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  4. Thanks to everyone who's registered for this Tuesday's REBOK lunchtime webinar with Taylor Burns on Risk Management for Major Infrastructure Projects. Over 500 registrations so far! For a sneak preview, read Taylor's Q&A here:
  5. Thanks to everyone who's registered for this Tuesday's REBOK lunchtime webinar with Taylor Burns on Risk Management for Major Infrastructure Projects. Over 500 registrations so far! For a sneak preview, read Taylor's Q&A here:
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    Looking forward to this Tuesday's webinar with Taylor Burns. If you'd like a sneak preview, read his Q&A here:
  7. Taylor Burns is the Australian representative for the Austrian based company, RiskConsult. He’ll share his thoughts about risk management for major infrastructure projects at a REBOK lunchtime webinar on Tuesday 20 October 2020. Register here. Why is a ‘big picture’ view important for infrastructure projects? If you don’t know what the big picture is, you’re missing all the uncertainty. There’s an image by Nassim Nicholas Taleb which shows somebody walking across a river that’s just over one metre (four feet) deep on average. But averages vary, so it’s potentially really deep at one end, and really shallow at the other. If you were to walk across assuming it was the same depth the whole way, you could potentially fall in and drown. The same thinking can be applied to infrastructure projects. Image courtesy of Taylor Burns, RiskConsult Why is it important for engineers and project managers to take cost and schedule uncertainties into account? Let’s start with costs. Any quantities you might have on a project include uncertainties. For instance, with excavation, you might have less or more unsuitable materials or rock than determined by the geotechnical investigations. Before the award of a contract, costs for materials and other payment items may also vary significantly from the initial estimate at the time of tender. Risk impacts incurred throughout the project will also result in additional costs and time-related costs. These risk impacts also hold uncertainty. With probabilistic assessment of cost and schedules, we are able to use distributions, one of the most common being a triangular distribution. In this case you have the most likely (often the deterministic estimate) in the middle, and the best and worst scenarios either side of it. The same goes for time durations. This can be done for all items in the work breakdown structure, including the risk impacts, which bring another set of time and cost uncertainties. It’s really important to do this assessment to get an understanding of how good or bad things could be. Once the distributions are set we can do a simulation – either Monte Carlo or Latin hypercube sampling – to work out the probabilities of certain outcomes so that you can have the full picture. When you’re doing estimates deterministically, you only get a very narrow view of what the outcomes might be, and you miss a whole lot of information about what might happen. Things don’t always work out the way you plan them – so it’s important to have the full picture. How can a good picture of cost uncertainties help with infrastructure project management? Having a good picture of uncertainty is especially helpful for decision makers. Knowing the likelihood of cost overruns or project delays in advance provides opportunities to take action early and mitigate risks to acceptable levels. This is especially helpful for large infrastructure projects that may stretch over a number of years. To further clarify the picture, it is useful to use a cost component structure. A simple example is to separate costs into base costs, risk costs (known and unknown) and escalation. Escalation is particularly important for projects spanning multiple years. These cost components are often depicted in the form of a waterfall diagram with results shown as S-Curves. Image courtesy of Taylor Burns, RiskConsult How would you define a complex infrastructure project? Generally, complexity comes with the size of the project, for example, projects above $50 million. Complex infrastructure projects have many components, stakeholders and elements which need to integrate with one another, and with the potential to mutually affect each other. They are surrounded by uncertainty and ambiguity, similar to the unpredictability of many moving parts. One example of a complex project is a bridge replacement. You may have to provide a temporary bridge, demolish the old bridge, realign the road and have multiple traffic interchanges. Another example is tunnelling. You may have a lot of unknown geotechnical constraints such as especially soft or hard material, water inflow, or heat due to geothermal activity. You could also have fault lines within the material that you're tunnelling through. You’ll need to assess the impact on the tunnel boring machine when travelling through all of these different substrates. This could include the different classes of protection needed and the time taken to bore through different substrates. In addition to the technical complexities, large infrastructure projects often require a complex or alternative contracting method. Why should you avoid a blanket contingency in large or complex infrastructure projects? If you were doing a cost estimate deterministically for a low value project with little risk, you might use a blanket contingency of 10 to 20 per cent based on what you perceive the risk to be for your project. Very large or complex infrastructure projects generally have a lot of unknowns and uncertainty. I feel it’s better to assess those unknowns along with the identified risks and integrate them within your work breakdown structure and your schedule. Then you can carry out a Monte Carlo simulation to get the full picture of the potential impacts of those risks, uncertainties and escalation over time. These probabilistic results can then be used to inform what a suitable contingency might be. Who do you think would benefit from your webinar? Project managers and decision makers for large infrastructure projects, engineers, consultants, government, and people who take on high-value, complex projects.
