Risks Verses Issues How They Differ And How To Approach Each

In technology the conflict between preventing current issues versus protecting from future negative risks is ongoing. In the simplest terms when considering Risk vs Issues you have to know how the two differ. Let’s take this example if your car doesn’t start your immediate concern is getting it started that’s an issue. Your car not starting in the future is a risk it may or may not happen but you want to prevent that.

Companies spend a lot of time trying to assure that their risks pay off and negative consequences are avoided. Risk prevention is its own specialty and that has to lead to Risk Management Training is an important part of many industries. Let’s take a closer look at risks and issues.

Risk Versus Issue How They Differ And How To Manage Them

As noted above an issue is a problem that is going on right now. If a company’s internet is down and nobody can work that is a problem that needs to be addressed immediately and requires problem-solving and decision-making skills. By comparison, a risk is a chance such as a company releasing a new product that has a 65% chance of being a big seller but also a 35% chance it will fail in the market. That’s a risk it’s not inherently bad but the chance for a negative outcome does exist and must be mitigated against with risk avoidance, risk reduction, and risk acceptance techniques.

Risks And Issues In Technology

In technology risks and issues are common occurrences during any development cycle. It takes skilled management to be able to properly deal with current issues and also prevent unneeded risks. The challenge is that these two events often occur at the same time during the life of a project and requires different approaches to properly manage them. When approaching these issues keep the following tips in mind.

Issue Management

  • A proper SOP (standard operating procedure) should be in place to address issues when they arise. This helps avoid confusion and miscommunication. Your project should always include an SOP before it even begins so any issues can be properly addressed in an organized way.
  • Communication is key. Issues should be openly discussed in your company’s standard communication formats (in person, over the phone, chat, emails, etc). The procedure should be clear as should the expected outcome, how issues are handled, and how responsibilities and delegated. Remember a lot of issues go unaddressed due to a simple lack of communication.

  • Know how to organize your issues. Some issues are simply going to come up during the process of a project’s completion and should be expected. Learn how to detect when an issue is a minor annoyance requiring little, if any, response and when an issue requires an immediate solution.

Risk Management

  • Much like with issues risks should have an SOP of their own. Key areas of this plan should include identifying risks and how to monitor them for potential outcomes. Because a risk doesn’t imply certainty some potential risks may never occur but you have to carefully watch to make sure this happens.
  • As with issues, communication is very important. Risks should be discussed often so employees and team members can be aware of them. Making them a part of weekly meetings is an easy way to keep everyone informed.
  • When risks are identified carefully delegate who watches what and how follow-ups (such as reports) are to be handled. Not all risks outcomes are inherently negative and by monitoring them you reduce negative impacts and increase the chances of a positive outcome.

  • Risks should also be prioritized. Two useful ways of prioritizing risks are by the severity of the risk itself and its chance of occurring. Some risks have very little chance of happening but can still derail an entire project and should be prepared for as one in a million occurrences do happen.

Final Thoughts

A common mistake people make is they think risks and issues are the same things. This is not the case each represents a unique challenge to be overcome but each requires its own approach. Through careful management and training, you can be prepared for both.