACHIEVING PROCESS STABILITY – FRED SCHENKELBERG

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ABC FredWhat Is Process Stability?

Everything varies. Your vendors provide components with a range of values. Your production process varies, too. Creating, monitoring, and maintaining process stability enhances your product reliability performance.

When I started my professional life as a manufacturing engineer, a senior engineer told me that we take a product design and can only make it worse. He said that, if we could make every unit exactly according to the nominal values of the drawing, every unit would work well. Continue reading

#147 – ERM STATUS UPDATE WITH FEDS – GREG HUTCHINS

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Greg Hutchins

US Office of Management and Budget is releasing Enterprise Risk Management update to Circular A – 123 on July 15, 2016.

The new policy document is known as ‘Management’s Responsibility for Enterprise Risk Management and Internal Controls.’  The policy document requires an enterprise risk management program with operational risk controls.  The policy document is a game changer. Continue reading

#146 – THE REAL REASONS WHY WOMEN EARN LESS THAN MEN – ELIZABETH LIONS

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Lions gold podiumStatistically, women earn less than men, but when you look at the same job and the same skill set, the wage disparity is lower than you’d think, according to Pay Scale.

Often the wage difference between men and women has little to do with skill set. Many times it all boils down to how a person perceives themselves and their self-worth. Confidence plays a big factor. Having the guts to ask for more money often equates to earning more.  Continue reading

#146 – SUPPLY CHAIN RISK MANAGEMENT IS THE HOT NEW CAREER – GREG HUTCHINS

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Greg HutchinsThe idea of supply chain risk management has been around for about 10 years. It is only in the last 5 years, that it has become popular. We are still at the early stage of supply chain risk management adoption and deployment.

In terms of total dollar amount, external suppliers provide a significant portion of a manufacturer’s product. For U.S. firms, 50% to 80% or more of the final price of a product can be the cost of purchased goods.  In Japan, it can be even higher.

For these reasons, any supply disruption can kill a supply chain.  As a result, supply chain risk management is now critical to a company’s competitiveness.
Continue reading

#146 – IT IS ALL ABOUT SURVIVABILITY – GEARY SIKICH

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Untitled1-150x150If you want senior management to pay attention give them something that challenges their focus – and understand that their focus is not on how many computers you have or RTO, RPO stats. It is on business survivability – will we be in business tomorrow given the issues that we face today.

What is more important to your organization’s continuity of operations – how many computers you have or where your competition will be coming from in the next five years? Continue reading

#146 – BASELINING SUSTAINABILITY PERFORMANCE WITH ESG, SCIENCE, & TECHNOLOGY – KELLY EISENHARDT

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Kelly EisenhardtBy leveraging their comprehensive ESG database, Thomson Reuters helps companies’ baseline sustainability performance and stay ahead of emerging global sustainability trends. TR recently released their latest Greenhouse Gas Emissions report highlighting “sustainable growth,” in addition to reducing GHG emissions and alignment with the U.N. Guidelines. Continue reading

#146 – HOW SAMPLE SIZE AFFECTS DECISION MAKING – FRED SCHENKELBERG

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ABC FredSample Size Determination

When planning for quality or reliability testing, an often posed question is: How many samples do you need? The trite answer is: Just as many samples as you need and not one more. A better answer is: Enough samples to make the right decision. The realistic expectation is : You will not have enough samples. Continue reading

#146 – RISK AHEAD OR RISK BEHIND – ERIC SCHULZE

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A EricOnly after the ship has sunk does everyone know how it might have been saved. Healthcare is changing at an incredible pace. Identifying what is relevant and prioritizing the changes that will impact a hospital is an enormous challenge for a hospital’s leadership. Unfortunately, many hospitals, especially rural hospitals, are not able to mitigate the problems successfully. Continue reading

#145 – ALTERED STATES: RISK PERCEPTION AFTER THE EVENT – GEARY SIKICH

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Untitled1-150x150Heightened Awareness or Reactive, Backwards Looking?

From financial crises to energy catastrophes to earthquakes and threats of terrorism, we hear a lot about events that challenge our ability to identify and manage risk. Unfortunately some of the things that emerge from many of these events are reactive regulatory rules and requirements. Continue reading

#145 – GATHERING DATA WITH NEVADA CHARTS – FRED SCHENKELBERG

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ABC FredGathering Field Failure Data

A common and rather poor technique to gather field data is to count the number of returns by week or month. This can provide a graph showing the number of returns over time. However, it hides useful information you need to understand your field failures.

Let’s take a look at a way to gather the same field failure data and retain the critical information necessary for time-to-failure analysis. Continue reading

#145 – DEMYSTIFYING RISK – LIFE VS. DEATH – GREG CARROLL

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GregCarrollRisk management is suffering from too much consultant-speak – mystifying what is a standard business practice. When inducting new staff in the concepts of risk management, I use the most obvious analogy which clarifies the issues simply: that of our own mortality. Continue reading

#145 – SASB: PROMOTING SUSTAINABILITY – KELLY EISENHARDT

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Kelly EisenhardtIn today’s world, many investors are looking closely at a company’s sustainability performance and risks. The Sustainability Standards Accounting Board (SASB) continues to advance the use of sustainability accounting standards that are backed by evidence-based research and stakeholder participation. Continue reading

#145 – MEETING REQUIREMENTS, EXCEEDING EXPECTATIONS AND HAPPINESS – MALCOLM PEART

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Malcom Peart pixHow often do we hear or read that some organization or other purports to aim to exceed their Clients’ expectations? Are such statements mere puffery and sales pitch by some top-line grabbing salesman or are they genuine goals in line with the mantra of continuous improvement? And if we exceed somebody’s expectations are they happy about it? Continue reading

#144 – EFFECTIVE CONCURRENT ENGINEERING REDUCES PRODUCIBILITY RISK – JOHN AYERS

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AAAMost companies have policies and procedures for concurrent engineering but many are ineffective for various reasons resulting in poor implementation of improved producibilty in their products. I have made this observation based on working for a variety of companies in different industries. Three examples of different approaches I encountered are presented below for your consideration. Two of the examples were used by defense companies, one of which I consider excellent and the other poor. One method was used by a commercial company is one I consider to be very good. Continue reading

#144 – CHAMPIONING WOMEN IN THE SOCIAL IMPACT SECTOR – KELLY EISENHARDT

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Kelly EisenhardtSince launching The Wakeman Agency in 2003, Vanessa Wakeman has been recognized as a champion for nonprofits and progressive organizations at the forefront of innovation and social change. At the helm of an award-winning agency that produces high impact special events and public relations campaigns, Vanessa and her team help tell the stories of a diverse group of clients who want to make the world a better place. Ms. Wakeman has been featured and highlighted in media sources such as PR Week, The New York Daily News, ABC Eyewitness News, SmartMoney, Westchester, and Philanthropy Journal magazine. Continue reading

#144 – GATHERING FIELD DATA FOR IMPROVING RELIABILITY – FRED SCHENKELBERG

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ABC FredImportance of Field Data

Customers experience product failures. Understanding these failures that occur in the hands of customers is an essential undertaking. We need this information to identify increasing failure rates, component batch or assembly errors, or design mistakes. Continue reading

#144 – BEHIND COMPLIANCE MANAGEMENT FAILURES AT MITSUBISHI, VW, AND TARGET – GREG CARROLL

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GregCarroll2016 has seen a virtual tsunami of compliance failures involving some of our largest companies. From Mitsubishi to VW, from ANZ to Target, almost weekly there have been media reports about some company employees having run amok – unbeknownst to their executives and boards. People are asking: “What happened to the compliance management systems that are supposed to monitor and prevent such abuses?” Executives and boards are naturally starting to question the entire compliance management function. Continue reading

#144 – ARE YOU PLAYING ASSET ROULETTE? – KEITH RIDGEWAY

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Keith ImageDid you know on average around 30% of all organisations do not know what they own, where their assets are located or who is using them; and over 65% of information recorded on asset registers is incomplete, inaccurate or even missing.   What’s more concerning is a number of these assets may not be statutory compliant e.g passenger/good/DDA lifts, fire, gas, pressure asset etc.

