The objective of this paper is to define and analyse what risks management was carried out during the London Olympic Games, aspects of risk management such as how risks were identified, the type of risk analysis that was carried out, the risk responses opted in order to minimise threats, and how risks were monitored and controlled will be analysed further. After obtaining this information, a comparison with other Olympic Games will be analysed in order to learn what they did right, wrong, and how they managed risks. The comparison will be made to support recommendations on how The London Olympic games could have managed risks more effectively.
The Olympic Games are one of the biggest sporting events where many Athletes from many disciplines and from all around the world gather together and try to be recognised as the best athlete in their discipline. The Olympic Games started in 1894 and the first Olympic Games were inaugurated in Athens 1986.
Recently, the Olympic Games have become a mega international sporting event, increasing the interest on cities wanting to host the event. Leaders also see this opportunity to improve economic and social aspects through the investment made by hosting The Olympic Games in their cities, as professional such as planners, engineers, architects from the host city become a vital aspect in the construction of the Olympic facilities. This helps to improve the economy in the area by offering and creating new jobs, and increasing the tourism in the region. However, the past two decades there has been discussion on the socio-economic impact that the Olympic Games leave to the host city (International Olympic Committee (IOC), 2013).
The 2012 Olympic Games were hosted in London and they were centred on the Olympic Park in east London. During the time when the games took place it is known that each day there were around 180,000 spectators from all around the work who came to watch The Olympic Games. The London Olympics had a total workforce of 200,000 people from whom 6,000 were staff, 70,000 volunteers and 100,000 contractors (International Olympic Committee (IOC), 2013).
Risk management is used in a project in order to identify potential risks that can somehow affect its objectives. Risks can occur at any time and at any stage during the project, and they may be associated with a particular task, person or it can also be from an element outside the project. Any risks that occur at a very late stage in the project are more likely to have a bigger impact than those that occur at the beginning, because valuable work that has already been done can be loss or damage. Risk management is also important in large projects as it can help to minimised the impact of a risk or totally avoid it, it also can determined what are the actions to take in order to reduce the impact of a particular risk (Lock, 2007, p.99).
1. Plan Risk Management
In Plan risk process, the main objective is to define how to carry out all risk management activities. This process is very important as of it depends the success of the other five processes, thus it has to be a carful and precise planning. “Planning risk management is important to ensure that the degree, type, and visibility of risk management are commensurate with both the risk and the importance of the project of the organisation” (Project Management Institute, 2008).
Inputs.- There are many inputs which can be used at this stage such as looking at the project scope statement, cost, communications and schedule management plans.
Tools.- In order to carry out a plan on how risk management processes will be conducted, there has to be plan meetings and analysis. The project manager and the project teams have to attend these meetings, as from these meetings risk management activities will be defined during these meeting.
Outputs.- A risk management plan can be obtained from the meetings and analysis, including the methodology, roles and responsibilities, budgeting, time and risk categories.
2. Identify Risks
The process of identifying risks consists on determining risks that are likely to happen in a project that could affect the objectives of it. During this process, the characteristics of risks have to be determined and documented; there are many people involved such as the project manager, stakeholders, the project team and experts from outside the project team who are trying to identify potential risks (Lock, 2007).
Inputs.- There are many resources that can be used in order to identify risks. For instance, cost, risk and schedule management plans can be used to identify risks in these areas.
Tools.- There are also many techniques or tools to be used while identifying risks. The project team can review documents, do interviews, a root cause analysis or brainstorm to try to identify potential risks.
Outputs.- the outcomes of this process is a risk register which contains a list of all identified risks.
3. Perform qualitative Risk Analysis
During this process risks are analysed and prioritised depending on the level of impact that it may cause to the objective of the project. The people involved in this process will assess and analyse the probability of occurrence and impact of a determined risk, and identify high-priority risks (Project Management Institute, 2008).
Inputs.- The information required for this process can be found in documents from previous processes such as the risk register or risk management plan.
Tools.- once the information is identified, assessments such as risk probability, risk data quality or risk urgency can be carried out. Ishikawa fishbone Diagram can be used during this process in to identify the many reasons why a risk can happen.
Outputs.- the results of this process can directly update the risk register by stating the ranking and the priority of a risk, or group risks by categories and determine which areas need more attention than others.
4. Perform quantitative Risk Analysis
By performing a risk quantitative analysis, risks will be numerically analysed and will be assigned a numerical rating according with their effect that they may cause to the overall objective of the project (Project Management Institute, 2008).
Inputs.- People involved in this process will be looking at the risk register and the risk, cost, and schedule management plans.
Tools.- In this process historical data from past projects or other sources will be analysed, and goes through modelling and simulation to have a visual representation of the data. The help of an expert will be needed in order to define inputs, identify potential threats and evaluate their probability.
Outputs.- the output of this process will help to update the risk register with any new information.
5. Plan Risk Responses
In this process people involved will identify and create options and actions which will make risks become opportunities or reduce their impact on the objectives of the project. “Plan risk responses must be appropriate to the significance of the risk, cost effective in meeting the challenge, realistic within the project context, agreed upon be all parties involved, and owned by a responsible person” (Project Management Institute, 2008).
Inputs.- People involved in this process will strictly use the risk register and the risk management plan.
Tools.- Many times the team project could use the help of an expert from outside the team, or used strategies for negative risks or threats such as avoiding the risk, transferring it, accepting the risk or mitigating the risk.
