Technological advancements characterize the modern world, and therefore encountering management risks are certain. However, the ever-changing digital world presents crucial tools that can be used to automate the process of risk identification and risk analysis. An example of such instruments is the risk assessment matrix which plays a critical role in the risk management decision-making process. The technique is widely used to analyze risks by determining the severity of the risk and assist in reaching the final decisions concerning the appropriate actions (Peace 2017, p.131). In this case, the strategy has been used to determine risk levels and severity of the potential injury in an incident where a drunk young male driver collided with one side of the Hampden Bridge. Therefore, the analysis conducted in this article focusses on determining the importance of a risk management matrix in assessing the dangers faced by the bridge. Also, the review discusses the various limitations of the use of the technique in this scenario.
The project management, in this case, involves assessing the potential accident threats faced by the Hampden Bridge against the likelihood of the reoccurrence of the accident caused by a drunk male driver. The application of the risk management matrix has revealed that the chances of the incident reoccurring are high, and the severity of its damages are significant. The technique proved to be useful in the evaluation process as it enabled the combination of several consequences and their likelihood to be represented in a graph (Peace 2017, p.132). In doing so, the approach facilitates a more natural understanding of different levels of risk. For instance, evaluation of the Hampden bridge scenario using the risk management matrix provided a severity rating of 4, which combined various consequences such as injuries, fatalities, and damage of property.
Also, the risk information and data presented by the risk matrix appears concisely and visually (Safetyzone 2016). The method uses visuals such as bubble charts which facilitates more natural understanding by simplifying complex data. In doing so, the matrices assist one to gain insight into the relative risk of several circumstances that might be encountered in a given system.
On the other end, the risk management matrix facilitates quick ranking and comparison of risks, which is useful in identifying and focusing significant attention and efforts towards managing. For example, the technique compared and ranked the risks in the case of Hampden Bridge from low, moderate, high, and extremely high intolerable risk. Therefore, upon the determination of the level of risk, the management team can be able to begin the preparation process and allocate adequate resources for the management of the risk.
The risk management matrix also helps in optimizing resources by showing the management team where to concentrate the efforts and the risks to prioritize. With prioritization on specific threats, the risk assessment framework proves to be useful in maintaining consistency (Safetyzone 2016). According to Passos (2018), the risk management matrix model is also valuable for identifying a wide range of policy alternatives at the planning stage. As a result, it brings about the aspect of flexibility in the risk assessment process, which enables the project to adapt faster to any technological, social, political, or even economic changes that may arise. In doing so, the technique allows an organization to save costs and beat the deadline.
Like other models, the risk management matrix also has several limitations, and it is subject to various uncertainties. As a result, the technique must be used with cautions, and the Hamden bridge risk assessment team must develop precautions for the evaluation to be successful. The limitations of this strategy relate to its ability to overgeneralize the complexity or instability of risk. Some risks are moderately static over time, while others can change for better or worse over a short period. For example, Hamden Bridge’s risk assessment involves factors that are continually evolving, and therefore, the risk matrix can fail to capture the emerging issues.
Also, the strategy is capable of comparing correctly and unambiguously rank limited fraction of random pairs of risk, and assign similar ratings to hazards that are unidentical quantitatively (Safetyzone 2016). The inclusion of assessment timeframes is also another limitation associated with this risk assessment technique. The timeline provided by the assessment for the next incident can be inaccurate and therefore lead to poor decisions. Lastly, a risk assessment matrix can lead in minimal allocation of resources since successful allotment of resources to risk management cannot be constructed on the categories generated by the models.
In general, risk management matrix aids in analyzing risks through the establishment of the severity of the risk and decision making. The approach is useful in risk evaluation since it facilitates the combination of various impacts and their probabilities of reoccurring. It also helps in promoting the understanding of different levels of risk. The technique identifies and directs the risk management team on the areas to concentrate their efforts and resources. However, the approach has various limitations, such as oversimplifying complex risks and providing inaccurate timeframes.
Passos, 2018, Developing a risk management matrix for effective project planning, by Sumit
Datta and S.K. Mukherjee, Inteligência Competitiva, viewed 16 August 2020, https://alfredopassos.wordpress.com/2018/05/05/developing-a-risk-management-matrix-for-effective-project-planning-by-sumit-datta-and-s-k-mukherjee/
Peace, C 2017, ‘The risk matrix: uncertain results?’, Policy and Practice in Health and Safety, vol. 15, no. 2, pp. 131–144.
SafetyZone, 2016. Risk Matrix: The Benefits & Challenges. Available at: https://www.safetyzone.net.au/2016/06/risk-matrix-the-benefits-challenges/ [Accessed 17 August 2020]
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