Risk management is an essential part of any construction job, ensuring not only that people do not come to any harm, but also that a project achieves its goals, and the outcomes expected by all stakeholders, within appropriate financial boundaries.
To help improve and develop understanding of both the role, and the knowledge required, of a Risk Manager, we have collated a series of resources exploring the topic of risk management.
Please also check our list of 'risk management' recorded lectures which is updated regularly.
Risk Analysis and Management for Projects, London. This recorded lecture provides an overview of the 3rd edition of the Risk Analysis and Management for Projects (RAMP) handbook. This book gives a simple and straightforward process for evaluating and controlling risk in major projects, which has been developed by a joint working party of the actuarial and civil engineering professions.
Health and Safety Register and Construction Design Management 2015 webinar
Optimising the management and resilience of infrastructure: Lecture 1, London. This series will focus on challenges relating to how we manage and improve existing infrastructure to meet future demand and particular consideration will be given to the inter-operability.
Major Infrastructure Projects: Key Front-end Issues
This guidance is particularly for the viewpoint of the project sponsor and explains the need for dedicated and determined leadership, to create an inspiring vision of what the project will achieve and to carry its development through all the difficulties which may be encountered. The team involved in the development process must include a sufficiently wide range of skills, experience and imagination to be able to envisage all the future circumstances which may arise and how they can best be managed. It is critical to have sufficient resources of competent people to undertake the development process and explore all the issues thoroughly to achieve ultimate success.
ICE Legal Notes Series: Reviewing the work of another engineer and replacing another engineer. This note is to make an engineer contemplating such an appointment aware of the legal implications of reviewing and replacing another engineer.
A review of the use of complex systems applied to risk appetite and emerging risks in Enterprise Risk Management (ERM). This paper applies new thinking from complex systems to provide a practical useful method to define and use "Risk Appetite" and to identify and assess "Emerging Risks" (hard to define risks). The paper is focused on the financial services sector but the principles and much of the application are transferable.
Examination of the current literature demonstrates that, whilst the importance of the concept of risk appetite is accepted (particularly post financial collapse), there is little uniformity about how to define or apply it. Applications in different contexts are discussed, following which the authors propose their own definition and propose key guidelines for its application in an organisation.
Key features of emerging risk are also identified from a review of the literature. The concept of systemic risk is introduced. The paper goes on to provide an overview of systems thinking and explains how complex system techniques are particularly useful in defining and identifying risk appetite and emerging risk, which involve many layers of interconnected and interactive events, both quantitative and qualitative, business drivers, components and inputs.
Different complex systems techniques are compared, identifying which are most appropriate in different situations. The authors identify two methods to address real world risk appetite and emerging risk problems. Concept mapping and Bayesian networks are applied to risk appetite issues in an insurance company. For both methods, the reader can understand at high level how the systems are built up and how they can be used.
In the context of emerging risk, the authors identify and develop a phylogenetic approach (in which the evolution of risk is modelled similarly to standard biological evolution). The basic technical steps of building an "evolutionary tree" are outlined before it is applied to a case study (insurance company). Whilst this method is novel, the authors believe it promises a new way to conceive and think about risk in an enterprise risk management environment.
The techniques discussed are transferable to the infrastructure field which is a complex social, political, engineering and economic system. However, application of the techniques to an organisation would require an experienced practitioner.
Benefits of complex systems approach to Enterprise Risk Management (ERM). This introduces a 'systems' concept for looking at Enterprise Risk Management as a complex system. It covers methods and tools, and gives examples of their use. It introduces the connectivity matrix as a tool to spot early warning signals from complex adaptive systems.
Modelling complex risks with Bayesian Networks. This paper describes how to use Bayesian networks to assess individual risks methodically.
Operational risk: the focus for major infrastructure?. Allport RJ and Ward S. Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers, Management, Procurement and Law, 163, 211-127, August 2010. Thomas Telford Ltd.
This paper summarises findings from a scoping study into the importance of operational risk, the underlying risk drivers and the factors that influence its effective management.
