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Derek Wright: risk v uncertainty case study

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APM Risk SIG conference 24th October 2013

APM Risk SIG conference 24th October 2013

Published in Business , Technology
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  • 1. Risk, Uncertainty and the Unknown -a case study: Technology Acquisition for a Data link inside a CT scanner
  • 2. Derek Wright CEng MIET APMP MAPM Project Manger - Chemring Technology Solutions Member of the APM Risk SIG Committee • Worked as a Project Manager in Chemring Technology Solutions, a R&D company, for 9 years • Chemring Technology Solutions operates at the leading edge of technology often breaking new ground, so the PMs working there regularly run Projects of high uncertainty and risk • Particularly specialises in Product Development; pulling technology research through to a capability delivery • Part of the group within Chemring Technology Solutions that promotes Risk Management best practice • Member of the APM Risk SIG Committee • Helped prepare the Risk Management section of the APM BoK 6th Edition 2
  • 3. Introduction • Consider Risk and Uncertainty Definitions • Background on CT Scanners • Background on Data Link Project • Project Risks • Different Categories of Risk and how they were managed • Review of Risk and Uncertainty • Questions and discussion 3
  • 4. Risk and Uncertainty Definitions There are known knowns; there are things we know that we know. There are known unknowns; that is to say, there are things that we now know we don't know. But there are also unknown unknowns – there are things we do not know we don't know. Donald Rumsfeld, US Secretary for Defence 4
  • 5. Risk and Uncertainty Definitions A Risk event is an uncertain event or set of circumstances that, should it occur, will have an effect on achievement of one or more of the project’s objective. APM – Project Risk Analysis and Management Guide 5
  • 6. Background on CT Scanners • X-Ray Computed Tomography (CT) Scan or Computed Axial Tomography (CAT) Scan • Medical Imaging • Uses Digital Geometry Processing to construct a 3d image of the body from X-Ray slices. • Use of CT scans has dramatically increased in the last two decades with 100’s million scans being done worldwide each year. 6
  • 7. Background on Data Link Project • Customer was a producer of CT Scanners amongst other high end medical equipment. • They had developed the next generation of X-ray equipment to allow fast imaging and better resolution. • They now had a bottle-neck in the data transport from the moving to the stationary part, the technology used had reached its limit. • So they need to develop the component to do the power transfer to the moving part and the data transfer from the moving part. • We were asked to develop the Data Transfer technology. The old scheme had topped out at 1Gbit/s, the next system needed 4Gbit/s and a roadmap to 10Gbit/s and 40Gbit/s was desired. • This was our first major project in the medical electronics domain! 7
  • 8. Project Risks • Threats • The proposed system may have too higher error rate in the presence of the harsh EMC environment of the CT scanner. • There is only one company in the UK capable of making the PCB. • The IP landscape of CT Scanners is very complex; there is a risk that we will infringe some one else's patent or avoid a patent we don’t need to. • We have no experience of integrating a technology into a CT Scanner, we don’t know how long it will take. • Opportunities • If the technology goes beyond current generation and is scalable to higher data rates then we enable the generations beyond of CT Scanners. 8
  • 9. The proposed system may have too higher error rate in the presence of the harsh EMC environment of the CT scanner. • Threat • Unknown • Risk closed when live test conducted – all Power supplies and X-Ray equipment on, system rotating and Error rate test conducted over data link. • Strategy – closing the uncertainty gap • Measurement of EMC environment • Simulation of design in modelled EMC environment • Early testing of Prototypes using interfering sources • Early testing of installed system using interfering sources • Testing of installed system all on but not rotating. 9
  • 10. There is only one company in the UK capable of making the PCB. • Threat • Probability Risk – Company goes out of business, gets overloaded, doesn’t want to work with us, gives poor service. • Project Risk closed once all deliveries are made of the PCB. • Strategy – Mitigation & Contingency • Establish good working relationship at all levels with the PCB company. • Make sure they are aware of the overall project and on-going opportunities for production volume. • Identify and open discussions with none UK companies who could also do this work. 10
  • 11. The IP landscape of CT Scanners is very complex; there is a risk that we will infringe some one else's patent or avoid a patent we don’t need to. • Threat • Unknown • Risk will never be completely closed • Strategy – closing the uncertainty gap and transfer • Conduct IP/Patent searches ourselves. • Consult with Customer’s (domain aware) IP/Patent dept. • ….to improve our collective understanding of the IP landscape • Document and hand-off to the customer 11
  • 12. We have no experience of integrating a technology into a CT Scanner, we don’t know how long it will take. • Threat • Unknown / estimating risk • Closed once the data link technology has been integrated to the CT Scanner. • Strategy – closing the uncertainty gap, risk provision • Break down the task and estimate what we can • Hold workshop with customer experts to understand tasks we are not able to estimate. • Build up risk provision (time & budget) based on task as it is understood at bid • Monitor and update as more info becomes available during project. 12
  • 13. If the technology goes beyond current generation and is scalable to higher data rates then we enable the generations beyond of CT Scanners. • Opportunity • Unknown • Risk closed once technology implemented and installed running at higher rates. (not done during project) • Strategy – closing the uncertainty gap and transfer • Investigate what changes would be required to reach higher data rates • Model behaviour of system and changes at higher data rates • Prototype higher rate system • Document proposal and challenges and transfer to customer at project closure 13
  • 14. Review of Risk and Uncertainty • Uncertainty and unknowns are a key factor of Risk • Managing Uncertainty is part of Risk Management • Sometimes the uncertainty is itself the risk – understanding this is key • Risk can be managed by closing the uncertainty gap …... …..…and the art is to do this as quickly as possible 14