White Box risk management

White Box is a very practical way of carrying out risk assessments, and using them to help manage the risk to a project. It builds on generally accepted best-practice in industry for project risk management.

Many projects use schedule and cost risk assessment and analysis, but to have value it needs to be have the support of the project team. Project team members are busy and focused, especially at the key stages of the project when the risk analysis seems to be required, and they tend to view the risk assessment as a time-consuming activity whose output is impossible to understand, and therefore not meaningful. It is difficult to persuade the team to contribute meaningfully - therefore the assessment does have little meaning.

With White Box risk management, the team can clearly see the effect of the risk assessments they make - they can see the logical consequences of the probabilities, delays and costs they have chosen to represent the risk to the project.

White Box includes:

  • A process for assessing risk to a project.
  • Documentation that describes the risk assessment and its conclusions and recommendations.
  • Clear probabilistic analysis of the project schedule and cost, which shows the overall risk, its causes, and where it manifests the most.
  • An overall risk management process, that starts very early in the project and continues throughout the project's life, and which is informed by ongoing risk assessment and analysis.

Like any risk management process, White Box can only reflect the truth of what has been said, but it does at least allow the team to be sure that it does represent what they have said.

How is White Box risk management different?

White Box encourages collaboration between the team members, either in a risk workshop or outside of it over the internet (or intranet).

White Box allows team members to easily understand how their risk assessments are being used, and how they are affecting the overall results that drive management's decisions and targets.

White Box uses whatever level of detail the team can give, in order to give a meaningful assessment even if it is deliberately high-level and quick. The assessment can be refined as the project continues, at times when the team have better information or more time to put to rationalising what they know.

White Box makes the quantitative assessments very easy and clear, and provides instant feedback on the assessments made. It tracks how the assessments change, as more risk is discovered, or risk is mitigated or avoided, or as the project progresses and more information is known. The team can see that the assessment reflects what they have said about the project, and can stand behind it as a representation of their current beliefs, at any given stage.

White Box uses innovative probabilistic analysis techniques which quicky and clearly show the logical consequences of the risk assessment, for the overall project as well as at any level in the project breakdown.

White Box has been developed by Simon White over a 20-year career as a project risk management and analysis consultant, and has been very well received by a number of projects and customers.

How can I use White Box on my project?

We provide our risk management service using White Box, and in early 2016 White Box will be available as a service that you can use on the internet or your intranet.

To tell us about your project so that we can make a proposal for you, or to be added to our occasional mailing list, please contact us.