Saturday, May 30, 2020

Risk management: hierarchy v. mesh

Almost anyone who's been around projects for a few years has experienced hierarchy: it's like a pyramid, with one person at the apex and a number of layers spreading out below, interconnected, for the most part, top-down.

On the other hand, another structure is like a mesh, wired for the most part peer-to-peer, and mostly flat -- few hierarchical titles and few top-down controls, and lots of spread.

And now comes risk management:
  • If you need to understand everything coming at you .... go mesh
  • If you need to allocate scarcity ... go hierarchial
  • If you need reaction speed ... go mesh
  • If you need a coordinated response with maximum efficiency .... go hierarchial
  • If you need to be anti-fragile and immune to risk failures ... go mesh
  • If you need a lot of redundant efforts on risk containment (looking for something that will work) ... go mesh
  • If you need a consistent relationship with outsiders ... go hierarchial
  • If you can't afford to depend on one person or team ... go mesh
Got it? Are we clear?

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