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  9. The following Standards Australia publications have recently been published. Publication Number: AS ISO 22301:2020 Title: Security and resilience — Business continuity management systems — Requirements Publishing Date:25-09-2020 SA Project Committee: MB-025 Security and Resilience Publication Number: AS ISO 22313:2020 Title: Security and resilience — Business continuity management systems — Guidance on the use of ISO 22301 Publishing Date:25-09-2020 SA Project Committee: MB-025 Security and Resilience
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    I only listened the webinar and not saw the slides. How do you get a copy of the readable version of ISO 31000 as noted in the presentation?
  11. We've created a new forum for risk-related news and information. To start us off, here's a link to the last issue of the Risk Engineering Society Opportunity. Look out for the next edition soon. RES Newsletter 2020 June Issue 2 Vol 5 FINAL Rev0.pdf1.31 MB · 12 downloads
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    Is the presentation slides available?
  13. Thanks to everyone who's registered for the next REBOK lunchtime webinar with Jeff Jones at 12pm on Tuesday 22 September. Jeff was kind enough to share some thoughts in a Q&A.
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    Jeff Jones did a Q&A for REBOK ahead of his upcoming webinar. You can read it here:
  15. Jeff Jones is an Associate Fellow of the Risk Management Institution of Australasia and member of the Queensland Chapter Committee of the Engineers Australia Risk Engineering Society. He’ll share his thoughts about whether ISO 31000:2018 is redundant or relevant to your organisation at a REBOK lunchtime webinar on Tuesday 22 September 2020. Register here. What is risk, and how does it relate to risk management? The 2018 update to ISO 31000 defines risk as “effect of uncertainty on objectives”. But this means different things to different people. ‘Effect’ is the first term to unpack, and that’s the deviation from the expected. This can be positive, negative or both, and result in opportunities and threats. That’s where the language starts to get debatable. Do we call risk neutral, and the upside opportunity and the downside threat? Or do we call the upside opportunity and the downside risk? The concept of using the word ‘objectives’ is also debatable, there are some other standards that don’t do that. But I support it. Risk is also expressed as the source of potential events and their consequence and likelihood. But unfortunately that lends itself to the predominant view of risk assessment as a qualitative risk matrix process. This is only one of many processes, and it’s beneficial, but it shouldn’t be used to the detriment of having a broader toolkit at our disposal. Most people see risk assessment as risk management, which it’s not. Most businesses adopt risk management frameworks that are just risk assessment processes. They don’t achieve the values defined in ISO 31000:2018 – which defines risk management as “coordinated activities to direct and control an organisation with regard to risk”. It’s not just about proactive control of risk to promote positive outcomes, but also to mitigate threats and negative outcomes. Can you tell us more about risk management frameworks? Risk management frameworks integrate risk management (not risk assessment) into all the organisation’s activities and functions. In modern organisations it should be implemented at the highest level, from the board and through the whole organisational structure including all the risk committees and governance structures. In particular, it should drive the organisation’s decision making. It’s about support from stakeholders and top management. Like any other framework, it requires design, implementation, evaluation, continuous improvement and integration. The end game of risk management is not just risk assessments, but decision making. At the top end it’s decision making, at the operational and tactical level it’s risk assessments. Why do organisations find it difficult to articulate the benefits of risk management? It’s hard for an organisation to measure the success of risk management. In fact, where risk management is most successful it goes unnoticed, because businesses thrive and achieve their business objectives. When things fail, risk management gets the blame. But many other risks could have eventuated if risk management processes weren’t in place. Risk management is also a compliance requirement for many industries. Therefore, it's done to tick a box and not really integrated into decision making or management systems – which is the intention of ISO 31000:2018. The final reason is that risk management is a relatively new field compared to core disciplines such as financial and quality management. There’s nothing forcing an organisation to put risk management systems in place, but if financial management is neglected the business will fall over. Do you think the ISO 31000:2018 standard is relevant in today’s increasingly complex world? There’s some controversy about whether the world has moved on from the standard. I think it’s a framework that can be applied to any environment, it’s just a matter of how you view and think about it. It’s called up in a lot of Acts, regulations and tendering processes. Anywhere where risk is mentioned, ISO 31000:2018 is referenced. So I think its relevance is still there. But it’s not a black and white standard. It has to be used in context for each organisation, and each organisation will adopt it differently. This leads to healthy differences of opinion, but not clarity for organisations looking for benchmarks to implement the standard in new risk management frameworks.
