A Strategic Approach to Risk

The Low-Risk Practice

First, think about becoming a Low-Risk Practice.

Second, stop thinking about risk from your perspective, and start thinking about it from your client’s perspective.

The client perspective on risk

The great majority of clients, in my experience, want 5 things in commissioning a project:

  • Functional outcomes; results “fit for purpose”
  • Quality, particularly in terms of low maintenance, minimal “ageing”, and retention of value
  • Timeliness of delivery, at all milestones
  • Lowest capital cost to achieve the above three
  • No risk; certainty of performance of the above four

These outcomes are not the stuff of winning design awards. Occasionally, some clients want “signature” or “landmark” projects, and will even pay a bit more to get them. For that, they will go to “starchitects”.

Some clients also have an earth conscience, and will expect a premium in ecological performance as long as the delivery premium is not too high.

“What clients want” could easily become a small book, but I will stop there.

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