“What If?” is better than “If Only”

If Only

How many times in your life have you said, “If only…”?

There are no guarantees in life or business but embedding a risk approach in your decision making can minimise failures. Isn’t it better to ask, “What if?” before launching a new product, new service, new market or new project, than to say “If only we had planned for that” after something goes wrong?

Include Risk Analysis in Strategic Planning

Strategic planning and operational planning should include adequate risk analysis to identify what could go wrong or what could stop you succeeding. Yet it doesn’t have to be as complex or complicated as many believe.

A simple review of previous Successes and Failures can reveal a lot about your current position and guide decision-making going forward. A SWOT analysis (strengths-weakness-opportunities-threats) not only learns from the past but also looks into the future.

Structured What If Technique

The Structured What If Technique (SWIFT) is another way to facilitate high level risk identification which can be applied at a system level or for the whole organisation.

Quality management systems require a risk-based approach to business decisions. Companies who conduct regular performance review and strategic planning activities are effectively doing just that. Are you sick of saying “If Only”? Maybe it’s time to be asking “What if?”