How to use team communication and collaboration tools to manage risks effectively?
Reading time: 4 min.
1. Identify risks

1.1 It is important to understand that risk management is a continuous systemic process. Just like the immune system in a living organism, it prevents and protects against threats and diseases.

1.2 In a well-designed system and a healthy team culture, every team member is part of the collective immunity. When a potential threat arises (this can happen at any time), a team member signals it according to established processes. Ideally, he immediately offers his own option to prevent this risk; this often brings great benefits to the team, as the member clearly understands in his area what the threat is and what its consequences are. This approach allows managers to make the right decisions easier and faster.

2. Assess risks

2.1 Based on the system described in the previous paragraph, it is important to understand that each team member should have clear, simple and convenient instructions for assessing risks. The preparation of such instructions, their implementation and continuous improvement is your task.

2.2 Please, when preparing instructions and a process for working with risks, do not create a process for the sake of creating them, beautiful pictures for the sake of creating them, graphics for the sake of creating them, etc. You need a simple and trouble-free system, the complexity of the system often plays a fatal role in its implementation.

3. Prioritize risks

3.1 I think it's obvious that prioritization is very important. Like assessment, risk prioritization should be simple and clear. Each team member must be able to use it; the format and implementation of this is up to you.

3.2 There are a number of ready-made solutions for risk prioritization (with voting, scoring, ranking, etc.), each of them good in their own way. Take the one that best suits your niche and your team and start implementing it. Remember: the simpler the tool, the easier it is to implement it into the teamwork.

4. Mitigate risks

4.1 Risk mitigation is a step without which the previous steps are meaningless. A good approach is to consider the possibilities of mitigating risks through the eyes of different team members - from different points of view you can find the most interesting and effective solutions.

4.2 Build a real practice of mitigating risks (not only through the results of brainstorming sessions, ideas and hypotheses, etc., but also through real actions) - and even if risks arise, the damage will be less. Work forward and look carefully to the future.

5. Monitor risks

5.1 As I described in previous paragraphs of the article, risk monitoring is an ongoing process that involves the entire team. Approaches in which only the manager is responsible for monitoring risks produce modest results; even just physically controlling so many parameters is a big task for one person.

5.2 The big advantage of an approach in which risk monitoring is carried out by each team member is the ability to predict in advance specific risks that only a specialist can notice. In addition, it is the specialist who can provide the most effective hypotheses and solutions on how to reduce a particular risk.

6. Report risks

6.1 The team's well-designed knowledge base has a section related to risks. Like other sections, it is constantly updated and is both an archive and a guide to action.

6.2 It is important to emphasize that risk information is added by each participant in the workflow. Based on synergy, a strong and reliable system for preventing, reducing and mitigating risks is obtained. The important task of the manager is to create this system, implement and constantly maintain, develop and improve it.

6.3 As a result of the work of such a system, cases often arise when the same solution can reduce risks from different areas + significantly help in achieving the company’s immediate key goals.

Key points

1. Team communication and collaboration can greatly improve the effectiveness of risk management. In the format of team interaction and seeing the situation from different points of view, strong ideas, hypotheses and solutions emerge that can not only identify, eliminate or mitigate potential risks, but also give additional impetus to the achievement of key team goals.

2. Working with risks is one of the indicators of the current state of team processes. It often happens that all risk-related activities fall on one person - the manager. I think it's easy to see why this approach is less effective than the one described in this article.

3. The risk management system requires attention, care and patience from the manager.
Methodologist of Guidbase
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