How effective is your asset management system and how accurate is your asset register; To find out please answers below the following questions  Continue reading

#144 – ENTERPRISE RISK MANAGEMENT AND STRESS – JIM KLINE PH.D.

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aIMG_4231Introduction

Enterprise Risk Management is the process of determining what an organization’s operational risks are and the appetite that upper level management has for those risks. The idea is that by identifying the risks ahead of time, the risks can be avoided or mitigated.

Like all such procedures, the goal is worthy. However, there are weaknesses. One of the little recognized problems is how people react under stress. Continue reading

#143 – CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY BALANCING THE RISKS AND REWARDS – GEARY SIKICH AND JOOP REMME

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Untitled1-150x150Summary

In this article, we intend to offer a realistic perspective on corporate social responsibility. First we offer our perspective on the related concepts of corporate social responsibility and sustainability, clarifying why anyone in the business community should spend some energy on them. Then we relate corporate social responsibility to corporate risk.

UntitledFocusing corporate risk on the risk in future developments, we then see the background for the challenges within corporate social responsibility. From the complexities around those challenges, we then go to developing business, which then brings us to our conclusion. The conclusion has to make sense in managerial terms and that is why we give the reader a twelve step program to effectuate improvements in terms of corporate social responsibility. Continue reading

#143 – TRACKING AND REPORTING FIELD FAILURES – FRED SCHENKELBERG

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ABC FredComplications When Tracking Field Data

Fielded products fail day by day. Customers report these failures, generally seeking a way to remedy this issue. Gathering the reported or returned products or confirmed failures is common practice.

Depending on the product, a simple replacement or exchange may suffice. For other products, repair or a refund may be appropriate. In general, and not always, when a product fails in the hands of a customer, the organization designing, manufacturing, and distributing the product learns of the failure. Continue reading

#143 – ARE YOU BEING MISLEAD OR CONNED? – KEITH RIDGEWAY

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Keith ImageSome weeks ago I wrote an article on all AB (accreditation  bodies) and CB ( certification Bodies) should join up with institutes  to  ensure hard working companies do not get conned by using  ISO management standard consultants  claiming to be experts  and non- UKAS approved certifying companies.

I recently was asked by two companies to carry out independent 2nd party  audits. Continue reading

#143 – SUSTAINABILITY KNOWLEDGE – KELLY EISENHARDT

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Kelly EisenhardtAlyson Slater heads GRI’s Knowledge Unit, which is tasked with collecting and mobilizing the vast knowledge and experience found within GRI’s staff and multi-stakeholder network. The Knowledge Unit also leads the development of new products and services to help reporting organizations, data users, and thought leaders optimize their use of GRI Sustainability Reporting Standards and the resulting reported data. GRI’s Emerging Market Regional Hubs in Hispanic America, Africa and South East Asia also fall under Alyson’s remit. Continue reading

#143 – TECHNOLOGY THOUGHT LEADER: SHERI DOVER – MARGAUX HUTCHINS

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AAASheri Dover is an entrepreneur and founder of the PDX Code Guild. She is a thought leader in the Portland tech startup community. Here, she talks with us about how the PDX Code Guild helps people get high-paying jobs in the technology sector.

Can you tell me a few things about yourself?

My name is Sheri Dover. I am the founder and the CEO of PDX Code Guild. Continue reading

#143 – DO YOU KNOW THE RISKS IN YOUR MEASUREMENT SYSTEM? – AFAQ AHMED

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aaaOrganizations have processes and every process has a certain amount of risk associated with it due to variations. By managing process variations we can minimize risks to achieve desirable results. Every process has input variables (X) that delivers outputs (Y). Changes in (Y) is dependent on changes in (X) and can be expressed as:

Y=f(X) Continue reading

#142 – AMAZON’S SECRET WEAPON: BEING ANTICIPATORY – DANIEL BURRUS

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BurrusDan_040In many ways it seems impossible that Amazon has been in business for more than 20 years. Time does fly! During that time, Amazon has been – and continues to be – the largest and most innovative leader in the e-commerce market. You may be surprised to discover the other markets Amazon has not only entered, but is also in the process of redefining and reinventing. Continue reading

#142 – WHAT CAN VALUE ADDED AUDITING™ DO FOR YOU? – GREG HUTCHINS

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Greg Hutchins

Value Added Auditing(VAA) is risk based auditing.  Or another way to think about it is VAA is analytical auditing where the sponsor and auditee get valuable information to improve their operations and become more competitive.

So, what can VAA do for you?

Value added auditing facilitates the company’s and its supplier’s improvement. For example, the auditor may determine if controls or systems are in place ensuring that: Continue reading

#142 – RAISING THE VOICES OF SUSTAINABILITY THOUGHT LEADERSHIP – KELLY EISENHARDT

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Kelly EisenhardtSustainability thought leaders are seeking experienced communications organizations to help get their vision and mission communicated both internally and externally, along with promoting new trends.

Tim Gnatek is President and Co-founder of Blue Practice where he manages media relations, corporate and employee communications, thought leadership programs, content generation, and creative campaigns. Continue reading

#142 – BLACK SWANS, GREY SWANS, WHITE SWANS …. – GEARY SIKICH

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Untitled1-150x150We hear a lot about things that are being called “Black Swans” today thanks to Nassim Taleb and his extremely successful book, “The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable,” now in its second edition. I have written several articles centering on the “Black Swan” phenomenon; defending, clarifying and analyzing the nature of “Black Swan” events. And, I am finding that wildly improbable events are becoming perfectly routine events. Continue reading

#142 – THE STRESS – STRENGTH CONCEPT IN PRACTICE – FRED SCHENKELBERG

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Stress–Strength Concept

ABC FredIdeally, in every design of every component the stress–strength relationship looks like this figure:AAA 1You will notice that the stress is well below the strength. This implies there is very little chance of failure as a result of the element being overstressed. Also, ideally, we fully characterize all stresses and all strengths for each element of a product. This is generally difficult to accomplish and it is rarely done to that extent. Continue reading

#142 – ARE YOU A SYSTEMS CONTROLLED AND/OR PEOPLE CONTROLLED ORGANIZATION? – KEITH RIDGEWAY

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Keith ImageAre you a (Systems Controlled & People Driven) or a (People Controlled and People Driven) organisation?

Every day we hear of organisations failure to prevent accidents, environmental incidents, non-conformities, product recalls and at worst a child, adult or an animal was killed. Continue reading

#141 – WHAT WILL QUALITY LOOK LIKE IN 20 YEARS? – PETER J. HOLTMANN

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179fed3To look to the future, the quality profession is revisiting its roots. The question is, “Where is the next generation to help the profession look ahead?” Or, as I like to think of it, “What’s the emoticon for quality?”

