Risk management is an approach that allows organizations to improve how projects and programs are managed from start to finish. It’s a way of improving the communication channels across the business, and encourages project teams to be realistic with their estimates and scheduling.
Risk management training is a way to boost your team’s capability when it comes to risk management. Here are 5 reasons why it’s worth investing in dedicated risk training for your team.
1. Increases Risk Management Maturity
The more aware people are about the impact of risk, the greater the risk management maturity of the organization.
In turn, that offers a lot of benefits because a deeper level of risk management maturity results in better governance, greater awareness of potential threats at the portfolio level and a more joined up, holistic outlook from senior managers across the business.
There are other steps that you can take to increase risk management maturity throughout the organization without having to train all your staff, but this is certainly one activity to consider that will have a definite and positive impact on increasing capability.
2. Improves The Team’s Ability to Respond to Risk
Risk management can feel like quite a theoretical topic. It’s one thing to understand the theory about how to assess a risk, or what strategies are available to you. It’s something else entirely to be able to take what you have learned and apply that in a working environment.
A very practical benefit of undertaking risk management training is that you’ll be giving your team the skills they need to do their jobs more effectively. They’ll understand the tools and techniques to be able to practically manage risk, regardless of their role in the business and their department. Overall, they’ll be better prepared to execute your strategies and to respond when a risk is identified.
3. Demonstrates Your Commitment To Your Staff
Study after study shows that morale at work is hugely affected by the working environment. Investing in your people is one way to show that you are committed to building capability and to help them improve their skills.
Staff who see that their management team is taking a vested interest in helping them develop professionally will have better morale than those that don’t.
It’s also a fantastic retention tool. Employees will feel more loyal if they know that their management is committed to building their skills and, in turn, providing them with opportunities to use those skills on more challenging work. If your team members feel that there is somewhere to go in your company, that they can continue to develop without having to move jobs and take a position elsewhere, then you can retain your staff for longer.
4. Deepens Executive Support for Risk Management
This might seem like a tangential benefit, but the impact can be significant. Senior managers will have to sign off the training for their teams, whether it’s a small group or a whole division. This act of granting approval can create a deeper level of buy-in at an exec level. Typically managers want to see a return on their investment for training. They’ll only get this if they support the transfer of knowledge back into the workplace and support their team members to use what they learned.
It also generates awareness: by asking the team to attend risk management training it raises the profile of the discipline with their line managers, which hopefully will increase their support for risk management initiatives at portfolio level.
5. Improves the Team’s Ability to Use Risk Management Tools
Monte Carlo analysis, anyone? Tornado charts? Your project managers have probably heard of these terms but standard project management training courses don’t cover tools and techniques specific to risk management in any degree of detail. If you want the team to go beyond simply identifying risks and using a risk log to track their mitigation strategies, you have to support them in learning how to do so.
Time with an experienced trainer gives them the safe space to ask questions about how confidence level histograms really work, and gives them the opportunity to work through examples and talk about how they could use the tools in their day job. They can learn from the trainer’s past experience and hear stories about what works in other businesses.
Choosing Risk Management Training
There are a plethora of training courses available for you to choose from, bundled within project management courses, focused on delivering particular elements of risk management, leading to certification for your staff and more.
The best way to choose the right kind of training is to think about what it is you want to achieve and work backwards from there. While getting your staff credentialed in a common risk management approach might have lots of benefits, if it doesn’t get you closer to your end goals then it doesn’t give you the right benefits for your company. Think carefully about the kind of workshops you put people forward for and ensure they support the tools, techniques and software you use in your own business.
One consideration is how much real-world experience of risk management your trainer has. In order to be able to deal with delegates with all backgrounds and levels of existing experience it will help if they have been through the process of improving risk management processes as well.
A great risk management workshop will help you see the benefit from your investment quickly, realizing the longer-term value-add as well.
Risk management training doesn’t have to be a huge overhead. A structured, tailored course for employees will ensure they get the benefit in a way that transfers real value back to your project management environment. If you want to make risk management a core part of the way you do business, and embedded in the project management culture, you need to support your teams in learning the best way to do it.