Too often major projects overrun and exceed their budget. Sound risk-based decision making is fundamental to maintaining the confidence of Defence Leaders, the Australian Government and the general public. With their Predict! suite of software solutions, risk management experts Risk Decisions are helping defence businesses to do just that: to deliver projects and programs on time and on budget.
In today’s climate of global uncertainty, confidence in Australian defence capability has never been more important. Supply chain crises, geopolitical instability, cyber security all pose a serious threat, on top of the already challenging technical complexity of delivering new equipment to our defence forces. It’s imperative we deliver our defence programs as promised, on-time and on-budget. Tackling the risks inherent in complex projects is fundamental to ensuring we have the necessary capability today and for the future.
Nowadays, the customer is increasingly risk aware. In 2017, a parliamentary review into major defence projects resulted in the recommendation that the Department of Defence should transition from the use of spreadsheet risk registers to tools with better control measures. The subsequent Risk Reform program energized the focus on managing risk and has cascaded to the defence supply chain.
If the defence industry has learnt anything, it’s that forward risk planning must underpin its project management operations and offer solutions for previously unimaginable scenarios.
Enter stage Risk Decisions
Risk Decisions develops modern risk management and analytics software, to help major projects evaluate their risk profile from concept through to delivery.
From individual project managers tracking costs and deliverables, through to senior executives dealing with supply chain crises, Risk Decisions’ Predict! software offers an integrated and holistic risk management platform to ensure that defence projects remain on time and on budget.
Val Jonas, Chief Executive Officer of Risk Decisions, explains that this not only supports product delivery, but also provides assurance that Defence and industry together can overcome unforeseen challenges.
“You’ve got to be prepared for whatever might hit you.’ Jonas said. “If you’re not prepared, you just spend a potentially catastrophic amount of time and resources on recovery actions.”
So how do businesses integrate risk planning into their operations?
Risk Decisions’ Predict! Suite
Risk Decisions’ Predict! provides a holistic software suite built to monitor and overcome program risk. Predict! offers a simple-to-use gateway for all internal stakeholders to update the risk status of their deliverables through the entire procurement lifecycle, from bid through delivery and sustainment.
Using in-built risk prediction modelling, Predict! tracks the evolution of the program, providing managers with confidence on the likelihood of achieving theirs milestones and objectives ahead of time and flagging likely shortfalls.
“At its core, Predict! looks at probabilities and consequences. It number crunches and presents to the user what might happen in future risk scenarios,” Jonas explained.
The integrated tools include Predict! Risk Visualiser, Predict! Risk Reporter, Predict! Risk Analyser, Predict! Connect and Predict! Risk Controller.
For senior management, the company has developed their tailored Predict! Risk Visualiser tool, providing leaders and executives with a snapshot of the company’s overall risk profile, visualising how business risks interrelate with one another and how these might impact on the company’s objectives. This visual analysis in turn streamlines the decision-making process for the company’s senior leaders.
Alongside this, individual programs are tracked via the Predict! Risk Analyser software which uses program data to predict the likelihood of whether the program will be on time and on budget. The software then assists project managers to identify avenues to overcome challenges and has already seen huge success across large international defence and infrastructure projects.
“In the lead up to the 2012 London Olympics, we worked with Australia’s LendLease who were contracted to build the athletes’ village,” Jonas explains.
“The 7/7 bombings happened the day after London was awarded the 2012 Olympics, and all of a sudden, everything changed. Terrorism became a massive problem, requiring a significant increase in security costs and driving up the overall price of the program.
“Just a few years later, the global credit crunch in 2008 then forced the company to deliver the project with less money. Between these two crises, the whole way of delivering the project changed.
“With the deadline of the Olympics on the horizon, LendLease could not afford to be delayed by even a month.
“Together, we reassessed the company’s risk analysis using Predict! Risk Analyser – shifting to a model of 100 per cent risk confidence. This ensured that minor project level risk had to be addressed with 100 per cent accuracy every month, so they would not result in larger delays or cost blowouts in the future.”
Implementation of the Visualiser and Analyser solutions are supported by Risk Decisions’ Predict! Risk Reporter, providing a customised risk reporting mechanism for users of the suite.
“Too many projects just log risks onto a spreadsheet and follow their own local procedures. This creates a challenge to real-time visibility, risk response and auditability,” Jonas continued.
“The Predict! suite of tools migrates project managers from a limited and siloed view to a company-wide system.”
Companies that want to go beyond standard risk reporting at the project level can benefit from the advantages of the Predict! platform by reporting via the Predict! Connect API in conjunction with third party business analytics tools such as Power BI.
Underpinning all of this is Risk Decisions’ Predict! Risk Controller, a database that houses all of the company’s risks, mitigation actions and decisions in one location, with a robust audit trail. The offering not only supports project delivery on time and on budget. Risk Decisions has found that proactively measuring and addressing risk enhances a business’ chances of winning competitive tenders.
Predict! provides businesses with a tangible audit trail of when they have identified and managed risk in prior programs, evidencing how they are well placed to optimise future programs and overcome unforeseen hurdles.
“Businesses and governments need to make firefighting a thing of the past. Proactive planning and risk management are looked upon favourably by the client and can form part of a company’s business winning strategy.
“Embedding Predict! into your bid right from the beginning can lead to more mature negotiations with the customer,” Jonas continued.
This isn’t conjecture. Risk Decisions has been working closely with the Australian defence market for nearly two decades. Having begun their Australian operations in 2005 on the Wedgetail project, they have since worked with BAE Systems, Raytheon, ASC, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, Hanwha Australia and QinetiQ.
So, what’s next for Risk Decisions?
Since the 2017 parliamentary review, Risk Decisions has looked toward supporting a stronger and more resilient defence industry by fostering collaboration in the risk market.
Following comprehensive market feedback, Risk Decisions are planning an option to enable companies to share select data with project partners. This will ensure a streamlined risk management, reporting and audit process between contractors and subcontractors.
Risk Decisions is also in the process of designing machine learning capabilities to be embedded within the Predict! Suite, using previous data including risk category, course of action and outcome to project solutions for users to streamline the decision-making process for project leads.
As global headwinds continue to throw unforeseen challenges to defence and industry, there’s never been a more important time to ensure that your business is ready to overcome risk.
“Risk Decisions APAC team based in Sydney, are working with existing and new Defence customers, supporting their successful delivery of projects and programs to the Commonwealth. Risk Decisions risk expertise in conjunction with their Predict! risk suite of software combine to provide increased resilience across the defence industry.
Val Jonas, Chief Executive Officer of Risk Decisions