I recently attended ASQ’s World Conference on Quality and Improvement where we discussed powerful questions such as, “What will quality look like in 20 years? What will it be called? Will it still be relevant?”

Continue reading

#141 – WASHINGTON STATE ADOPTS ERM – GREG HUTCHINS

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Greg HutchinsIn the US, there are a number of Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) developments:

  • US Feds are requiring ERM in all federal departments.
  • Feds are pushing ERM to states that have federal funding.
  • Fed are thinking of putting ERM into enforcement and contracts.

Continue reading

#141 – RELIABILITY MODELING USING THE MONTE CARLO APPROACH: WORTH GAMBLING ON – FRED SCHENKELBERG

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ABC FredModeling Complex Systems and Their Variability

The Monte Carlo approach relies on data that describe the variation of elements within the system. It also connects the elements such that the result is an estimate of performance. For reliability modeling this is easiest to imagine for a series system. Continue reading

#141 – REAL WORLD VOLATILITY: IMPLICATIONS FOR SCENARIO GENERATION – GEARY SICKICH

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Untitled1-150x150Introduction

In the risk-neutral world, all business and government continuity planning would be risk-balanced. However, in reality, risks, threats, hazards and their consequences change depending on an organizations exposure, sensitivities to impact and other factors. For instance, a natural disaster, can occur without much warning and can have direct and indirect impact on an organization. Complicating the Business Continuity Planners life is a simple fact, events have unforeseen consequences that can rarely be planned for. Continue reading

#141 – CARBON EMISSIONS AND FOOD WASTE REDUCED WITH BALDOR’S SPARCS PROGRAM – KELLY EISENHARDT

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Kelly EisenhardtThe White House Climate Change Plan to Reduce Methane Emissions identified landfills as being responsible for 18% of all methane emissions and approximately 100 million metric tons of carbon dioxide pollution. [1] Baldor Specialty Foods, a leading produce distributor in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states based in the Bronx, NY, is on a mission to reduce these numbers by tackling the overwhelming problem of food waste in the United States. Continue reading

#141 – RISK LEADERSHIP PROFILE: ED PERKINS BY MARGAUX HUTCHINS

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAEd Perkins is an electrical engineer and cyber security guru who is a candidate for 2017 President-elect of IEEE USA, the U.S. group of the biggest technical society in the world. Ed talks with us about what makes engineering cool, the importance of STEM, and the future of technology. 

Ed Perkins CIA CERM is also the developer of the Certified Enterprise Risk Manager® – Cyber Security™ certificate and is an expert on the NIST Risk Management Framework. Continue reading

#140 – US FEDS ADOPT ERM – GREG HUTCHINS

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Greg HutchinsThe President of the US has emphasized:

“the importance of having appropriate risk management processes and systems to identify challenges early, to bring them to the attention of Agency leadership, and to develop solutions.”

The President’s Executive Office (Office of Management and Budget) is updating Circular A – 123 to ensure Federal executives and managers are effectively, efficiently, and economically managing risks that inhibit the agency from achieving its strategic and operational objectives.

Continue reading

#140 – COVER YOUR ASSETS AND PLAUSIBLE DENIABILITY – ED PERKINS

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIn an earlier post [1] we looked whether ‘plausible deniability’ was now a dead strategy in the face of enterprise risk management (ERM) and the likely impact of the US SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission) guidance [2] regarding disclosure obligations relating to operational and cybersecurity risks and cyber incidents. The SEC noted that “a number of disclosure requirements may impose an obligation on registrants to disclose such risks and incidents. Continue reading

#140 – DRIVERS OF CHANGE: BUSINESS CONTINUITY PLANNING IMPLICATIONS – GEARY SIKICH

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Untitled1-150x150Introduction

Unpredictability is the new normal. As the world approaches 7 billion in population this year, there is an ever increasing demand for food, energy and a voice in how things are run. How do these changes affect business continuity planners, you may be asking? Then simple answer is, they will have far reaching effects on how business continuity planning is conducted. No longer can we be satisfied with the assurance that our “hot site” is available, or that we can maintain business operations in the face of a pandemic; or that we can deal with the aftermath of a natural disaster. Continue reading

#140 – FAULT TREE ANALYSIS BASICS – FRED SCHENKELBERG

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Fault tree analysis (FTA) is a technique used to explore the many potential or actual causes ABC Fredof product or system failure. It is best applied when there are many possible ways for something may fail. For example, when my car doesn’t start, it could be a dead battery, a faulty starter, a loose wire, an absence of fuel, and on and on. Continue reading

#140 – THE RISK CHALLENGE TO THE QUALITY PROFESSION – JAMES KLINE PH.D

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aIMG_4231With the adoption of ISO 9001.2015 and the Office of Management and Budget’s (OMB) revision of Circular A-123, management of both the private sector and federal government must now pay formal attention to risk across their enterprise. In addition, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) has updated the “Standards for Internal Control in the Federal Government”, the Green Book, to better accommodate risk assessment. Continue reading

#140 – RISK AHEAD OR RISK BEHIND? – ERIC SCHULZE

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A Eric“Only after the ship has sunk does everyone know how it might have been saved.”

Healthcare is changing at an incredible pace. Identifying what’s relevant and prioritizing the changes that will impact a hospital is an enormous challenge for a hospital’s leadership. Unfortunately, many hospitals, especially rural hospitals, are not able to mitigate the problems successfully.   Continue reading

#139 – OPERATIONAL EXCELLENCE IS NOT SOMETHING NEW! – JOSEPH PARIS

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Paris_Aug2012There is a lot of content created around Operational Excellence and its companion disciplines – including; Leadership, Lean, Six-Sigma, Theory of Constraints, Project Management, and so on – which together comprise Operational Excellence (including the content produced by myself).  But are all of these concepts as “new” as some would have you believe?  Have they never been embraced or implemented in the past?  Continue reading

#139 – RISK TREATMENT STRATEGIES – GREG HUTCHINS

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Greg HutchinsWhen evaluating risk response strategies, executive management along with process owners must align risk responses with the organization’s risk appetite, business objectives, costs/benefits, and overall risk strategy/tactics. Risk response strategies and tactics may involve: Continue reading

#139 – WHY WE NEED INTELLIGENT DISOBEDIENCE IN CORPORATE AMERICA – KELLY EISENHARDT

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Kelly EisenhardtEmpowering employees to speak up when they see something that is wrong or when they are asked to do something that might cause harm is critical to the survival of all organizations. Each employee needs to internalize their own personal accountability for the actions they take under executive leadership. Continue reading

#139 – STAR ACADEMICS: DO THEY GARNER INCREASING RETURNS? – JAMES KLINE PH.D.

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aIMG_4231I recently completed my dissertation of the same title. The evaluative purpose of the dissertation was twofold. The first was to determine if, as the title indicates, star academics garner increasing returns for the university they work at. The second was to determine what criteria helps academics in obtaining National Institute of Health (NIH) funds.  NIH provides the largest amount of federal funding for scientific research. As a result, receipt of NIH funds makes a significant contribution to university revenue. Conventional wisdom and some supporting research indicate that star academics bring in substantial amounts of grant money. They also attract a higher quality of supporting academics and graduate students. Continue reading

#139 – EXPLOITING NEW CHALLENGES IN ERM – GEARY SIKICH

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UntitledHeightened Awareness or Reactive, Backwards Looking?

