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July 30, 2013

Risk Analysis

While many people undertake projects, there should be a clear definition of leadership in groups to ensure completion of the assigned activities through ambiguity in responsibilities. The team may not feel responsible for their actions, but individuals certainly do. Therefore, to manage and complete projects, it is essential to share and delegate tasks to individuals (Slater 13). Responsibility Assignment Matrix is a management tool that identifies the responsibility of every employee. The individuals get their responsibilities on a task-by -task basis among team mates (Dippel 33).

Responsibility Assignment Matrix
Responsibility Assignment Matrix should have a basis on what was mentioned and what was available at the time. This means that Responsibility Assignment Matrix shows how much and when things get done. At the start of a RAM, the leader makes a draft list of the tasks and the departments but excludes the people who handle the work. With the list, the manager may need to consult with the functional leaders to obtain the names of the people involved in the startup of the project (Barkely 23). This is a preliminary RAM that offers a clear and strong basis for laying the foundation with the resource providers. The responsibility matrix chart, figure 1, is based on what was mentioned and the available jobs at the time.

The RAM determines the role of the manager, the projects manager and the leaders involved. The leader of the project enhances the preliminary RAM by breaking it down into finer details that involve the startup team members of the project. The leader expands the responsibilities at the top level and the lower levels to ensure elimination of any unintended biases. He/she also makes sure that the focus is on the goals and the scope of the project and records any issues that may arise. Finally, as stated by Barkley, the project manager makes final top level RAM, which is a full version or a combination of RAMs. In this development, the project team members list in a row at the top while their corresponding responsibilities list on a left column (45). RAM also ensures the realization of the project cost estimates because the team members know how to include the estimates for the primary roles and supportive roles. However, supportive roles can be omitted in the estimation of the project costs.

For the available resources, the leader should enter complete identification and contact details, which include the name of the individual, department and the contact information. Where there are two or more people from the same department working on the same project, then each person’s name should be in a separate box (Kerzner 45). The list of the resources can be in any order since RAM does not provide the organizational chart and hierarchy, but only shows the project team and responsibilities. There are also descriptions of the responsibilities that the team members need to meet. Each has a clear definition for the action to take, for example, coordination, monitoring and planning. It also shows the common responsibilities on deliverables such as Accounting, Performance, Sign-Off and Communication. The next step will be to define the responsibilities on the levels of support for each of the common responsibilities. These responsibilities only have one person assigned to avoid the outfielder’s effect (Kerzner 45). The outfielder effect occurs when there is an assignment of the primary responsibility to more than one person. It can also cause individuals to make assumptions that the other will take charge or may make them compete for responsibility.

In details, the common responsibilities, such as accountable, mean that the individual has the ultimate accountability to deliver and is also responsible to oversee the fulfillment of all other responsibilities. The person is accountable for the vital decisions made while creating deliverables. According to Dippel (74), only one account responsibility is assigned to each deliverable, and on performance responsibility, it is assigned to the individuals who perform some of the activities. The deliverable can have several assignments on the performance responsibility. The signing-off responsibility is charged to the person that approves the completed work and different from the accountable person. The user of the results has the signing-off responsibility and is important when the deliverable is made by a party and used by another. The communication responsibility is assigned to those who communicate about the deliverables, and this is particularly vital in ensuring communication on all the functional boundaries.

According to Harvard Business Review on Corporate Responsibility, (67), responsibility matrix can also be on what they should have been done from the start of the project. This follows an ideal case where everything that was to be done is accomplished. It highly bases its operations on, for example, studies and estimations that give the expected activities and results. In this case, there are schedules on tasks stipulated for implementation. However, such a RAM approach only comes in as a cautionary or a resultant on the case. There are also predetermined numbers of responsibilities according to the size of the project; they do not depend on the magnitude and cost of the project.

The Responsibility Assignment Matrix on what should have been done cannot identify, for instance, a missing member since it does not require talking to the members for familiarization. A given primary responsibility has no dedication to a particular individual but goes to any. This stops most members from having primary roles and a person may not feel the need to perform any duties, for example, consultancy in the project. There are multiple reviews on the manager and team member performance since it is all based on what they should have done. The project manager will, therefore, take some responsibility on some of the work, such as the technical and project control to assign members on a personal level (Kerzner 23). This is only for the purpose of seeing the project accomplished or to salvage the situation. Figure 2, below, shows a chart for the responsibility Assignment Matrix as it should have been.

Basing the RAM on what should have been done also makes the job difficult and less flexible. As much as the team members want to achieve a common goal, they do not want to feel as if they are on a tight procedural process. The RAM approach makes the situation strenuous and elicits a feeling of incompetence since it will always make an analysis to an already complete task. In addition, the inclusion of ‘what they should have done’ implies that what has been done already is not satisfactory. However, the RAM approach in what they should have done is good for making comparisons from similar projects and at similar environments. It provides the report for the well accomplished work and gives a proposal for application to achieve similar results. This is a good way to make cost, time and labor estimates for a project.

Risk Management Matrix
The Risk Management Matrix should be on what was mentioned and what was available at the time. In a business, the process of risk management matrix focuses on the critical areas that need resource prioritization to maximize recovery and response efforts (Mulcay 10). While making some important decisions in the business, leaders will always try to predict the harm or benefit that might occur in implementing the decision. This shows that The Risk Management Matrix approach is a logical extension process. In this approach, the RMM considers the potential hazards and risks from a work place or industry in terms of the arrangements for the working hours. RMM shows the points of taking actions to introduce the risk control measures with a holistic approach for the implementation of the control measures.<…>

Risk Management Matrix Should be on the basis of what they should have done to secure and mitigate the danger that may arise to the business assets. The risks and the consequences may differ depending on the type of damage that occurs. This is because the varied categories of assets get damaged in different ways, for example, getting lost, tampered with, unwanted exposure among others. There should be standard classifications of the damages that can exist in the process with distinguishing methods between consequences and damages (Mulcay 32). They should also classify them as indirect or secondary consequences that affect processes and activities of the entity. The consequences may also vary depending on the entity, for instance, a commercial business has different consequences compared to a public organization. Moreover, it is essential to keep in mind that what should have been done in the evaluation of consequences focuses on the entity and not the information systems or the technical scope analysis. The risk evaluation must include assessment on the impact that the damage to an asset can have on the entity.

What they should have done approach puts the possibility of the uncertain causes of damage to an asset. In this case a risk, in certainty or observation, exists when certain actions or events take place leading to the occurrence of the risk. The risk evaluations include assessments of the likelihood of this action and event to occur. The use of the word “cause” highlights ambiguity in the sense of direct and indirect causes, and represents the idea of something that leads to damage. The threat in such a scenario will be the potential to cause harm to assets such as processes, information, systems and, therefore, organisation. The threat is not similar to the cause as mentioned as it can only apply to the events leading to the risk occurrence. Therefore, what they should have done can be more feasible when focusing on the threats. What they should have done also incorporates the vulnerability of a situation and takes into account the features of the system or asset and its susceptibility to threat. For example, a handwritten document is an asset, which is vulnerable to weather such as rainfall, and hence kept away from the rain. The action of keeping away from the rain occurs before the risk. It is also a form of security control for potential shortcomings. Table 2 represents a chart on what the management and risk analyzers should have done.

What they should have done is applicable in identifying all the risks, determining the risk levels and highlighting the measure to take when and if the risk materializes. This is a good way to monitor risks and select the appropriate tools. It also ensures good management of risks since the decision on the risk reduces or transfers the risk. With this approach, it is possible to link the decision to implement security measures to resulting levels of residual risks.

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