Introduction to the RiskWiki
This wiki is sponsored by Bishop Phillips Consulting (http://www.bishopphillips.com/) for the education, use and enjoyment of our clients, educators, the public and professionals involved in management consulting and risk advisory, compliance, internal audit, insurance claims management, safety, governance and risk analysis industries. It provides reference articles on management, risk and risk related functions including: Risk Management, Internal Audit, Governance, Compliance, and Process Reengineering, etc.
The RiskWiki is based on the articles, methods, manuals and papers of primarily three firms: Bishop Phillips Consulting P/L, Stanton Consulting Partners and Bishop Finance P/L. These firms are contributing a large body of work amassed over many years experience with hundreds of clients. The project to convert and upload much of our BPC software help & manuals, extended body of consulting, risk and internal audit methods and models, and education and research materials is a large and time consuming project so the RiskWiki content changes frequently and will do so for the foreseeable future.
With the exception of all software documentation, and those additional documents marked otherwise, all written material on this site may be used freely by readers for any purpose including reproduction, subject only to the retention of moral rights by the authors. Some articles may include images for which additional permission may be reuired prior to reproduction. Software documentation may be duplicated in hard-copy for internal use by registered users of the systems with current maintenance agreements. Other uses of software systems documentation will be considered on written request.
Things to See in The RiskWiki
Bishop Phillips supplies the BPC RiskManagement suite of governance software that provides a complete governance solution across risk management, controls management, compliance management, insurance management, claims management, incident & hazard management, audit risk management, governance document management and survey generation and management. The system can be installed in configurations ranging from single-user to very large scale enterprise configurations.
- Are you looking for BPC RiskManager Documentation or to learn more about the software?
The system is particularly suited to managing and reporting on the risk and compliance management tasks of government agencies, whole of government, special project, not-for-profits, insurance providers, service industries, utilities, and tertiary education sectors. You will find an extensive body of information covering technical, administration and user level tasks here.
If you have questions they may be answered in our frequently asked questions.
|Frequently asked Questions About BPC RiskManger
Immediate. If you have a windows 2003 (or higher) server set up with IIS 6 (or higher) and MS SQL Server 2000/2005/2008 and the administration passwords necessary for install on those environments (local machine administrator password and the SQL server SA password), you can download the software from our website, install and be live inside two hours (we can do it in 15-30 minutes).
If you are installing on a single user, or network server with either a local database server or a remote database server, the installation and upgrade is fully automated and will take about 15 minutes. Separate client components have their own managed installers and can be run separately on the target machines (even from a central network share). Client installation to application launch takes around 3 minutes.
Never the less we like to talk you through what is happening and any decisions points where you could enable non standard set-ups that might be more suited to your needs, and introduce you to the significan number of hidden tools and features that are provided against the time they are needed. One of the most important of these are the security setting - which are defaulted off in a fresh install so that the initial user can be automatically created during the first client connection.
To get this support, just send us an email the day before to confirm an install time and we will call you and talk you through the installation over the phone.Read More..
Chart Symbols and Their Meanings
Process Charting Design Rules
Introduction - Key Concept
The full process charting model forms a language for accurately describing processes and other object relationships. The language can be represented either diagrammatically or descriptively (textually). A chart drawn according to the charting method describes a network of unstructured interacting objects (processes, people, etc) and the data output states of this network as it consumes data through its inputs.
The charting method goes beyond a standard process flowchart in that its symbol grammar is sufficiently consistent and structured as to enable the translation of the chart to a text description. The text description takes the form of a program that in turn could be executed directly or translated / re-coded into a standard application programming language as an executable application.
This ability to reliably define a program simply by documenting a real world process according to the design rules below allows an automated modelling testbed to be constructed from the chart, and then stress tested with different data loads, or different error types, or checked for deadlocks, bottle knecks or compared against alternate process designs, etc. Such testing and anlysis can be done either manually or via automation.