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    The registration button should be fixed now.
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    Risk Management for Major Infrastructure Projects Speaker Taylor Burns Description Key processes necessary to identify and manage risks on complex infrastructure projects have been developed over the last 20 years in order to implement risk-based approaches for better cost and schedule estimation. Cost and schedule, however, were mostly treated separately instead of integrating them into one model. This integration including the consideration of uncertainty is highly relevant as schedule delays are very often the root cause for severe cost overruns. This presentation describes an integrated probabilistic cost and schedule model. This along with the consideration of uncertainty in quantities, rates and timeframes helps to provide transparency on complex infrastructure projects. The application is based on a combination of two practice-proven approaches – the RIAAT (Risk Administration and Analysis Tool) and the Cost Estimation and Validation Process CEVP® (Reilly et al. 2004/Washington State Department of Transportation), creating a powerful tool for management of complex risk environments. About the speaker Taylor Burns has a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from University of Technology, Sydney and has recently become the Australian representative for the Austrian based company, RiskConsult. Previously working for Public Works Advisory as a Project Manager and as a Regional Engineering Services Functional Area Coordination for NSW Engineering Emergency Management. Taylor previously took a gap year to work in Europe in and in doing so developed an interest in probabilistic cost and schedule risk management for large infrastructure projects.
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    Thank you! That link works. The Registration Button has not been fixed though.
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    Thank you. I am sure the site manager will correct this ASAP. But in between time if you have not been able to aces the link try this one: https://www.engineersaustralia.org.au/event/2020/08/iso-31000-–-2018-revision-redundant-or-relevant-your-organisation-32581 I hope you can get there this way??
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    Hi the link to the registration page seems to be wrong? The "Register Now" button goes to the webex page not registration page.
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    ISO 31000 – 2018 Revision; Redundant or Relevant to Your Organisation? by Jeff Jones ISO 31000 was first published in 2009 and revised in 2018, originally being based on the AS4360 process. Throughout the intervening decade risk management has been mandated in government policy, dictated in ASIC principles of good governance, embedded in organisational management systems and referred to in a myriad of industry practices and standards. In essence, risk management has become a house-hold name. With this uptake has unleashed a spirit of risk management endeavour, often as its own entity and in other contexts as a driver of processes and a stand-alone business tool. Maturity assessments for evolving the development and implementation of risk management have abounded. However, despite the uptake and intent, risk management often remains an elusive and utopian mantra, with many organisations struggling to obtain the merit of a risk management framework and principles espoused in the standard. Benefits of risk management are not often captured or reported. Indeed, the very notion and definition of risk is often debated, as is the almost universal implementation of the ubiquitous risk matrix as the sole risk assessment technique. Yet, many of these industry and organisationally imposed approaches are not the intent or mantra of ISO31000. Perhaps the 2018 revision should be looked at with a fresh lens and a subsequent review of your organisations adoption of risk management framework, principles & process. About the speaker Jeff Jones is a Certified Practising Risk Manager and Associate Fellow of the Risk Management Institution of Australasia (RMIA). He is Director & Principal Consultant for Project Delivery Assurance, a Queensland based company specialising in enterprise & project risk management and independent reviews. A large part of PDA’s consulting services is in providing strategic direction and practical implementation support to Client’s strategic & operational risk management programs. Jeff is a Chartered Engineer and has formulated his Risk Management concepts from a broad 30 year operations & project management career across Oil & Gas, Mining and Infrastructure sectors in Client and Contracting organisations, including Esso Australia, Thiess (Australia & Indonesia), and Santos. He has served on the Queensland Chapter Committee of the Engineers Australian Risk Engineering Society (RES) since 2010, and as a member of the RMIA Board Audit & Risk Committee between 2011 and 2013. He currently has a risk advisory role on a finance, audit and risk board committee for a national not-for-profit organisation.
  22. Great idea Nadine. maybe we could use REBOK discussion posts to generate new material for REBOK and publish/release the new papers via the OPPORTUNITY news letter. This would enable member contribution, add to the REBOK and provide fresh reading for the OPPORTUNITY newsletter.
