Archive for March, 2012


Risk Analysis Evaluating and managing the risks that you face Almost everything we do in today’s business world involves a risk of some kind: customer habits change, new competitors appear, factors outside your control could delay your project. But formal risk analysis and risk management can help you to assess these risks and decide what actions to take to minimize disruptions to your plans. They will also help you to decide whether the strategies you could use to control risk are cost-effective. How to Use the Tool: Here we define risk as ‘the perceived extent of possible loss’. Different people will have different views of the impact of a particular risk – what may be a small risk for one person may destroy the livelihood of someone else. One way of putting figures to risk is to calculate a value for it as: risk = probability of event x cost of event Doing this allows you to compare risks objectively. We use this approach formally in decision making with Decision Trees To carry out a risk analysis, follow these steps: 1. Identify Threats: The first stage of a risk analysis is to identify threats facing you. Threats may be:

  • Human – from individuals or organizations, illness, death, etc.
  • Operational – from disruption to supplies and operations, loss of access to essential assets, failures in distribution, etc.
  • Reputational – from loss of business partner or employee confidence, or damage to reputation in the market.
  • Procedural – from failures of accountability, internal systems and controls, organization, fraud, etc.
  • Project – risks of cost over-runs, jobs taking too long, of insufficient product or service quality, etc.
  • Financial – from business failure, stock market, interest rates, unemployment, etc.
  • Technical – from advances in technology, technical failure, etc.
  • Natural – threats from weather, natural disaster, accident, disease, etc.
  • Political – from changes in tax regimes, public opinion, government policy, foreign influence, etc.
  • Others

This analysis of threat is important because it is so easy to overlook important threats. One way of trying to capture them all is to use a number of different approaches:

  • Firstly, run through a list such as the one above, to see if any apply.
  • Secondly, think through the systems, organizations or structures you operate, and analyze risks to any part of those.
  • See if you can see any vulnerabilities within these systems or structures.
  • Ask other people, who might have different perspectives.

2. Estimate Risk: Once you have identified the threats you face, the next step is to work out the likelihood of the threat being realized and to assess its impact. One approach to this is to make your best estimate of the probability of the event occurring, and to multiply this by the amount it will cost you to set things right if it happens. This gives you a value for the risk. 3. Manage Risk: Once you have worked out the value of risks you face, you can start to look at ways of managing them. When you are doing this, it is important to choose cost effective approaches – in most cases, there is no point in spending more to eliminating a risk than the cost of the event if it occurs. Often, it may be better to accept the risk than to use excessive resources to eliminate it. Risk may be managed in a number of ways:

  • By using existing assets: Here existing resources can be used to counter risk. This may involve improvements to existing methods and systems, changes in responsibilities, improvements to accountability and internal controls, etc.
  • By contingency planning: You may decide to accept a risk, but choose to develop a plan to minimize its effects if it happens. A good contingency plan will allow you to take action immediately, with the minimum of project control if you find yourself in a crisis management situation. Contingency plans also form a key part of Business Continuity Planning (BCP) or Business Continuity management (BCM).
  • By investing in new resources: Your risk analysis should give you the basis for deciding whether to bring in additional resources to counter the risk. This can also include insuring the risk: Here you pay someone else to carry part of the risk – this is particularly important where the risk is so great as to threaten your or your organization’s solvency.

4. Review: Once you have carried out a risk analysis and management exercise, it may be worth carrying out regular reviews. These might involve formal reviews of the risk analysis, or may involve testing systems and plans appropriately. Key Points: Risk analysis allows you to examine the risks that you or your organization face. It is based on a structured approach to thinking through threats, followed by an evaluation of the probability and cost of events occurring. Risk analysis forms the basis for risk management and crisis prevention. Here the emphasis is on cost effectiveness. Risk management involves adapting the use of existing resources, contingency planning and good use of new resources.


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*A guy has been suffering from constipation for the past 20 years and recently from acid reflux. He didn’t realize that the treatmentcould be so simple — OKRA! (or Lady’s Finger). He started eating okra within the last 2 months and since then have never taken medication again. All he did was consume 6 pieces of OKRA everyday.

He’s now regular and his blood sugar has dropped from 135 to 98, with his cholesterol and acid reflux also under control. Here are some facts on okra (from the research of Ms. Sylvia Zook, PH.D nutrition), University of Illinois. *

*”Okra is a powerhouse of valuable nutrients, nearly half of which is soluble fiber in the form of gums and pectins. Soluble fiber helps to lower serum cholesterol, reducing the risk of heart disease.

The other half is insoluble fiber which helps to keep the intestinal tract healthy, decreasing the risk of some forms of cancer, especially colo-rectal cancer. *

*Nearly 10% of the recommended levels of vitamin B6 and folic acid is also present in a half cup of cooked okra. Okra is a rich source of many nutrients, including fiber, vitamin B6 and folic acid.

He got the following numbers from the University of Illinois Extension Okra Page Please check there for more details.

Okra Nutrition (half-cup cooked okra) *

Calories = 25 *

Dietary Fiber = 2 grams *

Protein = 1.5 grams *

Carbohydrates = 5.8 grams *

Vitamin A = 460 IU *

Vitamin C = 13 mg *

Folic acid = 36.5 micrograms *

Calcium = 50 mg *

Iron = 0.4 mg *

Potassium = 256 mg *

Magnesium = 46 mg *

*These numbers should be used as a guideline only, and if you are on a medically-restricted diet please consult your physician and/or dietician.

Ms Sylvia W. Zook, Ph.D. (nutritionist) has very kindly provided the following thought-provoking comments on the many benefits of this versatile vegetable.

They are well worth reading

1. The superior fiber found in okra helps to stabilize blood sugar as it curbs the rate at which sugar is absorbed from the intestinal tract.

2. Okra’s mucilage not only binds cholesterol but bile acid carrying toxins dumped into it by the filtering liver. But it doesn’t stop there… * * 3. Many alternative health practitioners believe all diseases begin in the colon. The okra fiber, absorbing water and ensuring bulk in stools, helps prevent constipation . Fiber in general is helpful for this but okra is one of the best, along with ground flax seed and psyllium. Unlike harsh wheat bran, which can irritate or injure the intestinal tract, okra’s mucilage soothes , and okra facilitates elimination more comfortably by its slippery characteristic many people abhor.

In other words, this incredibly valuable vegetable not only binds excess cholesterol and toxins (in bile acids) which cause numerous health problems, if not evacuated, but also assures their easy passage from the body. The veggie is completely non-toxic, non-habit forming (except for the many who greatly enjoy eating it), has no adverse side effects, is full of nutrients, and is economically within reach of most.

4. Further contributing to the health of the intestinal tract, okra fiber(as well as flax and psyllium) has no equal among fibers for feeding the good bacteria (probiotics).

5. To retain most of okra’s nutrients and self-digesting enzymes, it should be cooked as little as possible, e.g. with low heat or lightly steamed. Some eat it raw.

Some important benefits of consuming okra: *

*Stabilises blood sugar level. Lowers serum cholesterol level. Prevents constipation. Keeps intestinal tract healthy. Feeds good bacteria residing in us all. *

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