Improving Decision-making for Major Urban Rail Projects. Allport RJ (2011a) Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers. Management, Procurement and Law. 164 2 61-70. May 2011. Thomas Telford Ltd.
Planning Major Projects Allport RJ (2011b) ISBN: 9780727741103 Thomas Telford Ltd. 2011
This book is a practical guide to developing resilient infrastructure and offers insight and guidance for planners seeking to deliver major projects on time, within budget and in line with operational goals.
Planning Major Projects advocates a new approach for planning based on the author's international experience of working on urban transport systems. It offers practical advice on how the role and practice of planning can be changed to provide optimal continuity and predictability over the course of a project.
Managing strategic risk – the worldwide experience of metros. Allport R.J. and Anderson RA (2011c). Management, Procurement and Law, volume 164, issue 4, pages 173-180, November 2011. Thomas Telford Ltd.
Intelligent Client Capability Framework - This 29-page framework document provides a guide to those working in a client capacity. It provides a structured means of self-assessment, to reflect on capability and identify areas for improvement and the incorporation of good practice.
Briefing: The Institution of Civil Engineers' intelligent client capability framework by Nancy Madter, MSc, , and Denise Bower in Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers - Management, Procurement and Law, Volume 168 Issue 1, February 2015, pp. 6-7. This journal briefing paper explains the context and use for the ICE Intelligent Client Capability Framework.
Outreach to other organisations
The Institute and Faculty of Actuaries and the Institution of Civil Engineers have jointly been looking into risk management in infrastructure for the past 20 years. More information on this, and the four key publications.
Bridging the divide. (From Institute and Faculty of Actuaries) In this article, Chris Lewin looks at the risk initiative between the actuarial and civil engineering professions.
A simple guide to controlling risk (SP154) (From CIRIA) This book gives you an introduction to how to do reduce and control risk, aimed specifically at smaller construction companies. The result should be to save money (or lose less!) and reduce the number of accidents, reduce or eliminate the likelihood of litigation.
Infrastructure cost review: main report. (December 2010) HMT- Infrastructure UK.
Improving infrastructure delivery: Project initiation routemap handbook. HMT (2014).
Managing risk & uncertainty in infrastructure projects: leading practice and improvement. (2013) Infrastructure Risk Group report.
Initiating successful projects (1 December 2011) National Audit Office.
Lessons from major rail infrastructure programmes (29 October 2014) National Audit Office.
Risk Management module of the Project Initiation Routemap (15 June 2016) UK Government and IPA– This 34-page document gives an overview of the key concepts in managing risk successfully in major projects & programmes. It gives a framework to help identify and address many common, recurring problems in infrastructure projects and programmes.
Client Best Practice Guide (2009) by Sue Kershaw and David Hutchison, Thomas Telford Ltd. This book gives definitive guidance to clients on the many ways in which they can positively influence the success of their projects - both during the planning, development and implementation stages, as well as during operation and final decommissioning.
Asian metro concessions
A Tale of Three Cities: Urban Rail Concessions in Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur and Manila (December 2004) Paper for East Asia and Pacific Infrastructure Review. World Bank, Halcrow.
The strategic case for HS2 (October 2013) Department for Transport.
HS2 Regional economic impacts (September 2013) Department for Transport, KPMG.
The Economics of High Speed 2 (25 March 2015) House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee, HMSO.
This paper is an instructive critique of the HS2 project conducted by the House of Lords Select Committee on Economic Affairs. The committee took evidence from a wide range of stakeholders covering the following topics:
- Cost of HS2
- Demand & Fares Modelling
- Alternatives to provide capacity
- Whether HS2 will stimulate economic growth
- Whether HS2 is the best way to stimulate economic growth in the North of England
- Estimating the benefits
The papers conclusions are critical of the process that was undertaken is assessing the viability of the project.
In respect of the cost the committee makes interesting comparisons of the cost of HS2 vs the French TGV, and raises concerns as to the significantly greater cost of HS2. The speed of the line is also discussed with suggestions to re-cost assuming a lower top speed which the committee didn't feel was likely to adversely impact the travel times.