Outputs.- Once this process ends the risk register should be very detailed containing updates on priority ranking a planning responses. Other project management plans and documentations should also be updated (Project Management Institute, 2008).
6. Monitor and Control Risks
During the process of monitor and control all the risks responses are implemented, and identified risks begin to be tracked and monitor risks that have been discarded.
Inputs.- The risk register, project management plans and performance reports will be used to monitor and control risks.
Tools.- A risks assessment can be carried out in order to evaluate current risks, risk audits are also carried out which examines and documents whether risks responses are effective.
Outputs.- The outcomes from the risks assessments and risks audits will be included to the risk register, as well as the effectiveness of the risks responses which can be used for future projects.
During the London Olympics, many stakeholders such as the government, The London organizing committee (LOCOG) and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) had the responsibility to manage the different Olympic risks associated with infrastructure, operations and security, along with environmental hazards (Jennings, 2009).
The London organizing committee (LOCOG), the government and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) spent many years thinking of potential risks that the London Olympics could face (Jennings, 2012). However, many of these risks did not occur due to the emergency situations responses and contingency plans that were put implemented.
For instance, this is the list of organisations and their responsibilities as stakeholders. These organisations had a wide range of responsibilities from risk assessment to contingency responses.
• National Risk Register (Cabinet Office)
• Audit and management of programme risk (Olympic Board, GOE)
• Risk registers and risk logs (GOE, ODA, Olympic Security Directorate )
• Audit (ODA)
• Hedging instruments (LOCOG) and insurance (LOCOG, IOC)
• Counter-intelligence, risk assessments (Home Office, Metropolitan Police)
The Olympic Safety and security strategy was delivered by the OSD together with other partners on behalf of the government. Their outcome was the Olympic Safety and Security Strategic Risk Assessment (OSSSRA); it identified relevant aspects of safety and security which can occur during the hosting of the Olympic Games (OSSSRA, 2011).
OSSSRA considered 5 areas which represent a threat to the safety and security during the Olympic Games. These areas were terrorism, serious and organised crime, domestic extremism, public disorder, and major incidents including natural disasters. OSSSRA also looked at the potential types of attacks under each respective area (OSSSRA, 2011).
OSSSRA used up-to-date intelligence assessments for each one of the threats, this assessments were used to develop a comprehensive picture for the potential risks that may occur during the Games. Experts from the government and other agencies also contributed to the identification and probability of potential risks. And reasonable worst case scenarios were agreed as their probability could be ranked in the next stage (OSSSRA, 2011).
Risk probability and impact assessment
The next stage was the assessment of the risks that were considered a worst case scenario. The assessment consisted on the impact that they may cause to the overall objectives of the project, experts also assessed these risks on their probability. The probability of natural disasters was assessed by looking at scientific data, and events that could also affect the probability of a risk to happen were also assessed. The likelihood of a terrorism attract was assessed by balancing the willingness of terrorist groups against their capacity (OSSSRA, 2011).
Risk quantitative Analysis
The government had to decide which risks were more likely to happen and their impact towards the Olympic Games, in order to start planning for a potential response. In this process risks were assessed against the same criteria and they were compared to find which risks represent a greater impact. Therefor a risk matrix was drew which allowed to compare each risk (OSSSRA, 2011).
Plan Risk Response
The OSD used Strategic Design Requirements which are statements of requirement that can help to mitigate or prevent a risk. “Then OSD created commissions with partner agencies which will identify tactical and operational requirements needed to be put in place to meet the requirements of the SDRs” (OSSSRA, 2011).
Monitor and Controlling
At this stage, the OSD makes sure that the duplication of effort and resource expenditure is avoided, as well as identifying any gaps on security and safety by conducting a Risk Reduction Assessment (RRAt) (OSSSRA, 2011).
BBC News, 2006. 7 July Bombings. Available at: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/shared/spl/hi/uk/05/london_blasts/what_happened/html/ .
International Olympic Committee (IOC), 2013. London 2012. Available at: http://www.olympic.org/Documents/Reports/EN/en_report_668.pdf .
Jennings, W., 2008. Files. Available at: http://www.gamesmonitor.org.uk/files/Jennings_2008_OlympicRisk.pdf .
Jennings, W., 2009. London 2012 – a risk-based Olympics. Magazine of the ESRC Centre for Analysis of Risk and Regulation, (18), pp.14-16. Available at: http://www.lse.ac.uk/researchAndExpertise/units/CARR/pdf/RiskRegulation18Winter2009.pdf.
Jennings, W., 2012. Harvard Business Review. Available at: http://blogs.hbr.org/2012/08/the-olympics-as-a-story-of-ris/ .
Jennings, W., 2012. The average cost overrun for producing the Olympics Games has been more than 200% since 1976. British Politics and Policy Blog, pp.3-5.
Lock, D., 2007. Project Management. 9th ed. Hampshire: Gower Publishing Limited.
ODA, 2011. documents: pdfs. Available at: http://learninglegacy.independent.gov.uk/documents/pdfs/programme-organisation-and-project-management/112-managing-risk-popm.pdf .
OSSSRA, 2011. goverment: uploads. Home Office (2) Available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/97982/osssra-summary.pdf .
Project Management Institute, 2008. A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge. 4th ed. Newton Square, Pa.
Rosenberg, J., 2014. About.com. Available at: http://history1900s.about.com/od/famouscrimesscandals/p/munichmassacre.htm .