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Risk Management and Scenario Planning By James Joseph Wasil Senior IT Strategist Ohio BWC January 9, 2014.

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Presentation on theme: "Risk Management and Scenario Planning By James Joseph Wasil Senior IT Strategist Ohio BWC January 9, 2014."— Presentation transcript:

1 Risk Management and Scenario Planning By James Joseph Wasil Senior IT Strategist Ohio BWC January 9, 2014

2 Why is Risk Management Poised to take on Scenario Planning? Organizations such as ISACA and PMI are taking on governance. Governance seeks to ensure that strategies in the organization are working toward its mission and goals. Risk Management is becoming more and more important and strategy must be a function of risk appetite in an organization.

3 Why is Risk Management Poised to take on Scenario Planning? Faith is waning in traditional strategic planning efforts that generate forecasts that are usually wrong. The most likely weakness in most strategies is underestimating risk. Risk Management is evolving!

4 The Evolution of Risk Management OFFENSIVE - Risk / Reward-Driven ERM KEY QUESTION How do we make better decisions about uncertainties that affect our future? KEY ACTIVITY Establish overarching framework for managing the organization's most significant risks KEY OBJECTIVE Enhance the achievement of strategic objectives and board risk oversight INTEGRATED KEY QUESTION What are the key threats we face in achieving our business objectives and how should we respond KEY ACTIVITY DEFENSIVE – Cost / Benefit-Driven Risk Identification, analysis with coordination from other risk management functions KEY OBJECTIVE Establish process for proactively managing operational threats to the business TRADITIONAL KEY QUESTION What are the insurable and contra tual risks we face, and what are we doing to mitigate them? KEY ACTIVITY Hazard based risk identification KEY OBJECTIVE Treat risk as an expense item, managed through an insurance biuying and/ or hedging function From “Forging a Collaborative Alliance, RIMS & IA, 2012

5 Risk Management is in the business of developing and sustaining an organizational capacity for foresight (Maree Conway), and The traditional business areas need to be incorporating this type of thinking into their strategic planning. One way to incorporate foresight is through scenario planning. Conjoining Strategic Planning Function and Risk Management

6 The Context of Business is Changing “Traditional strategic planning models are increasingly viewed as not producing strategy that can deal with complexity, uncertainty and rapid change in the external environment.”* *Maree Conway - Swinburne University of Technology, and Thinking Futures

7 Complexity Ashby’s Law: If a system is to be stable the number of states of its control mechanism must be greater than or equal to the number of states in the system being controlled.

8 Complexity Ashby’s Law Restated: The only way to destroy variety is through variety. Variety (Complexity)   Variety (Flexibility))

9 Strategic Flexibility is the optimum combination of strategic robustness and strategic responsiveness Concept from Lindgren and Bandhold

10 Robustness Robustness is defined as “the potential for success under varying future circumstances or scenarios.” More specifically, The likelihood that the organization will not need to change in order to meet the challenge is called the “robustness of the organization.” Concept from Lindgren and Bandhold

11 Responsiveness Responsiveness is defined as the ability to  rapidly sense change in the environment,  conceptualize a response to that change, and  reconfigure resources to execute the response. Definitions are from Lindgren and Bandhold

12 OODA Loops* Planning: Observation OrientationDecision Action * From John Boyd Faster cycling trend Need to fly by the wire by balancing stability and instability

13 Agility - Rate of Change Just as in IT, strategy research has recently focused on the need for agile strategies, able to change upon the wind of a mere scent just blowing by. Scenario planning has been identified as a method for accommodating rapid change

14 Bolstering Strategic Planning Strategic planning does consider the future since strategy involves the future, however it typically does not consider the future in a systematic way. From Maree Conway


16 What is Uncertainty? Uncertainty is the lack of complete certainty - that is, the existence of more than one possibility (scenario). The “true outcome / state / result / value is not known* (perhaps until some future time) * Douglas Hubbard. Parentheses by Wasil

17 Uncertainty Uncertainty is “local”, i.e., my uncertainty is different from yours. There are more uncertain things than certain things. All statements regarding the future are uncertain to some extent. It is better to accept and recognize uncertainty. (this is the basis for scenario planning) From Lindely, Understanding Uncertainty

18 Uncertainty Approach to uncertainty involves setting up beliefs – a way to organize you beliefs in a reasoned way which leads to a reasoned action. We use a normative (prescriptive) approach From Understanding Uncertainty, Lindley

19 Great News! Life is Uncertain We have free will, therefore we can decide more or less what we want to do! When we get to certainty…then we are dead!

