Risk Management Pays off


The capacity of the critical power systems in the primary data centre of a major bank had to be increased significantly while maintaining 100% uptime 24h per day, every day of the year.


Minimize the risk of interruptions in the critical power systems during the execution of the project by means of an active risk management strategy.

Risk Management Strategy Graphic

Risk management involves a systematic process of:

  1. Identifying the risks a project faces by evaluating a project’s features, approach, environment, etc.
  2. Evaluating the identified sources of risk and the risks themselves to decide which to accept and which to plan for
  3. Development of mitigation plans, monitoring plans and contingency plans for those risks identified as requiring planning
  4. Monitoring the identified risks and taking corrective action to mitigate the risks that materialize.  Continue to repeat and update this risk management process on a regular basis.

Risk management was a key part of the overall management of this project.  The risk management process was initialized during the conceptual design stage.  It was actively continued throughout the life of the project by means of regular risk management meetings and follow-up on activities assigned at the meetings.

The risk management meetings and responsibility for development of risk management plans included the end-user departments, facility operations and maintenance, design team, contractors and other stakeholders.

The list of risks tracked and planned for changed as the project progressed through the stages of design, procurement, contracting, construction, commissioning and hand-over.  The number or issues monitored at one time peaked at 65.

A number of potentially disastrous events were successfully avoided as a result of the mitigation plans that were developed.  For example, during one change-over from an old to a new power service, a new transfer switch failed and when a spare transfer switch, which the owner’s maintenance team had available for such an occurrence was installed, it failed as well.  Fortunately, the potential of this happening had been identified by the risk management process and second spare transfer switch had been procured and was available to be used.

The project was successfully completed, providing the additional critical power capacity when needed and without any unanticipated interruption of the data centre’s critical power systems.