RISK MANAGEMENT IN ENGINEERING REPORT

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RISK MANAGEMENT IN ENGINEERING

You will produce a Report and make a PowerPoint type presentation of this Report to the class.

For the purposes of this assignment you are to consider your Group is a team within a risk management consultancy employed by the Federal Government to produce a report and present this report to the National Press Club in Canberra. You are to consider yourself a professional risk consultant employed within this consultancy that specializes in risk management.

Electronic copies of the following files will be submitted at the start of the scheduled lecture on the due date:

  • docx report file;
  • pptx file;
  • docx (presentation notes); and
  • pdf copies of all the refereed Journal articles labelled1 with the paper title (12+).

One hard copy of the report, presentation, and presenter’s notes shall also be submitted at the start of the scheduled lecture on the due date.

Unless your Group indicates otherwise on the signed cover sheet – all Group members will be allocated the same Group mark for both the Report and Presentation.

No late submissions will be accepted.

Brief of Engagement: Taking a risk

We never grow or improve until we take a risk. Advancement and development require taking risks. When we attempt something that has never been done before the probability of failure is higher, but so are the rewards. Risk and change are the flipsides of the same coin. Risk and change go together.

In a globally competitive world organisations need to be agile to survive. They need to change and adapt. What happens when organisations purposely choose to change or transform and put tight deadlines on the time period over which this must occur? In

1 PDF copies of all your references must be submitted in a folder on the presentation day. The reference files shall to be labeled sequentially (eg 01_Author_Title.pdf).

risk management it is not simply the magnitude of the risk that must be considered, but also the rate of change of the risk ie dR/dt.

When asked what keeps them up at night, CEOs involved in change often say they are concerned about how the work force will react, how they can get their team to work together, and how they will be able to lead their people. They also worry about retaining their company’s unique values and sense of identity and about creating a culture of commitment and performance. Leadership teams that fail to plan for the human side of change often find themselves wondering why their best-laid plans have gone awry.

No single methodology fits every organisation.

Identify and describe in detail three ‘Australian-based’ organisations that successfully managed to grow by 300% over a 5-year period and succeeded by taking a risk and changing.

Identify and describe in detail three mirror2 ‘Australian-based’ organisations that did not change and as a direct result of not adapting their businesses have not succeeded.

Based on the attributes you identified for highly successful organisations, name and describe in detail one ‘Australian -based’ organisation that you predict will succeed in the future and discuss why it will be successful.

Based on the attributes you identified for unsuccessful organisations, name and describe in detail one ‘Australian -based’ organisation that you predict will not succeed in the future and discuss why it will be unsuccessful.

The organisations you choose must be organisations about which you can readily obtain information. Preferably these organisations will have an engineering or technical element to their core business.

In the context of risk management your discussion should consider the following:

  • How important was the human element to the success/failure? Did this lead to success/failure? For the organisations that failed could this have been handled in a manner that averted failure?
  • A comparison table listing the key human elements for each pair of organisations that led to success/failure.
  • Did the organisations benchmark KPIs so that they could measure the magnitude of their change? What were the important KPIs? Why were they important? Did inappropriate KPIs led to success/failure?
  • How important was the use of disruptive technology to the success/failure of the organisation?
  • Did the organisations have a formal risk management process? Did this allow them to prepare for the unexpected?

2 For each successful organisation choose a similar ‘mirror’ organisation that did not succeed. They may have been the dominant player and no longer hold this position eg Ansett, Kodak or Nokia. In so doing your Report will contain 3 pairs of success/fail companies.

  • Did the organisations start the change process at the top and involve every layer of the organisations? Did this have a bearing on the success/failure of the organisations?
  • Did the organisations articulate why the change was necessary and instil a sense of ownership and urgency throughout the organisations? Did this have a bearing on success/failure of the organisations?
  • Quantify 10 major risks for each organisation using an FMEA analysis and include an FMEA table within the Appendix of your Report.
  • Quantify the tolerability of risk (ToR) for each organisation and include a ToR table within the Appendix of your Report.
  • Detail the causal chain that led to the success/failure of each organisation (ie show causality from the root cause(s) to the success/failure event) and provide a causal diagram for each organisation in an Appendix to your Report.
  • For the failed organisation what could each organisation have done differently that would have increased the likelihood of success?
  • For the successful organisations, would they have succeeded if they had not changed? What would have been the magnitude of this compared to what was achieved. Could they have taken a greater risk or dR/dt and increased their success?
  • What should have been the barriers that could have prevented the failure occurring? Illustrate the barriers using a Bowtie analysis and Bowtie diagram for each organisation in an Appendix to your Report.
  • What lessons can be learnt from each success/failure? Were there common attributes that led to success/failure?

