Guard Against Things Going Wrong

1. Learn from previous mistakes
Mistakes will happen. Murphy had it right when he said that if anything can go wrong it will. The worst mistake is to make the same mistake more than once. Learn to analyse what goes wrong, make notes on what to do and what not to do next time and make sure you get it right in future.

2. The basics of mistake minimisation
a) Think ahead. Planning is the key to minimising mistakes. Think ahead, anticipate all eventualities, and make contingency plans. This mightn’t make you mistake-free, but at least you’ll be prepared to handle any obstacles that arise.
b) Don’t be over-confident. Many managers are so certain that everything is OK that they make no attempt to foresee any problems or be prepared for the unexpected. You certainly need confidence – but don’t let it blind you or your staff.
c) Guard against carelessness. simple act of carelessness, often the result of over-confidence, pressure, or the belief that the task is easy, can destroy project and damage reputation. Check every fact and figure in every important report, letter, or memo – and get someone else to check also.
d) Don’t tolerate laziness. All companies have lazy people. few of them are lazy by nature. On the other hand, it might be your fault as manager. Your people may be seen as lazy because they have poor leadership, bad supervision or poorly-defined role. If you’ve done your job and one of your staff is lazy, then sink the boot.
e) Take stand against incompetence. It’s said in sporting circles, that dropped catches lose matches. dropped catch can be sign of poor skill development in the athlete and under-developed skills in the workplace can similarly lead to disaster. Minimise incompetency by taking steps to refine how you choose employees, how you monitor and improve performance and implement training that identifies staff weakness.
f) Be disciplined when delegating to others. poorly delegated job can have disastrous outcome, so ensure you always select the right person for the task. Brief well, train, hand over authority and monitor.

3. Create risk management plan
Since planning is management priority, risk management plan is valuable tool for reducing major mistakes. Corporate risk management applies common sense to identifying, evaluating, measuring and treating the broad range of risks confronting an organisation. The risk management process goes like this:
? identify and evaluate the risk
? control that risk
? finance the process
? delegate responsibilities
? measure the results or benefits.
A typical risk management plan includes:
1. An overview about the scope, objectives, evaluation and asset description.
2. Identifying and analysing the risk – what’s acceptable and not acceptable risk.
3. Risk-handling measures include:
? actions for reducing, and avoiding risks
? assign responsibilities
? have risk action timeline.
4. schedule for ongoing risk review.

Don’t forget what Murphy said…
If anything can go wrong, it will.
? Nothing is as easy as it first looks.
? If there’s possibility of several things going wrong, the one that will cause the most damage will be the one to go wrong.
? Left to themselves, things tend to go from bad to worse.
? Whenever you set out to do something, invariably something else will need to be done first.
? It’s impossible to make anything foolproof because fools are so ingenious.
? Anytime things appear to be going better, you will have overlooked something.
? If you do everything right, nobody will notice. If you do something wrong, everyone will notice.

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