What it Is and How it Helps
In flying I have learned that carelessness and overconfidence are usually far more dangerous than deliberately accepted risks. – Wilbur Wright in a letter to his father, September 1900.
What it is and How it Helps
Gael Risk is a cloud-based software solution designed to help organizations manage operational risk by helping prevent undesirable events from occurring or reducing their impact.
Through a user customizable dashboard, and using easy to understand visualizations including the use of BowTie methodology, Gael Risk simplifies traditional risk management methods in spreadsheets to graphically bring alerts and actions relating to risks and controls to the forefront.
The solution’s intuitive functionality helps users play their part in preventing risk from occurring, or if it does occur, in reducing its impact. You can visually see your gaps, monitor change, manage responsibilities and increase your awareness of incidents that take place across the business.
Risk can be a complex subject. In normal day-to-day conversation – a hazard, a risk and a threat can have similar meanings. However, in risk management, each of those terms has their own distinct meaning.
The first challenge for any organization is in ensuring that the terminology used is widely understood and consistently applied.
Our research has found that those not directly involved in risk management find the BowTie methodology really helpful. The diagram helps in the understanding of how risks are managed in general and, more importantly, in conveying individual risks and how it applies to them.
For this reason, the BowTie representation of a risk appears throughout the Gael Risk application.
The Risk is identified in the middle.
The left side of the diagram identifies what could cause a particular Risk to happen (Threats) and highlights the barriers and controls in place to prevent the risk from happening. For this reason the left hand side is referred to as “Prevention”.
The right side of the diagram identifies what could be the outcomes (Consequences) should the Risk actually happen and highlights controls and barriers in place to try and minimize the severity of those consequences. For this reason the right hand side is referred to as “Recovery”.
This BowTie diagram is far more capable of conveying risk, and achieving a deeper understanding of those risks and how they are to be managed, than a line item on a spreadsheet.
The entire Risk Lifecycle is managed using Gael Risk. Risks need to be identified, assessed, treated and managed to a point where the organization is comfortable with their risk exposure.
This process needs to be robust to ensure all risks are systematically evaluated, assessed and managed effectively.
The placement of the quantified risk on the matrix will determine if the risk is acceptable, needs treatment or is unacceptable.
Once controls or barriers have been put in place the risk is once again quantified to determine if further work is required.
The effectiveness of each control or barrier can be assessed, highlighting the need for additional controls where their effectiveness in isolation is deemed partial or ineffective.
At the heart of all safety and risk management systems is a need to record incidents and near misses. This allows an investigation of facts and provides the opportunity to take actions to lessen future risks.
Gael Risk provides the ability to overlay all events, near misses and incidents on the BowTie of the relevant risk, thus providing a visualisation of how the risk is being managed and controlled in practice.
Q-Pulse provides – amongst other things – the ability to manage incidents and it shares information with Gael Risk to provide insight into how robust the management system is. The intelligence that provides this input can be taken from other information sources within the organization.
Managing risk with Gael Risk provides you the ability not only to manage what is in place, but also lets you manage what you don’t have in place. And it’s what you don’t have in place that often hurts an organization.
The visual representation of risks quickly highlights where there is exposure, where there are missing controls and where situations are not being managed effectively.
Gael Risk provides insight into gaps in the risk management system, and aims to alert the appropriate people to accept the situation or do something about it.
The solution also provides alerts of risks, controls and actions not being owned or managed to enable appropriate action to address and rectify.
Gael Risk has the ability and framework to be successfully integrated with other software systems – allowing organizations to link their existing business systems with the risk management solution.
Our Q-Pulse compliance management solution can be integrated with Gael Risk to ensure your risk management is effective thus allowing you to make the right preventive decisions before it is too late.
For example, when reviewing a risk control linked to a Q-Pulse procedure, Gael Risk provides you with a summary that highlights key information such as non-conformances, review dates and audit dates and links to Q-Pulse documents, assets, incidents and non-conformances to provide the information you need to assess your system.
Executives have ultimate responsibility for risk and safety. Gael Risk provides key insight provide executives with status reports, outstanding actions, alerts and gap analysis.
A dashboard facility is available to bring focus to what needs closer scrutiny. The dashboard is flexible, allowing each individual user to determine the information that is of relevance to them.
Intelligence from other sources of information within the business, including Q-Pulse, can be made available in Gael Risk to get closer to real time risk assessment, test assumptions and further strengthen the management system.
Stand Up to Scrutiny
Gael Risk provides the ability to always be in a state of readiness and to provide confidence to regulators, customers and third parties that you are in control of your management system.
Gael Risk makes it easier to adopt risk management in all disciplines across the organization. It provides a consistent mechanism to manage risk effectively and efficiently.
Risk management is an on-going process and there will always be actions to complete or improvements to be made.
Learning and Sharing
Lessons learned from incidents and near misses need to be shared across the organization. Gael Risk provides the ability to share learning and best practices in a controlled manner.
This can be very challenging in multi-national and geographically disparate situations and can leave organizations exposed if it can be proved that an incident could have been prevented, or would have been less serious, had the learning from a previous event been shared effectively.
This capability is two-way, allowing for command and control from a central location and also from the local autonomy where conditions differ from what is regarded as normal.
Risk management has traditionally focused on Value Protection – taking steps to ensure something undesirable doesn’t happen. A strong process will also identify opportunities.
The disciplines of risk management are also ideal for identifying the contributing factors and how they ought to be managed to optimize performance.
It is perfectly feasible to have the same control or barrier deployed to manage several risks. Gael Risk helps ensure that a new control doesn’t fix one thing but weakens another.
It may be that, in some situations, one control is declared effective in managing one risk but only partially effective in managing another and that is when there is a need for care to be taken.
Where the control is only partially effective, there may be a temptation to adjust or modify it to strengthen it in relation to a particular risk – but in doing so you are unaware of its deployment elsewhere.
To avoid introducing change that fixes one thing but weakens another, Gael Risk provides the ability through control-centric views to determine where else a control is deployed. This provides insight and awareness of what else needs to be considered ahead of any proposed change.