20 Types of Uncertainty Unknowable uncertainty - the event cannot be imagined. From Heijden

21 Types of Uncertainty Risk uncertainty - Risk is a state of uncertainty where some of the possibilities involve a loss, injury, catastrophe, or other undesirable outcome From Hubbard

22 The History of Risk, ER and ERM Frank H. Knight (1885-1972) American economics scholar University of Chicago Classic work on Risk (1921) set its definition based in the context of uncertainty: If we cannot quantify outcome probabilities we have UNCERTAINTY. If we can quantify outcome probabilities then we have RISK.

23 Heinrich’s Dominoes “ H.W. Heinrich was the Assistant Superintendent of Engineering and Inspection Division of the Travelers Insurance Company

24 Hubbard’s Definition of Risk “The probability and magnitude of a loss, disaster, or other undesirable event. That is, “Something bad could happen” Risk Management - “The identification, assessment, and prioritization of risks followed by coordinated and economical application of resources to minimize, monitor, and control the probability and/or impact of unfortunate events. That is, “Being smart about taking chances.”

25 What is Risk? Risk Management? International Standard ISO 31000 on Risk management – Principles and guidelines. This is the latest source on risk management

26 What is Risk and Risk Management? Risk is the effect of uncertainty on objectives where an effect is a positive and/or negative deviation Objectives an have different aspects (financial, S&H, environmental) or a combination Risk is often referenced to potential events and consequences or a combination Risk is often expressed in terms of the consequences of an event and the associated likelihood of occurrence. From ISO 31000:2009

27 Risk Management is an Evolving Field Balanced Scorecard is the prime Strategy Execution Framework among the Fortune 500

28 Risk Management is an Evolving Field Robert S. Kaplan now venturing into Risk Management Three Kinds of Risks: Category I – Preventable Risks Category II - Strategy Risks Category III - External Risks

29 ERM Definitions from RIMS and IIA RIMS: “Enterprise risk management is a strategic business discipline that supports the achievement of an organization’s objectives by addressing the full spectrum of its risks and managing the combined impact of those risks as an inter-related risk portfolio.” From “Forging a Collaborative Alliance, RIMS & IA, 2012

30 ERM Definitions from RIMS and IIA IIA: “Enterprise risk management is a structured, consistent and continuous process across the whole organization for identifying, assessing, deciding on responses to and reporting on opportunities and threats that affect the achievement of its objectives” From “Forging a Collaborative Alliance, RIMS & IA, 2012

31 Both ERM and IA Use Similar Tools RIMSIIA ERM is a disciplineERM is a process ISO 31000:2009 IPPF, COSO, ERM Framework, OCEG “red book” Both organizations believe that they are more effective when they work together!

32 Strategic planning uses Forecasts A forecast is like a vector in that it has direction and magnitude

33 Scenario planning uses Scenarios Scenarios cover, or envelope two or more axes of uncertainties

34 Axis of Uncertainty “Y” Axis of Uncertainty “X” Scenario B High Y High X Scenario A High Y Low X Scenario D Low Y High X Scenario C Low Y Low X For Two Axes of Uncertainty

35 Definitions of Scenarios An internally consistent view of what the future might turn out to be - not a forecast, but one possible future outcome. Michael Porter

36 Definitions of Scenarios (cont’d) A description of a future situation and the course of events which allows one to move forward from the original situation to the future situation. Two major categories: ◦ Exploratory - starting from past and present trends and leading to a likely futures; ◦ Anticipatory or normative - built on the basis of different visions of the future to be desired or feared. Michel Godet

37 Definitions of Scenarios (cont’d) “narrative stories that follow particular paths into the future based on research, trends, and key concerns of the managers who will use them.” - Korte and Chermack

38 Important Distinction on Scenarios Scenarios are not about predicting the future, rather they are about perceiving futures in the present. Schwarz

39 -Scenario Planning Methodologies Intuitive Logics - SRI, Pierre Wack, Ralston and Wilson Trend-impact analysis - Futures Group Cross-impact analysis - Battelle

40 General Scenario Planning using Intuitive Logics Approach Identify the central question / problem (Decision Focus) Using executive peer groups, gain a consensus on what the key strategic decision is that the organization is facing. This will be your decision focus, and the scenario planning context. Note that it will be an agreement on how the scenarios will be used. (we are only interested in certain aspects of the future, not the future.) Excerpted From Ralston and Wilson, Scenario planning Handbook

41 General Scenario Planning using Intuitive Logics Approach Identify the central question / problem (Decision Focus) As an example, say you are in the energy business. Energy looks like a mixed bag. Coal and Nuclear becoming harder while fracking, solar, and wind are starting to produce. Your focus might be How are we going to be able to deliver energy inexpensively and reliably over the next 30 years? Form the focus as a explanatory paragraph. Excerpted From Ralston and Wilson, Scenario planning Handbook

