Saturday, 23 June 2012
Risk: only a part of the truth
Many (both some people working with risk analysis and people trying to explain why they don’t) seem to have a hard time remembering that the assessment/calculation/analysis of risk most often doesn’t have that much value in itself; it is one part of a bigger understanding of a system (ship, enterprise, family vacation…). Therefore you can’t do a risk analysis without first considering the rest of the system and what you really want to analyze. After that you can define your system and decide what type consequences you measure.
Often the measured consequence is number of deaths, or people injured, and in reliability you focus on the system output. But use the aim of the analysis to decide the measured consequence, you don’t need to be limited by what others do.
So whatever you are interested in: resilience, safety, security, reliability, utility, effectiveness or efficiency the risk analysis should be used as one, out of several, perspectives used when analyzing your system and develop system specific knowledge to base your decisions on.