The interconnectedness of all things

I’m very glad you asked me that, Mrs Rawlinson. The term `holistic’ refers to my conviction that what we are concerned with here is the fundamental interconnectedness of all things. I do not concern myself with such petty things as fingerprint powder, telltale pieces of pocket fluff and inane footprints. I see the solution to each problem as being detectable in the pattern and web of the whole. The connections between causes and effects are often much more subtle and complex than we with our rough and ready understanding of the physical world might naturally suppose, Mrs Rawlinson.

Let me give you an example. If you go to an acupuncturist with toothache he sticks a needle instead into your thigh. Do you know why he does that, Mrs Rawlinson?

No, neither do I, Mrs Rawlinson, but we intend to find out. A pleasure talking to you, Mrs Rawlinson. Goodbye.

–Douglas Adams

4D Analytics: Unique to Risk Insights

Risk Insights 4D Analytics™ approach has been developed to gain enough  information to make a first-pass at estimating and evaluating uncertainty, and to elicit information in a way that is comfortable for those providing the estimates e.g. not using High-Medium-Low ratings!

Explorer is revolutionary.  Explorer isn’t like other risk software.   It is the application of  uncertainty management science, advanced algorithms, powerful analytics, and scenario-based assessments.

Since Explorer makes it quick and easy to identify and structure uncertainty, it is especially useful when deciding where to focus further activity, or as a precursor to Monte Carlo simulation and deeper dive analysis.

Our Risk Interconnection Map is an unique way of presenting risk information. Compared to Probability Impact matrices which only display severity and likelihood, the interconnection map enables four dimensions to be visualized:

Risk likelihood – pessimistic and optimistic scenarios
Risk severity – worst-case and best-case
Risk interconnection – identify the connections between risks
Strength of interconnection – identify your most influential and influenced risks


Mapping risk interconnectedness

When we accept that risks are interconnected it follows that we should consider interconnectivity in our risk analysis and management. When the interconnectedness of events is frequently cited as being at the root of large-scale failure, then why are risks still largely analysed and managed independently or in isolation?  While there has been progress in looking at risks from a portfolio perspective and balancing the total amount of risk, more can be done to factor dependencies and linkages in the assessment of risks and how they are addressed.

Identifying and assessing interconnectedness promotes a broader and deeper understanding of the risks to your organisation.  Risk Insights Explorer is a unique tool which can help organisations:

  • Identify relationships between risks
  • Ensure that risk connections are analyzed and addressed
  • Understand the ripple effects of decisions
  • Avoid unintended or unanticipated consequences
  • Inform risk responses and increase the effectiveness and efficiency of risk action plans
  • Encourage proactive communication and engagement.

Risks are represented as circles (nodes)

Change the conversation from risk to uncertainty management

Present use of the term ‘risk’ is ambiguous. Best practice regards risk as encompassing both threat and opportunity, but guidance often speaks in terms of threat management, and in common parlance risk is more usually synonymous with threat.  An obvious first step towards uncertainty management is to remove this ambiguity by using the term ‘uncertainty’ in the everyday sense of‘ lack of certainty’ as a starting point.

Risk management Uncertainty management
a downside risk a threat (giving rise to downside risk)
an upside risk an opportunity (giving rise to upside risk) a source of
a risk (upside or downside) a source of uncertainty
a (possible) source of risk a problem an issue
an impact a consequence/effect
a weakness an issue
a poor allocation inadequate an inappropriate/unclear allocation Inappropriate
avoid risk resolve uncertainty
mitigate modify
lack of shortage or surplus of
major risk significant uncertainty
absence of availability of