The paper discusses who will benefit economically and proposes that the business travellers who will gain most benefits should bear more of the cost vs. the general taxpayer.
The paper is critical of the analysis into using HS2 to increase capacity, finding that there is insufficient or outdated rail usage information that has been used. The committee also concluded that much of the overcrowding cited was more due to commuter traffic than long distance intercity business travel.
The paper criticises the government for not considering a more diverse set of options as a way to increase capacity on the network. The paper also suggests that there could be better ways to spend £50bn to stimulate growth in the economy, but criticises the government for not considering these.
The committee highlights the need for investment outside London and points out that projects similar to HS2 have tended to disproportionately benefit the capital they link to. In terms of stimulated the north of England for example the paper highlights that improvement of East-West links in the North should have been better explored – and therefore whether the Northern legs of HS2 should be a higher priority.
The paper is well worth reading for the strong challenge it presents to the government's case and the range of stakeholder viewpoints that are cited if exploring the benefits of the project.
HK Express Rail Link
Report of the HK section of the Gaungzhou-Shenzhn-Hong Kong Express Rail Link – Independent Expert Panel (December 2014) Hong Kong Government, MTR.
What you should know about megaprojects and why: an overview (2014) Project Management Journal, Vol.45, No.2, 6-19, Flyvbjerg B.
The strategic management of large engineering projects: shaping institutions, risks and governance (2000) Miller, R. and Lessard, D.R. Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Megaprojects Executive Summary – Lessons for Decision-makers: An analysis of selected international large-scale transport infrastructure projects. (December 2012) OMEGA Centre, UCL-OMEGA Bartlett School of Planning.
Capital Programming (Government)
Office of Management and Budget (USA) Circular A-11 Appendices J. 'Principles of budgeting for capital asset acquisitions' and K 'Selected OMB guidance' also 'Supplement to Part 7 – Capital Programming Guide', 2015, USA Office of Management and Budget circular.
This USA government circular defines the structured process that government departments must follow to maintain funding. The subset that relates to obtaining budgeting for capital asset acquisitions, which includes infrastructure projects, is informative of the criteria applied in a mature regulatory administration that must be fulfilled in order to secure project funding.
Getting a Grip – How to Improve Major Project Execution and Control in Government, Lord Browne of Madingley, Cabinet Office, 26-Mar-2013
The paper reviews the government's worrying poor management of 185 major projects that include the building of roads, railways, defence equipment and information technology systems with a total cost £414 billion. It found; there is insufficient attention given prior to the initiation of projects to identifying options and risks; consistent failure to put in place project leaders with the right skills, experience and incentives; and inadequate scrutiny of the most complex and expensive projects at the centre of government. This paper describes the problems; identifies best practice in the private sector for dealing with them; and makes recommendations for strengthening the remit of the Major Projects Authority.
Infrastructure to 2030 (Volume 2): Mapping Policy for Electricity, Water and Transport
(ISBN:9789264031319, Pages: 506), Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development, 2007
Demand for infrastructure is set to continue to expand significantly in the decades ahead, driven by major factors of change such as global economic growth and technological progress. This book reviews the broad economic goals that infrastructure systems, and the projects that deliver them, serve. Five infrastructure sectors are addressed: electricity, water, rail freight, urban mass transit and road transport. Assessment is made of the challenges of; new sources of finance and the role of the private sector play, more efficient management of infrastructure systems, and the financial, organisational, institutional and regulatory arrangements (the "business models").
Capital Programming and Asset Management (Private Sector)
Project Management Best Practices Achieving Global Excellence, 3rd Edition, Harold R. Kerzner, ISBN: 978-1-118-65701-0, April 2014
Chapter 14 'Project Portfolio Management' provides guidance on the principles of establishing the framework used to initiate and evaluate potential projects, and approve projects for implementation. Portfolio management considers the projects' competition for scarce resources and the mechanisms used to select the projects that most optimally fulfil the organisations goals.