42 General Scenario Approach (Schwartz) Identify key decision factors (KDFs) Determine what the key external factors / issues are regarding the future that we want to know more about to improve our understanding. These KDFs are external, largely uncontrollable conditions. Excerpted From Ralston and Wilson, Scenario planning Handbook

43 General Scenario Approach (Schwartz) Identify key decision factors (KDFs) Example: How will fracking impact domestic energy production? How will wind power be incorporated into the grid? What new security threats /requirements will the grid face? Will nuclear energy again become promising? Etc. Excerpted From Ralston and Wilson, Scenario planning Handbook

44 General Scenario Approach (Schwartz) Cluster the key decision factor (KDFs) Categorize KDFs that fall into groups. Example: Energy Costs Excerpted From Ralston and Wilson, Scenario planning Handbook

45 General Scenario Approach (Schwartz) Research driving forces and drivers Since there is no source that predicts the future, the team must analyze the forces that determine the KDF outcomes. These are things like trends, forces, factors, events, areas of uncertainty This is analogous to the PESTEL analysis strategists perform, but is very rigorous. Excerpted From Ralston and Wilson, Scenario planning Handbook

46 General Scenario Approach (Schwartz) Research and rank key factors and driving forces Use an impact / uncertainty matrix to accomplish Excerpted From Ralston and Wilson, Scenario planning Handbook Degree of Uncertainty LowMedHighLevel of Impact /Importance High Med Low

47 General Scenario Approach (Schwartz) Develop scenario logics Identify the key axes of uncertainty Example: Say that we identified key axes: Technology, Resources, Environmental Issues, Cost, Security As potential axes. We pick the two most important axes of uncertainty. Excerpted From Ralston and Wilson, Scenario planning Handbook

48 General Scenario Approach (Schwartz) Determine Alternate Logics for Each Axis (technology and energy costs) Excerpted From Ralston and Wilson, Scenario planning Handbook Scenario B High technology High costs Scenario A High technology Low costs Scenario D Low technology High costs Scenario C Low technology Low costs

49 General Scenario Approach (Schwartz) Prepare narratives for each scenario, with a descriptive name. These are brief descriptions one or two paragraphs; A narrative of how each scenario might evolve Excerpted From Ralston and Wilson, Scenario planning Handbook Example: High Technology High Cost otherwise known as “Responsible Technology Scenario”

50 General Scenario Approach (Schwartz) As the end of the twenties arrives, the landscape is complete with wind farms occupying positions among citizens, who themselves are putting energy back into the grid with their solar energy panels, and even their electric cars. But the cost has been high. The grid is now robust, but costs to secure it have been very high in terms of purchasing multiple access right of ways, thousands of miles of underground high voltage equipment, and smart grid appliances that regulate millions of homes. Even though fusion has not become economical yet, efforts have… Excerpted From Ralston and Wilson, Scenario planning Handbook Example: High Technology High Cost otherwise known as “Responsible Technology Scenario”

51 After the scenario planning Strategic plans back up the scenarios ◦ Some strategies will work in all scenarios ◦ Some strategies will be risky in some scenarios ◦ Some strategies may pay off big in only one or two scenarios Strategies based on Scenario planning are more effective and offer agility and flexibility.

52 ERM and “Black Swans” Black swans are The disproportionate role of high-profile, hard-to-predict, and rare events that are beyond the realm of normal expectations in history, science, finance, and technology. The non-computability of the probability of the consequential rare events using scientific methods (owing to the very nature of small probabilities). The psychological biases that make people individually and collectively blind to uncertainty and unaware of the massive role of the rare event in historical affairs.

53 Recommendations Risk Management should Ensure that your organization does some form of strategic planning Participate in Strategic Planning Exercises Lead in environmental assessments such as PESTEL and SWOT Work towards forming a Knowledge center and toward becoming a learning organization Start to engage top management into looking into scenario planning (but be careful here….) Start becoming informed on scenario planning yourself!

54 Risk Management is an Evolving Field Nassim Nicholas Taleb

55 Scenario Planning can prevent Black Swans Black Swans are most dangerous when “end of tail” operations are likely to occur. Risk Management can gauge if scenarios and ancillary strategies take us there!

56 Scenario Planning is an Evolving Field


58 Good scenarios are not enough To be effective, they must involve management, top and middle, in understanding and anticipating the unfolding business environment much more intimately than would be the case in the traditional planning process. Pierre Wack

59 Questions and Attempts at Answers

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