How should an organization decide whether or not to accept a risk and launch if the risks cannot be quantified?

When risks cannot be quantified, we can use qualitative risk analysis to help us make decisions on whether risks can be accepted or not. Qualitative Risk Analysis is a measure of risk or asset value based on a ranking or separation into descriptive categories such as low, medium, high; not important, important, very important etc. […]
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Did it appear that the risk response method selected by NASA was dependent on the risk or on other factors?

It appears that risk response of NASA was not dependent on risk but on other factors like political pressure, monetary concerns, and poor management. Facing a highly constrained budget, NASA sacrificed the research and development necessary to produce a truly reliable and reusable shuttle. Secondly, they sacrificed on fuel by using solid rocket boosters instead […]
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What methods of risk response were used at NASA?

Risk, for NASA, is anything that has the capability to effect personal life, loss or damage of system, equipment or property. A risk response plan was not extensively used as risk and failure had always been documented as an inbuilt part of space exploration. Instead, NASA used a rather simplistic Safety (Risk) Classification System. A […]
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Who should have final say in deciding upon the appropriate response mechanism for a risk?

A collaborative discussion should occur between stakeholders and experts to decide upon the appropriate response for a risk, though, the final say should always come from senior management as they are ultimately responsible for the end results or consequences. It is a good idea to also specify a risk owner. Risks should be assigned to […]
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How does an organization decide what is or is not an acceptable risk?

Risk is the part of everything an organization does. Risky elements that are acceptable in one situation might be unacceptable in another situation. The term “acceptable risk”, or residual risk, describes the likelihood of an event whose probability of occurrence is small, whose consequences are so slight, or whose benefits (perceived or real) are so […]
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How does risk identification plan change from experimental to operational design?

Suppose that a risk identification plan had been established at the Beginning of the space program when the shuttle was still considered an experimental design. If the shuttle is now considered as an operational vehicle rather than as an experimental design, could that affect the way that risks were identified to the point where the […]
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How should one identify or classify the risks associated with pressure resulting from making promises that may be hard to keep?

In the challenger disaster case study, political factors added to the implementation of a weak design during the original approval process. Unattainable promises were made with respect to performance in order to keep the manned space flight program alive. NASA was under pressure to launch a predefined number of shuttles every year. NASA had a […]
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How should one identify or classify trade-off risks such as trading off safety for political acceptability?

Risks to the project from factors like political acceptance are external to the project and the project manager can not control them. For external risk measures, It is better to prefer risk measures that are robust with respect to modeling assumptions, and are based on data (could be a mixture of historical data and simulated […]
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How should one identify or classify the risks associated with using solid rocket boosters on manned spacecraft rather than the conventional liquid fuel boosters?

For overall risk assessment and risk management of the propulsion system, a comprehensive method for identifying potential failure modes and hazards associated with the system must be included. A specific, quantitative methodology for identifying and estimating the safety risks of the system must be implemented. A risk management process by which the safety risks can […]
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Should senior management or sponsors be informed about all risks identified or just the overall “aggregate” risk?

While the involvement of senior management is arguably critical to the success of any initiative, it is absolutely essential for risk management. The reason is simple – certain aspects of risk management run counter to human nature. Without a demonstrated commitment to the risk management process from the highest management of the organization or the […]
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How should problems with risk identification be resolved if there exist differences of opinion between the customer and the contractors?

Risk is largely subjective. If it wasn’t subjective, it would be possible to accurately identify the risk and account for its effect, or even take the appropriate measures for eliminating the risk. To successfully perform a risk assessment one needs to quantify the known risks. Not all risks are created equal. Risk quantification is the […]
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Does there appear to have been a structured process in place for risk identification at either NASA or Thiokol?

NASA and Thiokol are government bureaucracies working with ultra large scale technical systems within which rules, procedures, and routines rule all elements of organizational life. Based on the case study, It does not appear that either NASA or Thiokol had a structured process in place for risk identification even though the basic organizational elements for […]
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What is the difference between a risk and an anomaly? Who determines the difference?

A risk is a circumstance or factor that may have a negative impact on the operation or profitability of a given operation. A risk can be the result of internal conditions, as well as some external factors related to the operations. An anomaly is an uncontrollable event. Despite all planning and preparation, anomalies can still […]
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A project manager has just finished the risk response plan for a $387,000 engineering project. What should the project do next?

A project manager has just finished the risk response plan for a $387,000 engineering project. What should the project do next? 1. hold project risk reassessment 2. determine the project’s overall risk rating 3. begin to analyze the risks that show up in the project drawings 4. add work packages to the WBS Answer 4. […]
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During project execution a team member identifies a risk that has not been documented. What should be done?

During project execution a team member identifies a risk that has not been documented. What should be done? 1. analyze the risk 2. get further information on how the team member identified the risk 3. inform the customer about the risk and its potential impact 4. disregard the risk, because all risks were identified during […]
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