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Risk Management of Natural Disaster Assignment
An evaluation of a project's risk assessment strategies in engineering
Risk assessment followed by its strategic management has been established as a scientific field a long time ago. Since then methods and principles has been developed for how to assess, conceptualise and manage those risks. The purpose of this present report is to perform a critical review of the advancements made in risk assessment strategies associated in engineering projects. Special focus has been laid on fundamental thinking and ideas on which these are based upon. The report ahs reflected the trends in approaches and perspectives and projected further development in risk assessment field, which is necessary and should be encouraged. While covering this section the researcher has gone through several research articles, journals, newspapers, peer-reviewed papers, scholarly articles and other relevant sources for gathering information regarding the risk assessment strategies in engineering projects.
Investments and development in engineering projects has never been without risks. Risk assessment bound to be considered as a significant aspect while making decisions in the engineering industry. It determines whether the engineering project will be a successful one or a fatal failure. Effective decisions are necessary to be made depending upon certain predetermined criteria such as thorough investigation of the engineering project, generation of effectual alternatives for managing risks and exploration of the best ideas. This section has illuminated how knowledge has been evolving within the field and thereby highlights what has been already done followed by what has been generally accepted, what theories are emerging and finally what is the contemporary state of thinking on the concerned topic.
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The concepts of risk
Risk is measured as an indivisible aspect of any engineering project and as not all the related effective factors associated with the projects can ever be predicted, risk assessment became inevitable. One of the prime managerial issues in any internal projects is the negligence of managers on the significance of risk assessment, which ultimately leads to postponement in delivery of projects and hence increases overall cost of the projects (Takey and de Carvalho, 2015). As not all risks are considered as threats but also as lucrative opportunities, risk assessment is considered as a balancing feature between the loss incurred due to threats as well as the profit earned through appropriate utilisation of the opportunities. In projects, risks are the possibility of losing entire or a significant part of principal or profit. Precisely in engineering projects, risk is associated with the fluctuations observed in return on investment. Thus, the very last thing that any engineering project would like to face is risks.
In general, risk can be categorized into two major types, which are systematic risk and non-systematic risk. As opined by Kaiser et al. (2015), systematic risks are those risks that are part of entire risk, which is found in close alignment with the market volatility. Thus, the investor is not capable of lowering its level such as unexpected events and sanctions. On the other hand, non-systematic risk can be defined as that part of whole risk, which is in relevance to the capital market volatility. In this case, the investor is competent to lower it through strategizing careful management, assessment and stock selection.
Projects are always intended towards taking advantage of opportunities and resources and along with all these, comes the period of uncertainty, unwanted risks and challenges. Therefore, risk management is becoming an important aspect in all successful projects. According to Cagliano et al. (2015), the risk management plan in project addresses the strategic progressions associated with risk management as well as risk assessment, which ensures the project team for identification, categorization, prioritization and ultimately mitigation or avoidance of these risks with the passage of time. In such a scenario, risk assessment is considered as one of the vital steps in the process of risk management procedure. Risk assessment can be determined as qualitative or quantitative value associated with risk in relevance to a concrete circumstances and an acknowledged threat. Risk assessment is the process of measuring the likelihood that a risk will eventually become a reality in recent times while pursuing the engineering project. However, in any engineering project, risk assessment should never be a sole responsibility of the project manager.
The argument that has been presented herein is that risk-managing procedure is that significant area of knowledge, which all engineers after engaging in any project should be familiar. The knowledge depth or degree of familiarity will extremely be dependent on the particular engineering discipline as well as their nature of field in which they practice. However, from the viewpoint of numerous authors being aware of the risk management procedure in addition to some measure of its competence in their application are undoubtedly critical for all engineers (Stanton et al. 2017). The assessment followed by management of risk holds the integral components of the day-to-day performances of human beings. Starting from selection of a transportation mode to be decisive on what is to be eaten in lunch, relevant potential concerns are necessary to be identified, the consequences are to be considered and finally the probability of the occurred mishap is debated. Following such processes, a strategic decision is being made depending on the most suitable course of action.
Considerable steps are then taken for prevention of the undesirable result while attempting towards ensuring a pleasing trip and an enjoyable meal. All such things might happen within a blink of an eye, or even it might be the most concerning subject to a further premeditated exercise involved in risk management (Lock, 2017). In such a way, engineering work also necessitates the processes of assessment as well as management of aroused risks. In due process, hazards are need to be identified firstly and then probabilities and consequences are essential to be analyzed. Furthermore, in accordance to the proceeding management decisions should be taken to conduct intense checking whether the risk can be accepted or not. It is focused that in which of the cases the doings will carry on with apposite risk monitoring as well as reduction measures. It is also checked whether the concerned risk is unacceptable or not, then the proceeding in the project must not be undertaken. Precisely, the intensive practicing of engineering contains in it an intrinsic level of risk, which engineers must sought to comprehend and control.
