2023 Fall Week 10 reflections – the conundrum around risk matrices!

Can you believe it’s almost time for Thanksgiving?  Wow, this semester has flown by…

Week 10 is one of my favorite risk communication topics – the conundrum around risk matrices!

I’ve mentioned this in several individual comments, but it bears repeating as a class comment.

The consequence table (as well as the likelihood table) can absolutely be modified to reflect the size of your target.  So if you have a small target, you’re going to want to have smaller ranges – perhaps 10K to 1M broken into 5 categories. And mind you, there are risk matrices of many sorts – 3×3 or 5×5 or 3x 8 – you just need to understand the basis for why you’ve developed the risk matrix as you have and even if it’s the right tool for the job!  But at least you now know how to construct one and what some of the pros and cons are to using them…It’s simply a tool in your tool kit – nothing more, nothing less.  After all, there is a reason that calculus is still taught – it’s a foundational part of mathematics.  And like them or loathe them, risk matrices are here to stay. Going forward, it will be your choice to use them or not and to help others understand their merits and challenges.

Risk management is like most things in life – if it were easy, it would be done by now.  The challenge is finding that sweet spot between the intended purpose, the data, and your audience.  And you’ve seen that in several examples throughout the course so far.

On the Vulnerability assignment, several of you were still struggling with the measuring effectiveness question.  Remember the logic model from week 1?  The questions on your SSP in the first decision brief assignment.  All this comes back to thinking about “For the sake of what!”  Why am I putting these mitigation strategies in place and what do I want to accomplish – how will I measure success?

As you build your decision brief, think about your stakeholders – what would they want to know?

I believe I’ve graded everything in my queue through Week 10.  If you think differently, LMK or submit for evaluation.

Be safe and well!


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