Have you ever wondered how big companies go about managing the risks associated with their mega-projects? Having spent much of my career negotiating, planning or managing such projects risk management was very much a core component of my daily life. In fact in my final few years in the oil industry I developed new protocols for testing the risk management processes in one of the world’s largest organisations involved in some of the riskiest projects imaginable. Following the Gulf of Mexico catastrophe I found myself at the centre of the drive to restructure and redesign the BP Group as it strove to learn from its mistakes and put processes in place to try and ensure such a disaster never happens again.
While you read the following article why not listen to my e-baroque compositions – just click on the box below:
or if techno music is more your cup of tea here are my techno/ambient compositions:
I hope you find the article below interesting…please visit chrisduggleby.com again.
As a senior manager in the audit department of this global group I was in a position to influence a large number of people and processes and then test whether risk management was effective. The testing protocols I wrote for the group were designed to fill the gaps in these processes. I had the rather cumbersome title as the BP Group’s Principal Auditor and Subject Matter Expert in Transformation, Joint Venture and Commercial Compliance (e.g. competition law, bribery and corruption) risks (I didn’t bother with a business card!).
Now I have retired from oil and chemicals I would like to share some of my experience with the wider business community and with any organisation facing multiple risks to its success. Regular visitors to this site will be aware of the risk management text book I published in 2010 (Value TRAI based Risk Management). One of the problems with producing physical books is that many busy people either do not have the time to read them, or don’t have the room in their bags for yet more paperwork.
So my focus going forward is to use the internet to help improve people’s accessibility to my ideas about risk management. During my last few years in industry we move nearly all of our operations and communications over to electronic media – I found that I read very few physical books. So this weekend I launched my new site which provides a (free-of-charge!) introduction to the basics of risk management. the site is called RiskTuition.com and you can take a look at it by clicking on the picture below.
Not surprisingly the new site includes many pictures taken from some of the mega-projects I encountered working in the oil industry. I have also included some pictures from the businesses I managed for BP – including the petrochemicals plant I negotiated, built and ran on a man-made island in the middle of an Asian swamp (sorry – RiskTuition.com includes some rather dated pictures of ‘yours truly’ from his swamp days). As founding president of Formosa BP Chemicals Corporation I can claim to have first hand experience of implementing a new risk management process in a very challenging environment.
This swamp based project was actually a joint venture with Taiwan’s largest private industrial group, Formosa. In fact many of the big, complex projects in the oil industry are joint ventures which can increase the risks significantly. However the risks in even the most complex projects can be managed by following a fairly straightforward risk management process like the one I have presented on the RiskTuition site. If you manage the risks effectively the benefits of such joint venture arrangements can be considerable as illustrated in the following rather ‘uplifting’ video.
One of the great safisfaction’s of managing such projects is that they not only benefit the companies which own the venture but can also dramatically improve the development, economy, and local education/training of the countries where they occur. My partner in Taiwan was very clear about their reasons for wanting to do a project with BP – in addition to bringing in state-of-the-art technology they also wanted to learn from our health and safety practices and processes. During my 5 years building and running this plant we did not have any serious injuries on our site – despite employing about 700 people.
The RiskTuition.com site is a first small step. I still have quite a lot of experience I would like to share with organisations interested in learning about risk management. Over time I will launch some other web-based communications relating to risk management and as I do so I hope you don’t mind if I share my progress on this blog. By the way if you are concerned I have forgotten about my music please rest assured – my team across the Atlantic are working hard to get my new e-baroque album onto i-Tunes, Amazon, Spotify etc. I am also practising as hard as my ageing fingers will allow in order to master some new, interesting, musical instruments.
Have a great, and most importantly a safe and healthy, week