  23. Thanks for posting, Kevin. Would it be useful to start a news and information discussion forum on REBOK?
  24. This a very powerful way to get good value out of the REBOK and use this to enhance your career.
  25. How is the pandemic affecting Australia and other nations (from a risk engineering perspective)? What is the difference between individual and societal risk and how does each relate to the pandemic response? How are governments balancing the economic and public health risks? What about a long term plan including economic recovery? What is outrage risk and how can it be managed? How long will the restrictions need to be in place? What risk management / risk engineering tools and techniques are useful during the crisis? What risk management procedures should be in place for engineering workplaces? How can engineers can help people live and work more safely and productively during the crisis and recovery? Will COVID-19 change the way we do risk engineering?
  26. AS/NZS ISO 31000:2018 defines ‘risk’ as “the effect of uncertainty on objectives” and ‘risk management’ as “coordinated activities to direct and control an organization with regard to risk”. Therefore it is implied that ‘engineering risk’ is the effect of uncertainty on engineering objectives. If we accept that risk engineering is a specialised form of risk management, then to be consistent with ISO 31000, ‘risk engineering’ could be defined as coordinated activities to direct and control an organization with regard to engineering risk. The key advantages of defining risk engineering in this way is that we do not need to redefine ‘engineering’ and we remain consistent with ISO 31000 terminology.
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    Webinar - Risk & Opportunity Conversations in a Positive Risk Management Culture Speaker - Jim Whiting (MSc (Biophysics) Dip Ed, [Qld]; MSc (Biomedical Engineering), [Surrey UK]; CPEng, MACPSEM) Synopsis - This presentation explains and demonstrates the benefits of ROC Talk [R&O Conversations, Communications and Interactions] - in every aspect of business discussions and decision-making. Practical examples are included on how to use principles of positive inter-personal dynamics to develop mutual respect, trust and care necessary for a positive risk culture. The importance of rigorous R&O based thinking & language in conversations is based on the principle that how we communicate affects whether we achieve our shared vision, beliefs and ultimately a positive culture. Participants will be polled during the webinar regarding their opinions on selected samples from a 4-page glossary of ROC Talk language & terminology. The glossary will be made available to participants. Organisational performance depends on the quality of interaction and communication between individuals and groups (Stacey 2007). He calls this theory “Relationship Psychology,” which is crucial to better understanding of successful interactions because it takes the focus away from individuals to organizational relationships in all its forms. It considers human interaction as the primary influencer for control of organizational outcomes – not rewards, measurements, rules, or enforcement. ROC Talk can reshape the way we communicate knowledge and understanding of R&O—a fundamentally important goal in all forms of risk management not just HSEQ risks. Carrillo (2012) highlights very practical implications of this fact, viz. explanations of why procedures and rules are so often forgotten or disregarded. The regular practice of ROC Talk conversations re procedures or processes ensures that they remain relevant to doing normal everyday work. Whenever a business risk is being discussed / described / argued / communicated, then R&O assessments and ROC Talk make communications & decision-making more objective and less emotive. ROC Talk is beneficial whenever there are questions similar to: How should we do this job - this way or that? How will we establish our agreed standardised way of doing a job [procedure]? Is the standardised way the “best business” way in the current circumstances? Is the agreed standardised way the “lower risk” and/or “higher opportunity” way? Which is the best tool, plant, equipment for this job? Which options for risk control and opportunity enabling are better than others? What time do we allocate to this incident investigation? When to stop digging? Key Takeaways What is ROC Talk and How it is applied Better understanding of the relations between Risks & Opportunities Learn meaningful verbal interactive skills – DOs and DON’Ts About the Speaker Jim Whiting is the Managing Director and Principal Risk Engineer, Risk at Workplaces Pty Ltd and Partner & Risk Engineer, Soteris Pty Ltd. He has extensive experienced in consultancy & training in risk management, causal analysis, ergonomics and management systems, and was formally a Senior Lecturer Medical Physics & Bioengineering QUT and a National CEO for NSCA. PowerPoint Presentation ROC Talk presentation.pptx
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    During today's webinar on Australian Capital Projects – Risk Management, Project Controls and COVID-19 Pedram Danesh-Mand mentioned some useful references for calculating contingency and escalation in projects. I've posted them here for easy reference. Risk Engineering Society Contingency Guideline: https://rebok.engineersaustralia.org.au/search/?q=contingency&quick=1 Australian Government Cost Estimation Guide: https://investment.infrastructure.gov.au/about/funding_and_finance/cost_estimation_guidance.aspx Pedram also mentioned some guideline for escalation from the AACEI, which he recommended as a secondary reference for Australian projects. The full documents are only accessible to AACE members, but links to samples are below: http://web.aacei.org/docs/default-source/toc/toc_58r-10.pdf https://web.aacei.org/docs/default-source/toc/toc_68r-11.pdf?sfvrsn=4
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