From financial crises to energy catastrophes to earthquakes and threats of terrorism, we hear a lot about events that challenge our ability to identify and manage risk. Unfortunately some of the things that emerge from many of these events are reactive regulatory rules and requirements. Continue reading

#138 – IN A WORLD OF ‘BLACK SWANS’, HOW DO YOU KNOW WHICH ONE TO WORRY ABOUT? – GEARY SIKICH

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UntitledIntroduction

There’s always a story that explains why an event is a “Black Swan” – after the fact. Where are the “Black Swan” prognosticators before events occur? I see “after the fact” articles and statements, such as, “we knew that was coming” or “we predicted this” – all after the fact. Generally projections and predictions seem never to hold sway until after the fact. Predictions and projections never seem to occur when the prognosticator specifies — is it just that the timing never seems to work out – until after the fact. From Nostradamus to the “Bible Code” we are enamored with predictions – after the fact. Does there seem to be a theme developing here? Continue reading

#138 – US FEDS REQUIRE ERM – GREG HUTCHINS

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Greg HutchinsThe President of the US has emphasized:

“the importance of having appropriate risk management processes and systems to identify challenges early, to bring them to the attention of Agency leadership, and to develop solutions.”

The President’s Executive Office (Office of Management and Budget) is updating Circular A – 123 to ensure Federal executives and managers are effectively, efficiently, and economically managing risks that inhibit the agency from achieving its strategic and operational objectives.  Continue reading

#138 – 6 TRAITS YOU SHOULD DEVELOP TO BECOME AN EXCEPTIONAL QUALITY PRO – CINDY FAZZI

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2014-bl-author-cindy-fazziIn a regulated company, quality professionals may be revered or dreaded or downright misunderstood. But there’s no denying their important role. As quality guru Joseph Juran said, all improvement happens project by project and in no other way. To paraphrase Juran, I would say a high-quality product or service happens step by step and process by process. Guess who’s responsible for making sure every step and every process is working effectively? You got that right—quality pros. Continue reading

#138 – LIFE TESTING: WHERE TO START? – FRED SCHENKELBERG

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ABC FredReliability or life testing involves estimating the expected durability over time of an item. This may be an entire system, a product, or an individual component. We may also focus on an element of a component, such as a material property. At the end of the testing we want to say something meaningful about the expected performance over time. Continue reading

#138 – MITIGATE RISK BY DETERMINING CRITICAL DATUM – KEITH RIDGEWAY

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Keith ImageEvery day we are exposed to all types of hazards, but what really makes these hazards become risks.

For the past 30 years, I’ve been involved in one way or another, investigating the root causes of failure modes be it a system, process, person, plant or product.   During this time I’ve applied different problem-solving tools like “FMEA, 8D, 5Whys, FEA’s, DMAIC etc” in order to find the true root cause of this failure mode.   Only to get frustrated, thinking I had found the root cause, only 3 months later a new failure mode would come to the surface. Continue reading

#138 – HEALTHCARE@RISK – ALIGNING YOUR STRATEGIC VISION WITH YOUR BUSINESS OBJECTIVES – TED SCHMIDT

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00141With all of the changes in healthcare reimbursements, how do you ensure that your hospital is properly funded to meet your financial/operational needs while achieving your hospital’s vision? These changes are especially concerning for Hill-Burton hospitals, Safety Net hospitals, and faith-based hospitals that serve a disproportionate share of indigent patients. Continue reading

#137 – RESOLVING TEAM CONFLICT MINIMIZES LOW MORALE RISK – JOHN AYERS

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John Ayers pixAs we know, team conflict is not good and needs to be resolved quickly to maintain a high level of team moral and performance. This notion is true in sports as well in the work place. There are a number of approaches to resolve conflicts. For example: ignore them and hope they work themselves out; fire the main instigator as president Truman did with General MacArthur; confront them and resolve them. I offer an example herein of two approaches to resolve conflict, one of which I feel is a bad approach and one a good approach that I favor. Continue reading

#137 – WHY IS ISO 31000 A MUST KNOW ISO STANDARD? – GREG HUTCHINS

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Greg Hutchins pixMore ISO management systems are incorporating RBT and risk, so the standard is becoming a ‘must know’ standard. ISO 31000 risk management principles, risk management framework, and risk management process are the preferred tools to use with ISO management systems because ISO 31000: Continue reading

#137 – STILL USING PAPER FOR AUDITS? – HERE’S WHY YOU NEED TO AUTOMATE – STEVE HARRISON

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Steve Harrison author photoA recent quality management system benchmark survey showed manual processes are still predominant over automated systems.[1] The results of the survey were compiled from over 100,000 professionals worldwide and the majority of the participants work in quality or regulatory positions across pharmaceutical, medical device and biotech industries. Continue reading

#137 – WHEN IT COMES TO CYBERSECURITY, DISCONNECTS ‘R US’ – ED PERKINS

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAA recent report from the cybersecurity firm Barkly, on results from a survey they conducted of IT professionals and IT executives, found that while the IT professionals who have direct responsible for cybersecurity feel their organizations are vulnerable, the executives from those organizations are significantly more confident that things in general are fine. For their Cybersecurity Confidence Report[1], Barkly surveyed of 350 IT professionals and found that 50 percent are not confident in their current security products or solutions. Continue reading

#137 – AN EMPLOYEE RETENTION PROGRAM THAT COSTS NOTHING – ELIZABETH LIONS

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Lions gold podiumRetention is like life insurance. No one thinks about it until they need it.

With the job market heating up and passive candidates starting to get antsy and look for different jobs, managers need to consider retaining their top talent. The irony is retention costs nothing.  Continue reading

#136 – DOES YOUR COMPANY NEED A QUALITY DEPARTMENT? – TIM RODGERS

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#136 – HOW PERFORMANCE EXCELLENCE HELPS BROADEN THE HORIZON OF QUALITY – MICKEY GARCIA

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2015-bl-author-mickey-garciaSince W. Edwards Deming’s pioneering work in the 1950s, we have witnessed remarkable progress in the disciplines of both quality and management. Through the years, the best practices of the day have been given fancy names such as total quality management (TQM), Six Sigma and, most recently, Lean everything—just to name a few. Continue reading

#136 – HOW MANY RELIABILITY ENGINEERS DOES IT TAKE TO REPLACE A LIGHT BULB? – FRED SCHENKELBERG

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ABC FredHow many reliability engineers does it take to replace a light bulb? Well, none, but that’s because reliability engineers would use a reliable bulb to avoid the need for replacement.

Of more importance is answering the question ‘How many reliability engineers does an organization need?’ Is it

(a) none,

(b) one really good reliability engineering professional, or

(c) an entire staff of highly talented reliability engineers? Continue reading

#136 – HOW TO ESTIMATE AND PRIORITIZE RISKS – STEPHEN FLICK

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AAA FILICKEstimating and prioritizing risks is a time-consuming process and the results of risk estimation and prioritization don’t often inspire a great deal of confidence in the process. It’s not a perfect process and it will probably never be. We’re not perfect and nothing we ever make[1] will ever be. Continue reading

#136 – ON THE PAYOFF OF ATTENDING AN ELITE COLLEGE – NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

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thIn today’s high-tech economy, just about everybody has gotten the message that it pays to get a college degree. What is less clear to many parents and their college-bound youngsters is whether it makes economic sense to attend an elite school with a total four-year price tag big enough to buy a nice suburban house in many parts of the country.

