Chaos to Clarity: The Tao of Risk Management

 
9780988454217: Chaos to Clarity: The Tao of Risk Management

Tired of complex, convoluted books on risk management? Chaos to Clarity is a practical guide that distills risk management down to the essential few elements needed to achieve risk management success. This book is not an academic discussion of risk theory. This book is a practical guide that presents fundamental risk management concepts, tools, and techniques that, if practiced, lead to effective risk management. Chaos to Clarity is designed to appeal to people of all skill levels from novice risk practitioner to risk management experts

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From the Author:

I have been increasingly frustrated by ineffective risk management in the IT industry. My frustration was the driving force to write this book. Chaos to Clarity: The Tao of Risk Management is my attempt to bring clarity to the murky practice of risk management.  Tao is commonly thought of as a series of principles to live by.  The goal of Chaos to Clarity is to present basic risk management principles I have found to be highly effective over the years. 
I spent several years of training project managers and conducting project assessments on failed projects and was forced to conclude that the risk management processes touted by various professionals and standards organizations simply do not work. The reason risk management processes don't work is not because they are wrong; they don't work because there is insufficient guidance on how to apply the techniques and principles in the everyday life of project managers and other risk practitioners. 

Risk management processes established by the Project Management Institute (PMI), the International Standards Organization (ISO) and the Australia - New Zealand (AS/NZS) standards organization are reasonable processes. However, three areas these standards organizations neglect are 1) how to properly identify risks, 2) how to objectively quantify risk impact, and 3) how to establish and maintain risk models so future projects can benefit from both the successes and failures of risk management.

I was recently inspired while reading a series of books and articles about prominent risk management failures. I was inspired not by the fact that risk management is broken, but by the fact that other authors and I independently arrived at similar conclusions.  In an attempt to be part of the solution instead of part of the problem I decided to write Chaos to Clarity: The Tao of Risk Management.   Chaos to Clarity presents a risk management approach I developed based on industry standards and nearly three decades of slogging through the trenches as a Project Manager.  The information contained in this book easily translates to nearly any industry and can be applied to many non-technical situations and environments.  This standards-based approach provides the tools and techniques needed to properly identify risks and objectively quantify risk impact so risks can be effectively managed.  Chaos to Clarity also includes processes required to deliver true value to individuals and organizations through effective risk management.
You may notice my liberal use of the term "effective."  Over the past several decades I have seen many organizations that have extremely efficient risk management processes that do not translate to effective risk management.  Efficient is defined as the ability to accomplish a job with a minimum expenditure of time and effort.  Effective is defined as success in producing a desired result.  The ability to effectively manage risk is far more important than minimizing the time and effort spent managing risk. Effectiveness is valued over efficiency because the most critical risks often have catastrophic effects if they occur, so the time and effort spent managing the risk pales in comparison to the impact of the risk.  Standards bodies strive to drive efficiency into processes and expect efficiency to translate to effectiveness.  Process efficiency does translate to effectiveness in cases where there is a finite set of variables and outcomes such as a manufacturing process.  Risks have a nearly infinite set of variables making it very difficult to optimize the risk management process. Furthermore, a single risk can have catastrophic effects so a highly effective risk management process that reliably treats risks is far more valuable than a highly optimized process that may be untested or less reliable.  An inefficient risk management process that is highly effective is much more valuable to an organization than an efficient risk management process that is highly ineffective; hence, the focus on effectiveness over efficiency.

I hope you enjoy Chaos to Clarity: The Tao of Risk Management and please feel free to contact me at my website jwmc-llc.com.

From the Inside Flap:

Chaos to Clarity: The Tao of Risk Management is a brilliant and practical guide that distills risk management down to the essential few elements needed to achieve risk management success.  This book is not an academic discussion of risk theory.  This book is a practical guide that presents fundamental risk management concepts, tools, and techniques that lead to effective risk management.  Chaos to Clarity is the perfect guide for people of all skill levels from novice risk practitioner to risk management experts.  
Chaos to Clarity is divided into three parts.  Part 1 sets the stage by providing some history of risk management, establishes context and presents key concepts used throughout the book.  Part I also discusses four risk management challenges project managers frequently encounter.  Part II presents a risk management process Mr. Mayo developed over the past ten years.  The process described in Part II is a hybrid process composed of elements from five industry standards (ISO 16085, ISO 31000, AN/NZS 4360, ISACA's Risk IT, and the PMBOK) and his own experience over the past three decades.  Part III presents tips, tools, techniques, and case studies to help improve the effectiveness of individual and organizational risk management capability.

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