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Risk Management Team =/= Project Team

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We learned this week that often times the people who make up the risk management team are also on the project team. When/why would this not be ideal?

Posted : 19/11/2022 2:42 pm
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Hypothetically, if you have a project team who is really pushing to get their product on the market or are pressured by deadlines in industry, having them also be the risk management team can be non-ideal as there can be conflicts of interest. The project team may take shortcuts or incorrectly categorize risks during their risk assessments in order to further push their product to market sooner. Having another team handle the risk management will keep the project team accountable and ensure that the product is safe and of high quality before going to market.

Posted : 20/11/2022 1:31 pm
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Posted by: @mmodi

We learned this week that often times the people who make up the risk management team are also on the project team. When/why would this not be ideal?

This can affect both teams positively or negatively, but there are different scenarios. For example, if the risk management team is having a hard time with their work, it would be great for the project team to help them. However, if the project team is also having a hard time, it would not be ideal for them to work together since it can cause an interruption to both assignments at hand. However, suppose they work together and help each other out systematically. In that case, it can be an excellent idea for them to work together since it will allow more people to figure out solutions for each other. Leading to faster work being accomplished and more views toward each problem. 


Posted : 20/11/2022 2:09 pm
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I would agree with @njq3 on the potential conflict of interest by sharing personnel with the project team, especially if the project team is incentivized for completion of the project. I think the hardest component of this conflict of interest to overcome would be in the subjective realm of risk severity and risk probability. When between 2 categories, it can be hard to be conservative with the probability of an occurrence. To me, not including the perspective of end users and manufacturing may be the largest liability. Their experience with working with the manufacturing and use of similar products typically elucidates risks unknown to the rest of the group, and generally have first hand experience with the problem and how often it occurs.

Posted : 20/11/2022 2:59 pm
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In a perfect world, this would not be an issue. However, the personal convictions and motivations of the risk management team can affect the validity of their results. In order to keep the risk management team as unbiased as possible, it is best to bring them in from another division or even company. As much as we all like to pretend we are extremely professional and unwavering in our convictions in engineering; it is highly likely that a team of risk managers who are also developing a device will have a risk management style less centered in reality. This is not to say that such an arrangement is impossible, just that strong oversight might be necessary in those scenarios.

Posted : 20/11/2022 3:07 pm
Posts: 38
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Conflict of interest is the main factor as to why it wouldn't be ideal to have people who make up the risk management team also be on the project team. While having a member of the project team would provide valuable insight on the inner workings of the product and how it is manufactured which could help in the determinations of potential risk that could occur while the product is in use, the potential for bias is very high. A person who is also part of the project team would likely view the product that they worked hard on to be of the utmost quality and also would want it to reach to market as soon as possible. However, an outside person who is not part of the project team would have a completely unbiased opinion of the product and would be able to properly categorize the different potential risks and determine potential risk levels. 

In my opinion, I think the ideal risk management team would consist mainly of individuals who are not part of the project team but also have at least one (maybe more depending on the scale of the project) member from the project team. This would allow for the risk management team to be mainly unbiased when evaluating the product in question, but also allow the project team to give input and insight into the product in question. Their insight would help the risk management to better understand the product and hence better categorize the risks and risk levels. 

Posted : 20/11/2022 8:22 pm
Posts: 45
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As mentioned by my peers, conflict of interest would most certainly be the biggest issue with the risk management team being made up of members of the project team. If its a company that lacks morals, perhaps something like Theranos, then members who are under pressure to release the product under any circumstance may cut some corners. And, as mentioned above by a peer, if there is an overwhelming amount of work to be done, then the risk management or design tasks may be completed improperly as the necessary resources would not have been devoted to them. Ideally, I think that risk management should be made up of people outside of the design team. This would remove potentially overwhelming responsibilities from the project team and would ideally also be more unbiased.

Posted : 20/11/2022 9:15 pm