Does the earnings return from a diploma with the name of an elite institution stamped on it justify the higher expense, or is the reputation of the college aristocracy vastly overblown, at least when it comes to subsequent income? It’s a question that more and more economists are researching, while many parents and policymakers would like to know the answer.

Yet researchers have long found it difficult to tease out the labor market effects of college quality versus other characteristics that employers reward. The problem is that students who attend selective schools are likely to have higher earnings potential regardless of where they attend college for the very same reasons that they were admitted to the more selective schools in the first place. In a recent NBER Working Paper, Stacy Berg Dale and Alan Krueger try two novel approaches to solving this problem. In Estimating The Payoff To Attending A More Selective College: An Application of Selection On Observable and Unobservables (NBER Working Paper No. 7322) they use data from the College and Beyond Survey to match 6,335 students who were accepted and rejected by a comparable set of colleges in 1976. They then compare labor market outcomes in 1995 among students who had the same menu of choices, but among whom some attended more selective schools than others. They also use this data set and the National Longitudinal Survey of the High School Class of 1972 to estimate the impact on students’ subsequent earnings of the average SAT scores of all the schools they applied to as well as the average SAT score of the school they attended.

They find that school selectivity, measured by the average SAT score of the students at a school, doesn’t pay off in a higher income over time. “Students who attended more selective colleges do not earn more than other students who were accepted and rejected by comparable schools but attended less selective colleges,” the researchers write. They also find that the average SAT score of the schools students applied to but did not attend is a much stronger predictor of students’ subsequent income than the average SAT score of the school students actually attended. They call this finding the “Spielberg Model” because the famed movie producer applied to USC and UCLA film schools only to be rejected, and attended Cal State Long Beach. Evidently, students’ motivation, ambition, and desire to learn have a much stronger effect on their subsequent success than the average academic ability of their classmates.

Still, they do find that some aspects of colleges are related to students’ subsequent economic success, even after adjusting for the abilities of the students upon applying to college. For example, students who attend colleges with higher average tuition costs or spending per student tend to earn higher incomes later on. The internal real rate of return on college tuition for students who went to college in the late 1970s was a startlingly high 16 to 18 percent. But with college costs up sharply since then, returns have probably come down to a more normal range. The authors speculate that tuition may affect future earnings because schools with higher tuitions offer more resources or higher quality products to their students.

Finally, the results of this study suggest that no matter what measurement of college quality is used, the income gains from attending an elite college are highest for students from a disadvantaged background. “School admission and financial aid policies that have as a goal attracting students from more disadvantaged family backgrounds may raise national income, as these students appear to benefit most from attending a more elite college,” they say. Their results are bound to play a role in the national debate over financial aid and affirmative action policies at the nation’s premier schools.

Christopher Farrell – (C) National Bureau of Economic Research

#135 – OPERATIONAL EXCELLENCE MATURITY MODEL – JOSEPH PARIS

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Paris_Aug2012I have met countless Continuous Improvement and Operational Excellence professionals over the course of my career.  And, in turn, I have become acquainted with their roles and efforts in regards to driving value to their organizations.  Oftentimes, these professionals, although possessing great passion for, and pride in, the value they drive to their companies, express their frustrations at the lack of proper support from their company in their efforts. Continue reading

#135 – RISK ASSESSMENT BENEFITS – GREG HUTCHINS

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Greg Hutchins pixRisk assessment is a critical element of ISO 31000 risk management framework. Risk assessment provides the requisite evidence based data and information for Risk Based Thinking, specifically risk based problem solving and risk based decision making. Using the appropriate risk assessment for the organization can determine how to treat and manage specific risks. Continue reading

#135 – STRUCTURING ICT MANAGEMENT TO ALIGN IT WITH THE ENTERPRISE – PART IV PRINCIPLES OF ENTERPRISE ICT ALIGNMENT – HOWARD WIENER

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Howard Wiener PixIn the previous posts in this series, we covered:

  • Part I: models of the enterprise and ICT and the need to rationalize the two in order to manage both properly.
  • Part II: a four-level enterprise model consisting of strategy, business model, operating model and operational architecture; the need for and value of creating and maintaining the as-is model.
  • Part III: the as-is model and its role in the existing EA, planning for transformation and ensuring that the enterprise is equally capable of evaluating changes emanating outside-in and inside-out.

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#135 – HEALTHCARE AT RISK: LEADERSHIP, RISK, AND YOUR MANAGEMENT SYSTEM – ERIC SCHULZE

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A EricDuring the DNV GL symposium, I overheard someone say that after four years of “doing” ISO, they can “kind of see” how leadership and management review can contribute to improvement. It is unfortunate that it has taken years for the benefits of ISO to be appreciated, but sadly it is a common observation and truth for many hospitals using the 9001 framework as part of their accreditation. Implementing, maintaining, and improving a management system is a journey, not a destination. Continue reading

#135 – HOW SAFE IS SAFE ENOUGH FOR YOUR SYSTEM – FRED SCHENKELBERG

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ABC FredSETTING THE MARGIN FOR SAFETY

Estimating the set of stress and stress curves is an interesting exercise that may have a greater purpose: safety. The connection is clear when considering the potential consequences of failure. For example, the loss of braking power when landing an aircraft may result in the aircraft rolling off the end of the runway. Continue reading

#135 – SIX LESSONS QUALITY MANAGERS CAN LEARN FROM STAR WARS – DAVID BUTCHER

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2014-blog-author-photo-david-butcherBeginning with A New Hope nearly 40 years ago, characters in the epic Star Wars saga have offered many lessons that may prove valuable for even the most seasoned quality managers. There are numerous examples of positive behaviors that managers might consider emulating in their daily work and behaviors that should always be avoided. Continue reading

#134 – HEALTHCARE @ RISK – UNDERSTANDING CONTEXT – TED SCHMIDT

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00141In an effort to better understand the “context” of the environment in our hospitals, we conducted some basic research. Our results, though mostly unscientific, do bring us to our current state in healthcare. We considered the different influences on how we practice medicine, how we run our hospitals (including most importantly, how our hospitals get paid) and the influences of technology and innovation. Here is a brief synopsis of what we found. Continue reading

#134 – KKR PORTFOLIO COMPANIES GET NEW GREEN SOLUTIONS PLATFORM – KELLY EISENHARDT

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Kelly EisenhardtAs Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) issues continue to grow in importance for mainstream investors, KKR’s pioneering environmental initiative provides the resources and tools necessary for its participating private equity portfolio companies to determine materiality and the means to measure it. Continue reading

#134 – IT’S LONELY AT THE TOP! – KIRBY URNER

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AAA IRBYGiven ISO 9001:2015, we see new emphasis on executive involvement, who may even be the Chief Risk Officer (CRO) someone with lots of experience, most probably in IT, operations, legal or accounting.

Now let’s look at IT side of the risk business, where the CRO will need allies who grew up in computer science or something similar (philosophy?).  Since IT is integral to all processes and project, we think that this is where we think most risks will reside.  The CRO’s best friend may be the CEH, the Certified Ethical Hacker. Continue reading

#134 – HOW SIX SIGMA CAN HELP YOU? – JOHN AYERS

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AAASix Sigma is a powerful tool used to solve a problem or improve a process. The company (one of the 4 big defense companies) I worked for over 20 years lived, breathed and ate it every day. I became a six sigma specialist. For those readers not familiar with six sigma, I offer the following example to hopefully provide some insight into how it works and the benefits it offers.   Continue reading

#134 – WHY YOU WEREN’T HIRED – ELIZABETH LIONS

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Lions gold podiumAh, the job search.

