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The SharpCloud Blog

The SharpCloud team share their insights into visual roadmapping, dynamic presentations and the project planning process

Meet SharpCloud for Risk Pathfinder, David Shipp from Network Rail

"Getting senior leadership attention and enabling the organisation to understand and manage the risks of achieving our objectives; for me SharpCloud is priceless."

 - David Shipp, Enterprise Risk Manager, Network Rail

David Shipp

David talks about how SharpCloud is helping to improve the visualisation and communication of risk management across Network Rail.

What was the business problem that needed to be solved?

Our strategic risk information was held only in disparate Excel spreadsheets so it was very difficult to identify and draw relationships between causes, consequences and their controls, and improvement actions in a quick and easy to understand manner.

It was also very difficult to map and interpret where there were interdependencies and commonalities, and any effort to create a departmental or Executive Committee-level risk map was entirely manual and prone to human error.

Communication of all this information was difficult and time consuming, especially when executives and key decision makers across the business only require the crucial messages and high-level insight.

It was also hard to identify any gaps in our information or share and communicate this information with key stakeholders in a collaborative way.

Why have other tools not solved this problem?

Other tools in the market for our use case specialise very well in the quantitative side of risk management and risk modelling. Some also enable risks to be visualised very well using bowtie methodology but none of these tools enable clear and easy sharing and communication. Other tools also demanded formal training to all users, whether on the design side like me or a casual browser. 

How is SharpCloud solving the problem?

"SharpCloud helps us break the silo mentality and is customisable to different levels in the organisation. It’s versatility and broad appeal as a data visualisation platform opens more doors to improvement than risk management specialist tools do."

We are currently using SharpCloud as a common platform to store and visualise all our strategic risk information. We can clearly identify and emphasise key dependencies, drawing attention to the key discussion points. We are developing our maturity further by providing a means to visualise our key controls that appear in multiple risks and to provide vital assurance to those control owners around whole organisation deployment.

SharpCloud’s main strength for me is that it is NOT a risk management tool. It’s versatility and broad appeal as a data visualisation platform opens more doors to improvement than risk management specialist tools do. We have the ability to integrate;

  • assurance activities to inform control effectiveness,
  • change initiatives to the risks they are helping to mitigate
  • bespoke data from other processes within our large organisation, including outputs from cost and schedule risk models.

I have been able to create several value-adding views to help prioritise improvement based on the data collected, whether it is control effectiveness, severity of impact or volume of dependency on multiple-risks.

We swim in a sea of information daily and the key here is navigating through all the noise and distraction to what matters the most. 

Key differentiators of SharpCloud

It’s simplicity, versatility, integration with our current processes so it wasn’t disruptive, and easy to implement as an ‘add-on’. I am also able to use the underlying data to automate our reporting processes, saving time and improving process efficiency.

What are the benefits of using SharpCloud, to you personally, and to your organisation?

The ability to simplify complex messages and understand where complexity exists, enabling a holistic approach to risk management. It helps us break the silo mentality and is customisable to different levels in the organisation where appropriate.

In addition to our organisational use case, I also use SharpCloud for my own stakeholder management, to plan key events and to present strategies.

Quantifiable results 

Getting senior leadership attention and enabling the organisation to understand and manage the risks of achieving our objectives; for me its priceless.

 

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