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Importance of risk assessment in engineering
Engineers are assigned with managing projects whether large or small, the associated risks in these projects along with the persons who can proficiently perform these projects. In a broad sense, an engineer either will be a manager or will perform actions for or with managers. Furthermore, engineers working at management positions have various types of risk related responsibilities as compared to the workers they employ. As opined by Iqbal et al. (2015), engineering and business decisions are progressively more being prepared based on risk. Thus, it is essential for engineers to be aware of the procedures of risk management. An engineer can be dynamically implicated in the development itself following a variety of methods such as identification of hazards, analysis of possibility of adverse occurrence as well as harshness of consequences, level of risk assessment in relevance to organisational policies or a superficially mandate standard, or implementation and continuous monitoring of risk diminution measures. Otherwise, an engineer may have to face with stern and appropriate decision making depending on a qualitative or quantitative risk assessment performed by an outside consultant.
In particular, Quantitative risk assessment (QRA) can be extremely specialized with the involvement of complex simulation and mathematical techniques. Certain degree of expertise along with the capabilities, assumptions and limitations of QRA methodologies has been critical for informed decision-making process. As stated by Read and Vogel (2015), the complete process of risk management through providing methodologies for determination of the sources associated with engineering project risk. Once all threats are identified, managing them through identifying and assessing (relative importance, probability, risk breakdown structure, variables and others); followed by implementation of appropriate measures for hindrance, cutback or mitigation; assessment of impacts as well as quantification of aroused risks followed by establishment of control measures. According to Hall et al. (2015), sensitivity analysis is also taken under consideration while determination of the impact of indecisive parameters values depending on various project results, like total costs, completion time, and other. Case studies as well as examples across a broad variety of engineering projects examine such miscellaneous factors as environmental impacts; safety; cost and time overruns; societal reactions; authorization issues; quality control; financial considerations and political risk, making the process suitable for graduates and undergraduates in acquisition of fundamentals involved in risk management.
Common sources of project risk
Complex projects have always been fraught with different types of risks that range from cost overruns to scope risk. One of the major duties subjected to a project manager is managing those concerned risks as well as preventing them from tarnishing the project. While pursuance of a project various risks arise at various instances. As discussed by Pekkinen et al. (2015), risk may arise due to personal resource shortfalls, high criticality, use interface uncertainties and others. Numerous project managers are planning proficiently for the risks, which may be coupled with a project. There are two categories of risk most prominently found in engineering projects. One of the most significant risk is scheduling, whether the projects is maintaining perfect timeline. Furthermore, there is risk in scopes, which has always been a concerned risk whether the project manager has efficiently covered all the required work. Unrealistic scheduling followed by uneven budgeting might lead to great risk while continuation of the project. Moreover, the engineers have to deal with the shortfalls in externally supplied components as well as services.
This scope risk is associated with changes in scope that is caused by various factors such as integration issues, scope creep and software and hardware defects and finally changes in dependencies. Due to scope creep, the project will grow in complexity because requirements are continuously added and thereafter developers initiate gold plating. While considering the scheduling risk there are numerous reasons why the project cannot precede in the way the project engineer has scheduled. These take under consideration some unexpected delays that are prominent at natural factors, external vendor, errors in assessment and most importantly delays in acquirement of parts. As of an instance, the test team can never initiate the work until and unless the developers have finished their target deliverables and thereby a significant delay in those processes can in turn cause cascading delays. For reducing scheduling risks projects engineers might make use of certain tools such as a Work Breakdown Structure (WBS), Gantt charts and RACI matrix (Responsibilities, Accountabilities, Consulting and Information) for being helped in the scheduling process.
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Resource risk occurs due to outsourcing as well as personnel allied issues. A huge development may engage dozens or hundreds of engineers since it are extremely necessary for management of the attrition issues and ultimately resulting into leaving some key personnel. Incorporation of any form of worker at later stage from the perspective of any engineering project can significantly make the processes to slow down in the project. According to Cagliano et al. (2015), apart from abrasion, there is presence of risk in relevance to skills too. As an instance, when the project necessitates some set regarding website front-end worker and the team does not possess a designer who is highly capable of doing HTML/CSS, the project engineer might face some highly unexpected delays. Other sources of different risk might include lack enough funds. This might happen when the engineers are being highly reliant on some external source that are associated with funding like a client that is paying every milestone and eventually the client unpredictably towards facing cash crunch.
Technological risk might comprise of stoppage that arise from hardware and software defects and failure of some fundamental platform and service. As an instance, when the project is halfway through the engineers might realize that some providers of cloud service that has been used in that service is not promisingly satisfying the prefabricated performance benchmarks. Consequently, there might be serious problems in the particular platform that has been enforced for building up the software of a crucial tool, which does not support some of the desired functionalities. Most of the risks that have been mentioned above can easily eliminated through the implementation of diversified project assessment, intensive tracking in addition to effective communication via various online tools that are available in recent context.
In this chapter, the researcher has elaborated the significant risks that occur while conducting engineering projects. The literature review will be effective for the researcher in further analysis of the project topic.
While responding effectively towards risks, engineers necessitate mitigating gaps between the ideal risk management procedures and actual conditions from the perspective of engineering projects. For doing this, the rationale engineers need to exclude some risks through active management that are needed to be addressed and identified. This project work needs to offer some approach towards the problem.
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