Do A SMART Assessment
The Maricopa County Community College District Governing Board adopted Administrative Regulation 4.16 on February 27, 2007. This administrative regulation states (in part) that:
“. . .It is the responsibility of every employee to identify, assess, and manage risks and opportunities individually, throughout our organization, and to collaboratively strive for continuous quality improvement and the efficient and effective use of our resources.. .”
The risk management process can be summarized into four simple steps:
- Identify risks (risk assessment)
- Develop alternatives: Trade-offs of risk costs versus opportunities
- Design controls to mitigate risk
- Monitor risks and make adjustments to the plan as necessary to meet changing conditions
Risk assessment is the initial step (and maybe the most important step) in the risk management process, and may also be the most difficult and prone to error.
Risk identification/assessment refers to the assessment of risks and opportunities affecting the achievement of the organization’s goals and objectives.
Each new project, program or process should be assessed for risk by the project initiator based on an understanding of the project, program, or process and the perception of risk as described. This risk assessment process depends on a thorough understanding of the details of the project, program, or process as well as a thorough understanding of the details of the organization’s business process and political context. Since the project initiator may not be familiar with all of the risks of the project, program, or process, it is highly recommended that subject matter experts from other departments also participate in the risk assessment.
Risk is difficult to observe or measure directly, so “risk factors” are used that are either observable or measurable characteristics of conditions at risks. The Maricopa Integrated Risk Assessment (MIRA) project committee has created a risk assessment tool to assist in measuring and ranking projects according to their perceived risks. The name of this tool is SMART (Strategic Maricopa Assessment Risk Tool), and can be accessed at:
The steps in the SMART analysis are:
- Review MCCCD’s Vision, Mission, & Values Statements.
- List your department’s objectives.
- List the opportunities of the proposed activity or program.
- List the risks that can prevent you from achieving your department’s objectives for the proposed activity or program.
- Using a Risk Map, assess the probability and impact of each risk.
- Answer the following questions for each of your five highest risks:
a. What are we doing now to prevent this risk or reduce its impact?
b. Is what we are doing effective in preventing this risk or reducing its impact to a level we consider acceptable?
c. What else should we do to prevent this risk or reduce its impact to a level we consider appropriate?
d. Who else do we need to work or consult with to prevent this risk or reduce its impact to an acceptable level?
- Do we move forward with this activity or program?
If you would like more information regarding the SMART analysis, or would like assistance in completing a SMART analysis, please contact the District Risk Manager at (480) 731-8879.
in the Spring 2008 Edition of In Brief