Saturday, 20 December 2014

Apocalypse Hal: More risks

Another risk matrix because, you know, there is going to be a lot of risks in the zombie apocalypse. 

Now this matrix is all fancy and impresses people. It combines the likelihood of the risk with the impact of the risk.

Let imagine a typical scenario where you are hiding out in a zombie infested city. Every time you go scavenging for food you are always extra careful and pick areas with few zombies. The chances of getting surprised by a rogue zombie is unlikely and because there are only a few zombies about, you would probably escape with just lots of pain. So there is a low risk that you may get some minor injuries. 

The reward for scavenging is food, something important and highly valuable, especially if there is a chance of finding some Tim Tams. You make the judgement that the unlikely, chance of receiving lots of pain is worth the effort of searching for canned dog food and the occasional Tim Tam.

But lets say things change and a horde of zombies started to migrate into your area, then the risk of injury by zombies increases. With some careful observation you estimate that the chance of encountering zombies has increased from unlikely to highly likely. Furthermore with so many zombies staggering around you will have to fight off several zombies if attacked. This raises the impact from lots of pain to massive trauma

Now it is very likely that you will get cornered by a pack of zombies and get hit with some massive trauma. You make the judgement call and decide to stop scavenging, even for the Adriano Zumbo Salted Carmel Tim Tams. 

So you can see how the likelihood of the risk happening and the impact of that risk are important. There may be situations where the likelihood is very low but the impact is fatal. Or alternatively you could be guaranteed that the risk will happen but the impact may be very minor. You also need to consider whether the reward for taking the risk is worth it. 

For most of us this it is all a subconscious decision we make on the fly. However it is better to sit down with a clear head and really analyse the risks and impacts and use the risk matrix to guide your decision. 

A risk matrix means you will be make better decisions based on facts and not swayed by a hankering for chocolate biscuits. I keep a copy in my wallet just in case.You can also adapt this matrix for other risks too, like overeating at Christmas.

Bite off more tinned dog food than you can chew.

Mr Rimsky

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