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Thursday, December 11, 2014

Project Management for SMEs by 'Debo Ajayi - 3

Hello all,

How has your week been?

Yeah. Today we will wrap up the conversation about Risk, and how it can be managed to become a useful tool for business success.

Remember that we said that a Risk event is any event with a degree of uncertainty. As long as we do not know if, when or how something will happen, there exists a major challenge for SMEs.

Planning is a critical success factor and risk makes planning with any degree of accuracy difficult.

Positive ways to handle risks are

1. Share
2. Enhance
3. Exploit


To share is to look for ways to improve your odds on a Project. Ever heard of the phrase "divide and conquer?". That's the logic of share. We want to increase the opportunity for success by sharing. Sharing comes in different forms and modes. One of which is to split up the business into different sections and focus on small bits. 

Focus always increases the chance for success. Another dimension to sharing is to sell the same product twice, changing either the package, brand or target market. Many manufacturers engage in this. Many drinks are now sold both in glass bottles, plastic bottles and cans. This is a classic example of sharing. The chance to succeed greatly increases because the product has been split into segments (even though it is the same product)



Next approach is to Enhance. To enhance is to take a bigger risk. Say you want to launch a new product/ service and as always you do not know certainly the outcome, you enhance by releasing two products into the market. The opportunity to succeed increases nicely in this event.


To exploit is to "throw everything you have at an opportunity". To look for ways to do more. The past outbreak of EVD (popularly called Ebola) created the opportunity for the sales of hand sanitizers. Now that the epidemic is over (thank God) to exploit will be to start/continue selling sanitizer but to create an aggressive marketing plan and focus on institutional buyers like Hospitals, hotels and public buildings.

Risk can be a very interesting concept and those who can weight it properly and take informed decisions are usually way ahead of the pack.

'Debo Ajayi