Ratcheting down the risk factor

Ratcheting down the risk factor
Mitigating construction risk in a risky business
 Mike

Risk is a part of the job. Heavy equipment. Cumbersome materials. And let’s not forget the human factor. So how do you control risk? Stick to the Three C’s of Risk Mitigation: 1. Consistency 2. Coordination 3. Completeness. The third point, Completeness, is like it sounds. Your plans must be complete, thought out, and solid.

 Colin

I would classify construction risk into two categories: controllable and uncontrollable. When it comes to the uncontrollable, you can only do so much to affect factors like weather and the like. And a lot of the mitigation for uncontrollable risk is common sense, like rolling up the car windows when you borrow your business partner’s car. Isn’t that right, Mike?

 Mike

I said I was sorry – let it go. But Colin’s right. In construction, you control what you can, even the uncontrollable aspects like weather. Get the outside walls up before focusing on the inside so you seal the outside then work on the inside, leaving weather-related risk outdoors. Controllable risks are something else entirely because the ball is in your possession: if you fumble it, you’ve only got yourself to blame. So how do you control risk? You plan on it with The Three C’s of Risk Mitigation. I’ll let the fourth C explain these.

 Colin

To ensure consistency, ask if the plans are in accordance with the ultimate development vision or ideal. If the Developer thinks he’s getting stainless steel appliances, make sure he’s getting stainless steel appliances. Completeness is not rocket science–Leave something to chance and you leave yourself open to risk.

 Mike

Thanks Colin. I’ll tackle coordination. You’ve got a lot of moving parts on every job. Coordination is making them all work together as seamlessly as possible. Are the design trades and professionals coordinated with each other? For example, do the civil engineer’s plans jive with the architect’s view of where the building is going? It can be troublesome to sort out at times, but coordinating all the parts makes for a less risky whole.

 Colin

You’re right, Mike – risky wholes are no good. What is good are the benefits of mitigating risk: keeping projects on time, within budget, and completed safely. Stick to The Three C’s of Risk Mitigation and stick it to construction risk.

Want to learn more? Get in touch with Mike and Colin by leaving your comments below. Thanks for following along as they take on industry issues together!
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