Rejection isn’t meant for the faint of heart and in a job search one must have a bullet proof ego to withstand hours of searching for the right job, applying, networking, re-writing the resume – and other mind numbing tasks in order to do one simple thing – replace an income. Continue reading

#133 – ISO 31000 AS AN ERM STANDARD – GREG HUTCHINS

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IGreg Hutchins pixSO 31000 is 23 pages long, but these pages provide an entry level Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) guideline.

Why is this important?

An organization develops ISO 31000 ERM capabilities to provide a structured, consistent, disciplined, and achievable approach to risk management that facilitates Risk Based Thinking throughout the organization. Risk Based Thinking is composed of 1. Risk based, problem solving (RB – PS) and 2. Risk based, decision making (RB –DM). Both RB – PS and RB – DM are the basis for all management and supervision. We discuss this in our new book: ISO 31000: Enterprise Risk Management. Continue reading

#133 – PREPARING FOR ISO 13485:2016 CHANGES – JAMES JARDINE

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AAA = james jardineAs 2015 comes to a close, medical device manufacturers throughout the world share one collective concern: how will the ISO 13485:2016 revision compare with other versions of the standard? In a new three-part video series, Walt Murray, MasterControl’s director of Quality and Compliance Consulting (QCC) services, walks through what, why, when and how changes are coming to the standard. Continue reading

#133 – THOUGHTS ON SMART PHONES AND PRIVACY – KIRBY URNER

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AAA IRBYAdvanced high school students are getting exposed to RSA (the first public key cyrypto system) along with their math track.  In such schools as the exclusive Phillips Academy, I’m sure they are having informed debates in their classrooms, regarding the Apple vs. FBI standoff.

I think this is important because everyone who wants privacy and to make sure that their financial, medical information, and all information is kept private should be interested in the Apple vs. FBI standoff that ended in a whimper.  All of us will be eventually become cyber experts.

They’re certainly better equipped, concept-wise, than less privileged kids who might not even get any SQL, even in all four years of high school (!). Continue reading

#133 – MONSANTO’S PLAN: FEED 9.6 MILLION PEOPLE AND BE CARBON NEUTRAL BY 2021 – KELLY EISENHARDT

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Kelly EisenhardtThe world’s population is expected to reach 9.6 billion people by 2050. Feeding everyone on a scale that big without increasing the world’s existing farming footprint by means of deforestation is a true challenge. With new technologies like precision agriculture, big data analytics, and the Internet of Things, Monsanto is creating the path to lower carbon emissions while increasing farming productivity. Continue reading

#133 – RISK IS NOT EVEN HALF OF IT! – IAN DALLING

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AAA DallingLast month’s Insight explained that MSS 1000 is a universal management system standard that facilitates the creation of fully integrated management systems without boundaries addressing the totality of the management of an organisation irrespective of size and type. We now look at how it promotes a holistic management of uncertainty. Continue reading

#133 – PROJECT DASHBOARDS: ARE WE MISSING THE PICTURE? – MALCOLM PEART

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Malcom Peart pixI was once asked by a non-English speaker; “What is a dashboard?” Our Client wanted a ‘dashboard’ summary of the monthly status as part of Project Controls for a ‘health check’.

I explained that cars have dashboards. Analogously, I told her that my first car (a Spitfire) had a ‘dashboard’ with a speedometer (marginally functional) to measure speed, temperature gauge (working) to warn of impending overheating, fuel gauge (temperamental) to let me know when I needed to top-up the tank, an odometer (erratic) to let me know how far I had travelled, plus a rev-counter that didn’t work. Continue reading

#132 – WHAT TO DO IF THERE IS NO AUDIT DOCUMENTATION? – GREG HUTCHINS

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Greg Hutchins pixMost organizations have established operational standards, objectives, metrics and expectations, which are operationalized through procedures and work instructions. If these exist, then the value added auditor can use these as a metric to conduct an audit.

The internal auditor determines whether the business objectives, standards, metrics, processes and work instructions are acceptable to meet audit objectives and then determine if they are being met.

But, what does the internal auditor do if there are no technical, procedures, policies, specifications, standards, or other types of documents? Continue reading

#132 – STRUCTURING ICT MANAGEMENT TO ALIGN IT WITH THE ENTERPRISE: PART 3 CHARTING TO BE – HOWARD M. WIENER

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Howard Wiener PixIn previous posts (Part 2) , I defined a simple hierarchy for portraying the Enterprise and made a case for the importance of understanding and documenting the as-is Enterprise Architecture to a reasonable level of detail.

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#132 – MERITS OF RISK MANAGEMENT: COMPLIANCE AS AN INVESTMENT – ANNETTE DAVISON, BOB BURFORD

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AAA&Burford

ABSTRACT

Understanding and implementing sound compliance programs is a fundamental component of corporate governance and risk management. Effective risk management is not limited to understanding an organisation’s regulator-driven compliance requirements. It also includes managing an organisation’s overall operating context risks, within a business outcomes’ framework in order to mitigate these risks and in some cases, turn them into opportunities. With the increasing costs of implementing compliance systems and risk management measures, questions are often asked about their ‘worth’ to an organisation. In this paper, the costs of non-compliance as well as the benefits of good compliance and risk management programs are considered. Continue reading

#132 – 5 LESSONS I LEARNED FROM A SUCCESSFUL ISO 9001:2015 CERTIFICATON AUDIT – LILLIAN ERICKSON

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2016-nl-bl-author-lily-ericksonThe publication of ISO 9001:2015 in September generated much anxiety among companies fearing a bumpy transition to the new and significantly changed international standard. Admittedly, we at MasterControl were not immune to those worries.

Despite having quality experts involved with the ISO changes since they were proposed some years ago, even we did not know how our ISO assessors would apply the new requirements, what evidence they would expect to see, and how to pre-emptively satisfy their expectations. Continue reading

#132 – A, B, AND C’S OF CAREER ADVANCEMENT – JOHN AYERS

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AAAYou may have heard about the Peter Principle (every employee tends to rise to his/her level of incompetency) and Putt’s law (the most competent person tends to sink to the bottom while the least talented person rises to the top). You have not heard of the A, B, C Theory because it is mine. I will explain what it is and you decide if there is any merit in it. Continue reading

#132 – UNPREDICTABILITY OF CASCADE EFFECTS IN DISASTER PLANNING – GEARY SIKICH

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AAA GThe definition below was presented in a recent questionnaire conducted by Project Snowball in the European Union (EU). As used in the questionnaire the term “cascading effects” is defined as:

“Cascading effects are the dynamics present in disasters, in which the impact of a physical event or the development of an initial technological or human failure generates a sequence of events, linked or dependent from each other, that result in physical, social or economic disruption.  Continue reading

#131 – DO YOU PYTHON? – KIRBY URNER

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AAA - imagesIf you have visited a bookstore recently you may have noticed an explosion in Python-related titles, especially for kids.

