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This video features Penny Pullan (co-author of A Short Guide to Facilitating risk Management). Below is a transcript. This was shot on location at the PMI EMEA Congress, Dublin.
Elizabeth: I’m here today with Penny Pullan, who is the coauthor of “A Short Guide to Facilitating risk Management”. Hello Penny, thank you for being here.
Penny Pullan: It’s okay! It’s great to see you.
Elizabeth: Tell us about the book.
Penny: I co-authored the book with Ruth Murray Webster, who is an expert on risk. She’s an expert on risk attitudes and the human side. When she met me, she was impressed by my facilitation work, particularly around risk workshops, and her experience with working virtually. She realized that these two areas would fill a huge gap in the current world of risk. How do you get people to take on risks and how can you get them to accept the risk in their own area?
There are many organisations that have spent a lot of money on risk management, including teams of risk specialists. Then they discover that none of this has actually worked. It might not have worked or it may have been a waste of money. How can you make risk management work when there are these crises?
Elizabeth: How did you discover what advice people needed?
Penny: We spent almost a year talking with individuals and going to different organizations to run different sessions. I did that with APM, the IIBA, and other groups of people who work with risk. We asked: “What are your concerns with risk management and getting it to work?”
One chapter of the book actually covers sixty different issues that were brought up. Most of them came up many times and we have suggestions for each one.
Elizabeth: What was it like to write?
Penny: It was easy to come up with the idea. It took me very little time. We divided the chapters. Some are from Ruth, others are mine. So I tend to choose the ones that deal with facilitation. What is facilitation? How do you do it? I had everything planned out. I love mind-maps! That’s it! I had everything planned out, I love mind-maps! Now, I needed to make it a written chapter.
I think I underestimated it a bit – you have a big grin.
Elizabeth: I was there.
Penny: You’ll be glad to know! I’m not as naive as I used to be before I did this.
Some chapters were sent to revision 22. Ruth and I worked together so each revision was when it went the other author. It was quite nice to be held accountable. Then it would come back to me, having gone around another layer.
It has definitely improved after going through all the different revisions.
Elizabeth: Your book has illustrations. This is a unique feature.
Penny: They’re fantastic.
Elizabeth: They are great illustrations. Was it fun working with graphics?
Penny: We worked with Vanessa Randall so they’re not mine which is a good thing. Vanessa is a great graphic recorder. Although this is her first book illustration, I suspect she will continue to do so.
Elizabeth: Could you please explain what a graphic recorder does?
Penny: She will assist people at conferences. She was a part of the International Project Management Day, which she attended a few years back. She gathered all the ideas from the conference and created them on a large piece of paper.
It was a change for her to take pictures for a book, but I think they really add to the story.