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The Steps to Implementing a Successful Risk Management Plan

January 12, 2021

The thought of implementing a new Risk Management plan or changing a current model can often be a daunting task for management. Where does one begin and how does a plan become embedded in an organisation?

When thinking about establishing a plan it is worth taking the time to start small and gradually increase the level and span of the plan over time. Risk Management plans should be dynamic and adaptable to the organisation and its environments.

Steps to success

It is vital that the concept of Risk Management and its benefits are communicated across the organisation so that each team embraces it by understanding the long term effects that a successful (and unsuccessful) program will have on the organisation. To successfully introduce the idea of Risk Management to the organisation, follow these steps:

1. Acknowledge and understand the practice of Risk Management

Acknowledging the need for a Risk Management plan and the long term benefits it can bring to the organisation and the industry in which you operate in will help you to communicate the plan to the wider team as you progress. Understanding what a Risk Management plan is will be key to its design and ultimately to its success when implemented throughout the organisation.

2. Communicate the plans for a Risk Management program to all staff

Communication is the key to successful change. Consistent, relevant and timely communication to all stakeholders within the organisation will be crucial to achieving buy-in when the program is being designed, implemented and when feedback is sought.

3. Educate staff in Risk Management in ways they can understand and with examples they can relate to

Communication and education go hand-in-hand. It is not enough to tell staff that a Risk Management plan is being implemented, you need to educate them on what it involves, how they will be impacted and the benefits it will bring to the organisation operationally and strategically.

4. Work with all department and teams to develop a Risk Management Framework that is suitable for the organisation

When designing a Risk Management plan, involving members from all levels of the organisation will be key to its effectiveness and longevity. Rather than taking a helicopter view of the organisation, deep dive into the different areas of the business and incorporate these into the plan. This can be done by setting up cross-departmental teams and working groups. Working with cross-departmental teams will also play an integral part to the buy-in levels when implemented. Be sure to take into account regulations, organisation goals, resources and skills available both internally and externally.

5. Encourage a culture of accountability and transparency throughout the organisation at all times

Ensure that a culture of accountability and transparency for all actions taken is developed and nurtured across the organisation from the early stages when implementing a Risk Management program. This will be a fundamental part of the plan and its integrity.

6. Give staff the resources they need in order to keep up to date with Risk Management practices

All those involved in the Risk Management process that fallout from the plan, as well as those who have a general interest, should have access to materials which will allow them to keep on top of new process and procedures (internally and externally), best practices and regulatory updates. This information should not be difficult for staff to find and access.

For a Risk Management plan to be successful it is very important that the purpose of its introduction into the organisation and the importance of each teams buy-in is effectively communicated in a timely manner. 

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