May 9, 2013 – Organizers behind World Risk Day are opting for a project-based approach to discussions at their second-annual event, in an effort to convert threats into terms of “on time” and “on budget,” which are more familiar and appealing to business leaders.

World Risk Day, a virtual collection of Web seminars, will run throughout the day May 14, featuring practitioners from various industries such as the New York State Department of Transportation, European construction firm Crossrail and aerospace and defense contractor EADS, as well as vendor experts. Under the agenda theme of “Shattering the Project Myth,” the event casts a wide enough net to cover a variety of pressing topics for CROs, process officials and other risk managers, such as following through on innovation and extending the risk leader’s role into other business functions.

Rather than isolate risk practices, Chris Bell, CMO with event sponsor and risk vendor Active Risk, says the project-minded focus is emerging more as the genesis of other enterprise risk efforts.  To that end, the event this year explores risk’s role in budgeting, scheduling, complexity and preparation for high-impact, low-probability events, like natural disasters.

“In last year’s event and ... in much of the research on project management, what has really struck a chord is the one thing that can blow your budget out of the water, which is a risk coming to fruition,” says Bell.

One of speakers is Michael Lopez, a senior associate at Booz Allen Hamilton, who will address risk management’s role in handling innovation during Monday’s event. Lopez says that risk managers make good use of some aspects of data, such as Monte Carlo simulations, but could use more in terms of “integrating assessments,” or tools to bring together scheduling, performance and expectations across departments and their respective repositories and spreadsheets.

“The next phase of tech advancement is much more sophisticated analytical and technical techniques so it doesn’t leave so much of this integration to the individual,” he says. “It doesn’t mean it’s perfect, but at least it doesn’t rely on the risk or department manager from having to re-create that in their head.”

Another outcome from the event in total is the awareness of the place of risk and its managers in the enterprise, Lopez says. In Lopez’s assessment, the risk field provides solid footing for analysts and “nerds,” but doesn’t offer many “aspirational” extensions of the career, either in expanded enterprise risk roles or converting that risk perspective into a new business function.

“Right now, the only answer is to exit the discipline and we’ve got to do better than that. It’s incumbent on existing folks and C-suite to create those opportunities,” says Lopez.

For more information on the event, visit here.

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