Case History

Risk Management

Cross organization assessment of why working level critical business risks were not getting elevated to senior levels and the Board of Directors and generation of recommendations to significantly improve the related processes.

Challenge: Telecom provider had experienced a series of severe network outages over a short period of time. These outages spanned multiple services, technologies, and geographies, and significantly impacted their customers and public image.

Action: Although the telecom provider was taking steps to address the issues that led to the issues, the CFO was concerned that the company’s Risk Management processes had not captured the risk of network-wide outages as a possible consequence of their investment decisions. He engaged SkeensMcDonell to conduct a review of the company’s Risk Management activities for the period leading up to the outages to determine what risks were and were not understood, and why they weren’t better communicated.

Findings: SkeensMcDonell found that, while the possibility of network outage was understood by the teams responsible for network planning and engineering, there was no management process in place to ensure these risks were communicated to or acted on by the company’s senior executives or Board of Directors. The operational risk management activities of the line organizations did not flow up into the more strategic risk focus of the senior executives and Board. In addition, “Risk Management” was still a relatively immature practice in the company, with no formal training or tools to support it.

Results: The companies’ Corporate Risk Office worked with the CEO Leadership Team and Board of Directors to shift the Board’s Risk Management focus and create a much stronger linkage to the risks from each line of business. They also rolled out Risk Management training and tools across the company and defined and implemented 1st-Line and 2nd-Line Risk roles.

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