Risky Business

February 21, 2018


Ahead of his talk at the upcoming Big 5 Heavy in Dubai, Ramadurai Venkat, co-founder of C Cubed Consultants, explains why managing risk is vital to ensure the successful outcome of a project.

How do you define a mega project?

undefinedSimple domestic dwellings are considered to be straightforward in terms of predictability and so less risky. When we say mega project it is usually complex, involving substantial ground works, a large work force, longer duration, design challenges, etc. Any infrastructure project, or airport, or hospital or even theme parks and Expo pavilions could be considered to be in the mega project category. It is the complexity and value that would decide the "mega project".

Give us a brief summary of your talk at The Big 5 Heavy

Construction is a risk prone industry due to several stakeholders being involved, often with conflicting interests. Besides the fact that the entire asset is being produced in an open environment (unlike the manufacturing industry where the products are manufactured and assembled in a controlled environment) there are climatic factors, ground conditions and general factors affecting labour that could impact the progress and profit of the project. So it is essential for a prudent contractor and owner to factor in those risks and manage them from inception to completion for the successful outcome of the project.

Can you explain what a Risk Register is?

Fundamentally, risk has two dimensions. One is probability; In other words, the chance of any risk materialising is either unlikely or almost certain or anywhere in between these two extremes. The other dimension is impact due to the risk happening. The impact could be minor or substantial. As an example, if you are a contractor, working on a major contract without a signed contract agreement is highly risky. But progressing works for a week without an officially stamped and approved shop drawing could be considered a minor risk.

The risk register captures these two dimensions and based on the severity and probability the risks will be classified as “Very High to Very low". With such a risk register the Project Manager will be able to concentrate on critical risks and mitigate, manage them. A Risk Register is a live document to be prepared for every project by each stakeholder and to be monitored until successful completion.

Who might benefit most by attending your talk?

Contractors, subcontractors and suppliers will mostly benefit from my short talk. Even owners will understand the benefits of risk allocation and they will appreciate that passing all the risks to the contractor is not a prudent idea since there is cost to pay for passing a risk. Examples will be given based on live projects. In a nutshell, any professional in the construction industry will have something to benefit from my presentation.

Ramadurai Venkat will give a talk on Managing Risk in Mega Projects at The Big 5 Heavy on 27 March 2018 – THEATRE A – ZA’ABEEL HALL 6, 16:30 - 17:15 at Dubai World Trade Centre


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