The Python I mean is not the invasive species of the snake now eating Florida alligators, nor Monty Python the comedy troupe, but the computer language, made in Holland originally but nowadays world-owned.  Python, the language, appears to be taking over the world!   Continue reading

#131 – ISO 31000: MUST KNOW STANDARD – GREG HUTCHINS

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Greg Hutchins pixMore ISO management systems are incorporating RBT and risk, so the ISO 31000 standard is becoming a ‘must know’ standard.  ISO 31000 risk management principles, risk management framework, and risk management process are the preferred tools to use with ISO management systems because ISO 31000: Continue reading

#131 – DISASTER PREPAREDNESS AND ISO 9001 – STEPHEN FLICK

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AAA FILICKThis week is “Severe Weather Awareness Week” in Missouri[1]. Seems odd, in a way, that we’re limiting our awareness of severe weather and what it can do to one week when weather disasters happen throughout the year.

Damage caused by tornado, Joplin, MO – May, 2011 (Eric Thayer, Reuters) Continue reading

#131 – THOMSON REUTERS UNDERSTANDS CR&I IS KEY TO PERFORMANCE – KELLY EISENHARDT

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Kelly EisenhardtThomson Reuters wants investors to know that corporate responsibility, sustainability, diversity, and inclusion are drivers that support strong financial performance. Combining these function areas into one global department has allowed the team to strengthen its purpose and work closer with business units to achieve measurable objectives and drive financial growth. Continue reading

#131 – RETIREMENT RISK CONSIDERATIONS – JOHN AYERS

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AAAIn my view, the major retirement consideration is sufficient income to maintain a similar lifestyle you enjoyed when working. If you recently retired or plan to do so within the next few years, it is probably too late to assess considerations to improve your retirement position because your retirement income is already cast in stone. On the other hand, if you have a number of years before retirement and wondering how you should prepare for it, keep reading because I offer some valid recommendations for you to ponder based on my own experience since retiring in 2012 at the age of 71. Continue reading

#131 – RELIABILITY MATURITY MATRIX – FRED SCHENKELBERG

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ABC FredThe concept of a maturity model is not new. A maturity model provides a means to identify the current state and illuminate the possible improvements to a reliability program. The matrix serves a guide to assist an organization in improving its program.

The matrix has five stages. In general, the higher stages are most cost effective and efficient at achieving higher rates of product reliability performance. These stages—uncertainty, awaking, enlightenment, wisdom, and certainty—are described in the following. The complete matrix is posted at http://accendoreliability.com/reliability-maturity. Continue reading

#130 – WORST CASE TOLERANCE ANALYSIS – FRED SCHENKELBERG

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ABC FredWorst-case tolerance analysis is the starting point when creating a tolerance specification. It is a conservative approach as it only considers the maximum or minimum values of part variation—whichever leads to the worst situation. Setting tolerances such that the system will function given the expected variation of manufactured components improves that ability of the system to perform reliably. Continue reading

#130 – ISO 31000 ERM CERTIFICATES – GREG HUTCHINS

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Greg Hutchins pixBritish Standards Institution (BSI) continues to issue Enterprise Risk Management Certificates (ISO 31000) according to the Bahrain News Agency.   BSI issued a certificate to Gulf Petrochemical Industries Company (GPIC).

What’s interesting is that IS 31000 is for implementing a risk management framework NOT for certification.  But, the marketplace  is saying something else: there is demand for ISO risk certificates and certification.   Continue reading

#130 – WHO IS REALLY MANAGING YOUR PROJECT? – MALCOLM PEART

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Malcom Peart pixAs a client have you chosen to manage the project yourself or leave it to your Contractor or have you decided to utilise a consultant? If it’s too much to do it by yourself and Contractors are, well they’re contractors aren’t they… you have little choice but to engage a Consultant. Continue reading

#130 – ISO 9001:2015 – IMPLEMENTING RISK BASED THINKING: PART II – DENIS DEVOS

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AAA Denis DevosThis is a continuation from Part 1: ISO 9001:2015 – IMPLEMENTING RISK BASED THINKING

  1. Conducting a Qualitative Process-Level Risk Assessment – Without a Flowchart

In many cases, the risk assessment team may choose not to list risks on the flowchart itself, but brainstorm a list of process risks instead. In order to do that, a simple table can be used to guide the thought process. The sheet could look like the example in Figure 2 below. Enter the name of the process, the internal and external customers for the process, the stakeholders or “interested parties” in the header.

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#130 – RBT IN HEALTHCARE: PROCESS METABOLISM – TED SCHMIDT

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00141Process metabolism is a concocted term to describe and hopefully understand how our processes work in their environment. It’s a concept that we need to begin to embrace if we want to improve our patient safety. Embracing and understanding process metabolism in our high-risk processes will allow for better process design and therefore yield more reliable results. Continue reading

#130 – CERM BOOTCAMP RELECTIONS – JAMES KLINE PH.D.

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aIMG_4231Introduction

This article discusses my impressions of the CERM Boot Camp I attended from February 29 to March 4, 2016. The presenters were Greg Hutchins and Ed Perkins. At the outset I need to note that I have known Greg for more than 30 years. We also bid on a couple of jobs together. I met Ed a couple of times prior to the Boot Camp. Continue reading

#129 – TIGER MOM’S CRY: SILICON VALLEY SUICIDE CRISIS AND MYSTERY – DR. TRUDY

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Dr. Trudy

When the suicides happened in the most elite high school, Henry M. Gunn High School, an affluent community, also in the heart of Silicon Valley, the home of the most brilliant and successful inventors, invention and companies, it raises a red flag and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is conducting an investigation and trying to find out the root cause of the invisible, mysterious and contagious disease, suicide cluster. I was informed more than 10 years ago in Oregon that parents in Palo Alto have organized patrol teams around the Caltrain tracks but obviously the suicide symptom is not alleviated after a decade later. Continue reading

#129 – RISK ASSESSMENT: WHAT FUTURE ARE YOU PLANNING FOR? – GEARY SIKICH

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UntitledIntroduction

There exists an overabundance of guidance for conducting risk assessments. Yet, it seems that we still have difficulty in getting risk assessments to reflect the appropriate level of concern for the identified risks that we are assessing. We also tend to view risk in relation to the place where we are employed and the industry that we work in. When we look at risk assessment from this perspective it should be clear that we are missing the point precisely, or at best, are being too narrowly focused, when it comes to assessing risk for our organizations. Continue reading

#129 – WHAT MAKES THE BEST RELIABILITY ENGINEER? – FRED SCHENKELBERG

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ABC FredFormal education (masters or Ph.D) or design/manufacturing engineering experience?

Where do you look when hiring a new reliability engineer? Do you head to U of Maryland or other university reliability program to recruit the top talent? Or, do you promote/assign from within? Where do yo find the best reliability people?

What make a good reliability engineer? Continue reading

#129 – ELIMINATING BIASES THAT CONTRIBUTE TO SAFETY ISSUES – DAVID PATRISHKOFF

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David PAs stated in our CERM article 127, highly effective safety initiatives are not a short list of “Do’s” and “Don’ts” but include a complex mix of integrated and interacting best safety practices as shown in Figure 1. In this article, we will focus on one of the 7 critical ingredients of an effective Cascading Safety Management System: The Elimination of Biased Thinking and Mental Blocks highlighted with the arrow in Figure 1. Continue reading

#129 – ISO 2015 – IMPLEMENTING RISK BASED THINKING PART 1 – DENIS DEVOS

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  1. AAA Denis DevosRequirements for Risk Based Thinking in ISO 9001:2015

The most important new concept to emerge in Quality Management Systems in the past 15 years is the Risk Based Thinking requirements of ISO 9001:2015.   There are two definitions of risk in the ISO family of standards, and since they are very similar to each other, you can choose either one, or use them both together. Continue reading

#129 – VIACOM AND SECOND CHANCE TOYS PARTNER FOR KIDS AND ENVIRONMENT – KELLY EISENHARDT

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Kelly EisenhardtViacom, one of the world’s largest media corporations and Second Chance Toys, an east coast nonprofit have partnered to reduce the amount of plastic toys that enter landfills and to put smiles on the faces of kids living below the poverty level by collecting and distributing toys to those in need.

