Open-access content 25th October 2010
BBC Workplace has achieved a single standardised approach to risk management by instigating an overarching structure to evaluate risk management across its estate.
Winner: BBC workplace
By David Arminas
28 October 2010
We The BBC had a well-established and robust approach to risk management in relation to its day-to-day activity and its core operations – maintaining broadcasting and providing content according to its government charter.
BBC Workplace identified that the methods by which it managed operational risk presented through the condition of the estate and its assets were varied and open to interpretation.
They were not neglected, but there was no single standardised approach to the management of risk. The approach to management of risk presented through the condition of its buildings was varied and parochial and provided no way of understanding the total level of risk at a single point in time.
There was a need to track business decisions in relation to investment and monitor residual risk within the estate.
The requirement for a consistent risk assessment methodology was identified by BBC Workplace following the completion of a significant statutory compliance programme in 2007.
The need for improving risk assessment and management was there. The business had around 700 projects on the go and 20 compliance activity strand briefs, as well a £30m capital spend.
In essence, there was a need to adopt “a business-as-usual” risk-based approach, to allow the BBC to operate its core business within its assets to meet legal requirements. The BBC needed an overarching risk management framework that would align with the BBC Corporate Enterprise System.
It should be able to assess and evaluate with consistency the operational risks associated with buildings, systems and property infrastructure across the estate and provide robust decision making for, and around, investment, risk retention and/or cost effective risk mitigations.
The business case mandate for improving risk management was clear. There were historical challenges with the statutory compliance programme. There was a need for strengthening the business in response to National Audit Office actions.
There was a recognised need to improve: consistency and quality of risk assessments; input to Magique, BBC’s corporate risk management system; quality of local site risk registers; quality of optioneering and justification on business cases and job approvals; demonstrate to the wider BBC an exemplar practice in risk management.
Phase 1 of the project involved research and consultancy to develop and pilot a prototype risk assessment methodology for BBC Workplace.
This involved an extensive consultancy by ARUP, followed by a Gateway Review – part of the government’s procurement review process – which resulted in scaling back and restructuring of the project.
However, it became evident the approach involved too much resource, in particular on the client side, and this would have delayed delivery due to business-as-usual commitments.
The scaled back approach used a far more concentrated team to look at this and to manage the roll out across the organisation.
The scaled-back project used an in-house team from the BBC Workplace and its service partners Balfour Beatty Workplace and Johnson Controls to develop a methodology and prototype software. This phase of the project finished in 2009, after several pilot assessments.
Phase 2 of the project began in April 2009. This phase evaluated existing software products and specified requirements for a permanent software solution for the BBC risk assessment methodology.
Key BBC Workplace and supply-chain staff were trained to carry out risk assessments and failure mode and effect analyses. A software solution was specified, a vendor was identified and a proof of concept solution was implemented.
Phase 3 was completed in conjunction with the software developer and provider Optima Diagnostics. It involved the development, testing and deployment of web-based risk assessment software, software roll-out to the service partners and specialists, user-guide development and training.
The project enjoyed many accomplishments. Among them were the establishment of a Risk Assessment Board, development of risk assessment methodology and software and the collaboration and joint training initiatives across multiple service partners. Also, a Workplace Site Risk Registers was developed.