An initial literature study on the various aspects pertaining to the compilation of a scientifically programmed strategic plan was undertaken. Applying proposed methods described in literature, a thorough internal investigation was conducted in close collaboration with Bankorp's senior and middle management. These interviews resulted in the identification of internal strengths and weaknesses of the Risk Management Division, as well as the perceived external threats and opportunities. Interviews were conducted in an informal, conversational manner, although uniform structured questions were posed to those questioned. The questionnaire consisted predominantly of qualitative questions of which the minority yielded categorical responses.
The compilation of a strategic plan for Risk Management Division of Bankorp.
Subsequent to the most recent rationalisation in the Bankorp group, a decision was taken to create a Risk Management Division with the following objectives from the CEO:
- To establish a risk management awareness in the Group and to act as facilitator in the establishing of this approach;
- to act as watchdog and early warning system;
- to provide the management committee of Bankorp with an unbiased opinion regarding the strategic direction of the Group and the implementation of strategy by management;
As the external environment of the Risk Management Division consists of the task environments of the other divisions within the Group, there is no suggestion of an environmental or competitor analysis in the true sense of the word.
Organisational objectives are sub divided into the establishment and defining of the division's business, ethos objectives and mission statement. Strategic objectives include elements of a limited number of scenario's, threats of certain risks materialising, opportunities within the division, key success factors and the establishing of long and short term objectives.
Alternative strategies were proposed to facilitate the required risk management approach, together with contra-arguments:
- Each division could leave the management of its own risks to the Risk Management division, but line managers must at all times remain the owners of the risk while Risk Management division only aids the other divisions in the facilitation of the risk management approach;
- The services of an external party could be contracted to facilitate the required approach; however uncertainty exists regarding the cost-effectiveness of such a step.
In addition, an internal facilitator is more fully conversant with the situation within the Group than an external consultant; and
- Each division could act as its own facilitator, however such an approach incurs the risk that information relayed to the Board of Directors could be in an unstructured and non-uniform format. Because of the fact that risks are preferably left where they originated, action plans of the Risk Management Division are directed at assisting the other divisions in handling risks in the most effective manner, and monitoring the systems and procedures implemented to minimise these risks. The following action plans are suggested:
- Assistance in the formal identification of risks by examining operational activities;
- Assistance in the formal documentation of risks by attaching an indicator to each activity, displaying the impact that this activity might have on the risks inherent in a division. The type of impact could be categorised as:
(C) medium or
- Support in the determining of circumstances that might increase or decrease risk;
- The facilitation process also entails support and assistance in :
a) formulating an assessment of whether the management processes currently applied are sufficient, or require improvement; and
b) the draughting of risk summaries stating how critical certain risks might be at that moment;
- Assistance in the formulating of a risk decision that would entail the categorising risks as:
a) risks that are acceptable;
b) risks that are accepted but are disseminated;
c) risks that are acceptable only if managed by formal policy; and
d) risks that under no circumstances may be accepted.
- Risk Management division also supports the other divisions in the draughting of annual risk management plans that precede each annual strategic planning session.
- Finally a comprehensive human resources plan has to be implemented to manage the high-level manpower that is present in this division.||