Ali Tuck, Vice President of Corporate Social Responsibility at Viacom, manages Viacom’s CSR strategies across multiple networks and develops cross-company partnerships with corporations and non-profit organizations. Continue reading

#128 – COMMON SENSE ESSENTIALS TO GREAT DESIGN – JOHN AYERS

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AAAThere are many design rules of thumb I have heard over the years. For example: KISS (keep it simple stupid); make it idiot proof; be realistic with tolerances; do not make assumptions that are not realizable (zero gap for instance); and many more. The most important rule of thumb I have experienced is “common sense”.   To illustrate my point, I have a few examples that are below. Continue reading

#128 – WHEN TO STOP TESTING – FRED SCHENKELBERG

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ABC FredWhen should you stop testing? The quick answer is to stop testing when the testing provides no value. If no one is going to review the results or use the information to make decisions, those are good signs that the testing provides no value. Of course, this may be difficult to recognize. Continue reading

#128 – MAKING IT RAIN IN AFRICA SAVES LIVES – KELLY EISENHARDT

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Kelly EisenhardtThe Coca Cola Foundation and its partners are working with local African governments to build infrastructure that supplies clean drinking water and sanitation facilities. These efforts are meant to minimize the spread of disease and empower local communities with educational opportunity and economic prosperity. Continue reading

#128 – BEWARE THE WALLS MAY BE LISTENING AND THE APPLIANCES ARE LOOSE – ED PERKINS

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAUnsuspecting consumers, thinking they have found a bargain, or that they have joined the latest gadget trend, or both, can be unpleasantly surprised, according to recent revelations on how mobile and IoT (Internet of Things) devices can have built-in security issues.

Here is a recap of some if the issues found in consumer gadgets:

Smart TVs: A recent news report that Samsung “smart” TVs can listen to conversations in the room[1]. This became hot news during that week. Samsung published a “clarification” on its website[2]. Continue reading

#128 – ALARM FATIGUE – JEFF HARRIS

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AAA-Jeff-150x150In the mid 1960’s, a man witnessed an awful multi-car pileup in San Francisco. That man also happened to have a PhD in psychology and was an inventor as well and he decided to do something about rear end collisions. The result was a third brake light installed at the top of the rear window in automobiles. Testing showed that the addition of the third light reduced rear end collisions by 50 to 60%. Continue reading

#128 – PROVING QUALITY: TOOLS THAT SHAPE INFORMATION – QP SYSTEMS

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Screen Shot 2016-02-28 at 9.46.47 PM

To quality professionals, the challenge “So prove it!” is far more than a school yard taunt, since their organizations must continually demonstrate to customers, board members, suppliers, associations, regulatory bodies, and others that their products or services indeed meet the quality standards that they espouse.

Continue reading

#127 – CASCADING THREATS TO HOSPITAL PATIENT SAFETY – DAVID PATRISHKOFF

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David PGoing to a hospital to get healthier should not be a life-threatening activity. Yet, various research accounts (The Institute of Medicine) state that around 100,000 Americans die annually from preventable hospital errors. Patient Safety America estimates the number of deaths to be between 210,000 and 440,000 a year. Whatever the real number may be, the fact is the cascading threats that create preventable hospital deaths are invisible, underestimated and can build up slowly and silently over time. Continue reading

#127 – CAREER DISRUPTION! – GREG HUTCHINS

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Greg Hutchins pixToday’s New York Times had an article: Is There Any Stopping Donald Trump?.  “They (voters) want to try something utterly different—utterly disruptive, to use the locution du jour—and that leaves them, on the Republican side, with the options of Trump and Ben Carson. Trump has the fire.”

We live in the age of disruption.  I’ve seem my career and work be disrupted.  So, this is my story and in many ways may become the story of your work, career, and job. So, pay heed.   Understand the conventional rules are now being changed.  For more tips, visit: Working It.com

I started out of high school doing manual work.   My first job was as an ordinary seaman in the merchant marine. I worked on rust buckets on and off for 5 years.   This manual work was very hard and frankly not suited to my style, abilities, temperament, and life direction. Continue reading

#127 – DESIGN FOR RELIABILITY IS MORE THAN A SET OF TASKS – FRED SCHENKELBERG

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ABC FredWhat is “design for reliability” (DFR) and how would you recognize it if it was occurring? Is it possible for an individual to ”do” DFR? Is design for reliability a specific technique? Like meditation, nearly anyone can strike a pose that appears similar to someone in deep meditation, yet can you tell by observation if that person is really mediating? Probably not. The same is true for organizations or people declaring that they are doing DFR. Maybe they are—or maybe not. Continue reading

#127 – SASB ANNOUNCES NEW SUSTAINABILITY ACCOUNTING CREDENTIALS – KELLY EISENHARDT

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Kelly EisenhardtSASB has announced a new educational program focused on teaching professionals how to identify, manage, and evaluate sustainability topics relevant to the company’s bottom line. This new program is called the Fundamentals of Sustainability Accounting (FSA) Credential.

Nicolai Lundy is the Director of Education for the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) where he oversees SASB’s educational products. His responsibilities include designing value-add educational programs, leading program development, and identifying opportunities to improve existing programs. Continue reading

#127 – CONWAY’S LAW – KIRBY URNER

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AAA IRBYNot every day does one learn of a new law, such as Moore’s, so call me a latecomer in not learning of Conway’s Law until recently.

What does it say?

I’ll try from memory before checking a veridical source:  that how organizations code themselves in software has a tremendous influence on their more overt intra-human communications patterns.  Or, in other words.

“We are what dog food we eat.” Continue reading

#127 – IT’S JUST MONEY! – ELIZABETH LIONS

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new oneMy client looked at for me a long time across the table in Starbucks and said, “I can negotiate for others, but not for myself, she said. For whatever reason, talking about money really stresses me out.”

This surprised me a great deal. Competent woman, educated and an admirable career path. Certainly well accomplished and in a sales role to boot! Continue reading

#126 – PROCESS DESIGN FOR PATIENT SAFETY – TED SCHMIDT

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00141Recently, I wrote about the benefits of using the SIPOC diagram for process identification and process control.   As a profession, we still struggle with this concept of process approach or process management. We too often revert back to our old practices of addressing issues by revising our procedures and conducting training on the newly revised procedure. We should be smart enough not to keep doing the same things and expect different results. Continue reading

#126 – HUMAN FACTORS AND RISK – PAUL KOSTEK

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Paul Kostek PixThere is an aviation old joke that in the future the airplane will have a crew of two, a pilot and a dog. The pilot to feed the dog and the dog to bite the pilot if he tries to touch anything.

I started this article after reading about United Airlines plan to bring in all 12,000 of its pilots for additional training outside of their normal training schedule. This was being done as a result of several incidents that raised concerns about pilot response to failures. Continue reading