Responsive Infrastructure for COVID-19 Risks

Risk managers are at the forefront of dealing with the economic impacts of the pandemic. Businesses are looking for risk management infrastructures that are reactive and responsive enough to quickly mitigate and contain and issues as they are discovered and created.

Any business that wants to foster a responsive risk management infrastructure will need to ensure that it has the right strategy, people, leadership, and tools to face the turbulent and precarious financial and operational risks being created due to the pandemic. Here are some steps businesses can take to move towards a more responsive approach to risk management.

Create a cross-functional Covid-19 response team

The pandemic has resulted in disruptions across all the different corporate domains and sectors of the economy. This means that this is not a risk which needs to be dealt with by a specific department or person within the organization – the whole organization will need to collaborate to mitigate risks and issues related to the pandemic. The smartest thing management can do in these times is to create a cross-functional team dedicated to managing the organization’s response to the pandemic.

This team needs to be cross-functional to ensure that every department is on the same page. The team should meet every day to discuss the latest risks and the latest strategies being used across the organization. Meeting daily is important because we are getting new updates about the spread of the pandemic and its effect on different industries every day.

There are two major advantages to creating a cross-functional team. The first advantage is that since the team will contain members from each department of the organization, the response being developed will address issues across the organization. The second advantage is that the team members can act as pioneers within their own department, helping implement the strategies devised and guiding the people from their department about best practices for mitigating risks.

The dedicated team will be able to coordinate and collaborate easily while the rest of the organization works hard to ensure that the business is operational and fulfilling its commitments to partners, vendors, and customers. The executive board of the organization can attend the meetings of this team or ask for reports to be submitted to them after every meeting to stay abreast of the issues affecting the organization.

Task management dashboards

The extent of the pandemic means that businesses will have to mitigate multiple risks at the same time. This means that there will be many different risk mitigation activities and incidents on-going across different departments at the same time. Each department’s manager needs to have visibility into the risk mitigation activities and their progress within their department and the executive board needs to have visibility into each department’s risk mitigation activities.

This step will look different for organizations depending on the risk technology available within the organization. Some businesses already have task and incident management solutions, some do not, and others can implement a task and incident management solution for the pandemic.

For organizations with a risk issues and task management solution implemented

Organizations that already have a risk management solution implemented will simply need to add a risk category for Covid-19 and create a dashboard within the solution which shows all Covid-19 related risks, incidents, and activities across the organization. Most risk management solutions allow businesses to customize dashboards. If you are not sure how to set up a dashboard, we recommend getting in touch with the provider of your risk management solution.

For organizations without a risk management solution implemented

Businesses and banks which are still managing risks manually can also create a dashboard for risk issues and activities, but it will not be as efficient as the dashboards in risk management solutions. The biggest disadvantage is that the dashboard will have to be manually created in a spreadsheet and this spreadsheet will have to be manually updated. Someone from the dedicated Covid-19 response team can be given the responsibility to update the spreadsheet every day.

There will, however, always be a risk that the person maintaining the spreadsheet can make a mistake resulting in misinformation being spread across the organization. It is thus better that every department keeps a close eye on the data in the spreadsheet to ensure its accuracy.

For organizations willing to implement a risk and incident management solution

Businesses can also quickly implement a task and risk management solution that helps them assess risk and manage mitigation activities across the organization. There are many different solutions available in the market. 360factors is offering a free Pandemic Issues and Incidents Management Collaboration System which can be used by banks and financial institutions in the country until August 31 for free. The solution can be implemented in just a few hours and requires no purchasing commitments or payments.

Creating a dedicated team and then creating a dashboard which shows pandemic risk data and activities results in paradigm shift in the risk management approach of the organization. This approach makes the risks easier to understand for the whole organization and transparently lays out the progress of all risk management activities across the organization.

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