System 7: Active Asset Management framework, Macquarie Bank, Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets, Macquarie Bank, Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets
Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets manages US$104 billion portfolio of real estate, agriculture and energy infrastructure assets. This link opens an overview of the bank's asset management framework and provides access to related information on owning and operating infrastructure assets from the perspective of a commercial bank.
Project Finance, David Gardner and James Wright, HSBC Project Finance, 2010
This article authored by bankers from HSBC's Project Finance team, outlines what Project Finance is, the key features which distinguish it from other methods of financing, the motivations and circumstances for utilising it and the typical structuring considerations therein. Sections include; contractual structure for a project financing, stakeholder motivations for project financing, project process sequence, and project risks and mitigants.
ICE offers training on Temporary Works Supervisor Training Course to achieve a recognised standard of health and safety at work; and CDM 2015 training courses to understand the implications of the new CDM regulations that became law on April 6th 2015.
Delve Deeper - ICE Sources of Information
Journal: Proceedings of the ICE - Management, Procurement and Law covers all aspects of the management, procurement and legal aspects of running construction projects.
Journal: Infrastructure Asset Management covers the strategic management, organisation, planning, designing, acquisition, care, renewal and disposal of infrastructure assets.
Book: Urban risk assessments This book on urban risk assessment presents a way to assess disaster and climate risk in cities to improve decision-making, urban planning, and designing risk management programs.
Book: Practical Risk Management in the Construction Industry This book gives an overview of risk management procedures used commercially, the risks that might arise particularly in construction and, with practical examples, how to manage those risks.
Book: Engineering Construction Risks - A Guide to Project Risk Analysis and Risk Management This book provides detailed appraisal of risk management, analyses, applications, techniques and suggests contract strategies to deal with risk.
Book: Risk Analysis and Management for Projects (RAMP), 3rd edition This book gives a well-established framework for analysing and managing the risks involved in projects, large or small, with an emphasis on the strategic and financial aspects of a project's success.
This third edition of this well-established framework for analysing and managing the risks involved in projects was published in June 2014. This practical working guide will assist planners, engineers, accountants, actuaries, lawyers, project managers, public administrators and anyone else who is involved with a project's success. With an emphasis on the strategic and financial aspects, RAMP's systematic approach helps to ensure that risks are effectively identified, analysed and controlled, and that newly emerging risks can be spotted while there is still time to do something about them. To find out more about the book, and to buy it, go to the ICE Virtual Library bookshop.
Book: Appraisal, Risk and Uncertainty This book offers one of the first integrated approaches to these three topics based on the views of experts:
- Projects need to achieve strategic goals and must work in different levels of uncertainty.
- Engineers must know how to operate in ambiguous situations.
- Project promoters, project managers and consultants should understand the formative stages of each project and the risk and value decisions that have to be made.
Book: Risk Assessment: Questions and Answers
Book: Strategic Risk: A Guide for Directors This guide compiled by the DTI, the Institution of Civil Engineers and the Actuarial Profession, presents how to manage strategic risk, STRATrisk, and an explanation of how to apply the approach.
Book: Engineering Judgement and Risk This book explores the nature of professional judgement and how it is used in planning, design and management. The planning, design and production of engineering are examined and improvements suggested for safety, reliability and the social fit of engineering.
Book: Practical Guide to Using the CDM Regulations 2015: Teamwork not Paperwork Practical Guide to Using the CDM Regulations 2015: Teamwork not Paperwork anlayses the common misunderstandings of CDM 2015 and provides clear examples of how the regulations can be applied to real-life cases.
Methodology: PRINCE 2
PRINCE2 (an acronym for PRojects IN Controlled Environments) is a process-based methodology for effective project management with greater control of resources. It contains a number of processes to follow on projects.
To learn the whole process there are a series of courses you can do to become trained and accredited in this. The PRINCE2 method is in the public domain, and offers non-proprietorial, system-agnostic best practice guidance on project management.