UTS reserves the right to use and/or disclose your assignment. If you use information which your (current or former) employer could regard as confidential, clearly state this on the first page. UTS will endeavour to protect all such information from disclosure.

The signed cover sheet of your Group Assessment Tasks 2 & 3 should accurately reflect the percentage contribution of each individual member of the Group. Normally this percentage is equal. Where there is consensus that one or more member contributed more, the percentage may be increased/decreased accordingly in line with the respective contribution of each student. The total of all members should sum to 100%. Where no percentage is nominated an equal contribution will be assumed.

Tolerability of risk (ToR)

The United Kingdom Health and Safety Executive (HSE)3 espoused a framework otherwise known as tolerability of risk (TOR). TOR is used for worst-case considerations, utility-based conditions that entail the societal unacceptability of risky situations, and technology-based cases that tend to ignore the trade-offs between benefits and costs.

3 Health Safety and Executive (2001), Reducing Risks Protecting People HSE’s decision–making process [Online], Available: http://www.hse.gov.uk/risk/theory/r2p2.pdf [Accessed Apr. 21, 2013].

The HSE includes principles that require risks to be reduced to as low as reasonably practical (ALARP) and so far as is reasonably practicable (SFAIRP). This allows the cost of reducing risks to be considered when determining whether to invest in a risk reducing intervention. As a general principle, project owners are required to invest proportionately higher levels of funds towards reducing higher risks, particularly for a risk with severe consequences.

It is expected that the 3 failed organisations will be analysed to determine the costs that should have been invested in the change process to prevent the failure. For each of these organisations, the potential profits should be calculated. The multiplier or ratio is used as a measure to confirm whether the organisation should have invested more funds to prevent this failure.

The ‘grossly disproportionate’ test applied to change process shall be discussed within the Report.

Group Assignment – Report

The report will be a minimum of 6000 words in length and be formatted in accordance with the 49006 Report Template.

It is anticipated that students will undertake professional theoretical research on the allocated topic. It is expected that this research will extend beyond the material that is presented in the Brief of Engagement, the Textbook (LRM), the Standards, and any other engineering courses offered at UTS.

The report must include a variety of material that supports the discussion and all content must be fully referenced.

Marks will be awarded for reports that demonstrate a high level of professionalism and well thought-out technical content. Marks will also be awarded for reports that show logical and robust methodological argument that supports the discussion.

Marks will be deducted for reports that are unfocused and do not effectively address the allocated topic or add value to the ‘Brief of Engagement’.

Please ensure that you address all the criteria contained within the ‘Assessment Task 2 and 3 Marking Sheet’. This assignment will be marked generally in accordance with the

Marking Sheet where marks are deducted for non-conformities.

Group Oral Presentation of Report

Your Group will make a 20 +0/-2 minute PowerPoint type presentation to the class.

The presentation will focus primarily on the attributes you identified for highly successful organisations and unsuccessful organisations. It will include discussion on the two organisations your Group predicted would be highly successful and

unsuccessful. It will use evidence to answer the ‘why’ question for both of these organisations.

The presentation order will be random and Groups that are not in attendance and available to present will be penalised.

Marks will be awarded for the professionalism and technical content of this presentation. Marks will be deducted for presentations that are unfocused and do not effectively address or add value to the ‘Brief of Engagement’.

Marks will be deducted for presentations that are unstructured, lack clarity, miss the intended audience, don’t address the appropriate areas of Risk Management and do not submit speaker presentation notes. Marks will be deducted for presentations that go overtime.

It is up to your group whether your presentation covers all of the topics chosen in the report, or one or more of the failures discussed in your report.

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