There are a number of different symbols and descriptive encoding rules, but in essence many of thesee enhancements are for diagramtic efficiency. The core of the charting system revolves around one meta (undrawn) symbol - data - a few drawn symbols. The full model merely expands on these to provide a richer descriptive set, and more analytic detail with fewer individual diagramatic elements being required to represent the idea than otherwise.
All symbols are one of three classes:
- Objects - Things that originate, transform, store or consume data
- Events - Both consumers and orginators of event data. Events may receive and/or generate an excite or inhibit signal.
- Connectors - Lines joining events and objects through which data flows
The importance of Data
The life blood of the process diagram (or description) is "data". It is data that flows through the connectors to join event or object to event or object. Data is created when an event fires, or a data orgination object manufactures or otherwsie supplies data. Data is stored in data stores and transformed in processes. Data is discarded in data sinks.
Data is inherently transient and never drawn as a symbol, although it is documented. When data is stationary it is held in a data store. A document with writing on it is therefore a data store - not the data itself. Likewise a database record is a data store, not the data itself.
Data is virtual and can take many forms. It may be a piece of information a human would understand or an electronic blib with a voltage value to excite or inhibit the recipient proportionately.
Data is infinitely divisable, imutable and transformable.
Like energy, data can neither be created or destroyed across the entire universe of processes, but within the context of any subset of processes less than the infinite set of all possible processes, data can be orginated and discarded.
When data is held in a data store it transforms the data store in some way. In a paper document datastore, it results in a blank sheet displaying written or image data. In a manufactured item "data store" it results in the transformation of petro chemicals and metals into a consumer item like a lamp shade or a car.
The Class of Objects
All objects are recursive and containers.
All objects or events are connected by lines called connectors.
The key chart comes with a number of design usage rules that are perhaps a little unusual and therefore should be considered carefully:
- All symbols are either events, objects or connectors ( lines or arrows).
- All objects are (except events) are recursive - meaning that they can include nested members of the same type as the parent (as well as other types), a constrained subset of the child objects or, in some cases, unrestrained subsets. In computational terms a recursive function is one that invokes itself, while this form of pure recursion of objects is rare in process maps, it is legal within the charting rules.
- All objects are potentially containers of other objects and, therefore, all objects are notionally sets of one or more objects. (Object encapsulation)
- Objects contained within a parent inherit the in and out flows (connectors) of the parent - or rather they inherit the right to use the flows. (Object inheritance)
- All objects and/or events are connected by lines called connectors, or by being recursively embedded in a parent object - which then becomes a container for that object.
- Data flows through the connecting lines into the objects where it is stored, and/or transformed and/or distributed. Data is ethereal and moves from one place to another transforming and being transformed by the vessels in which it is store. A document, for example, is therefore considered to be a data store - not the data itself. A manufactured item, is also a data store, containing the end result of multiple processes each transforming the storage vessel. This is the key concept that enables this process charting method to transcend both service and manufacturing process modelling domains.
- The arrows connecting objects are data-flows - referring to the movement of information, not explicitly the media on which the information is stored at the time.
- Connecting Arrows can take a number of annotations, including:
- identification of the data stream (or data streams)
- a filter condition for access
- selector bars
- optional (conditional) flags
- authorisation signature lock
- global type flags (like E for error flows) and/or
- weight and fuzzyfiers (mainly used for neural and bayesian process modelling)
- Objects are scriptable
- All objects (and ideally, but not mandated - connectors) have unique identifiers.
- All objects can be contained in multiple container objects simultaneously - but each occurrence of object is globally unique - and therefore has the same definition everywhere where it appears.
- All objects can be containers and as such may be "drilled through" to their content
- A process object may be a "map" (tranformational or distributive) or a "controller" (quality governor).
- A process fires or executes when all required inflows have data present (asynchronous).
- Events impose a block on some or all functions of the connected object until the event fires.
- All processes are assumed to operate concurrently when data is present on their incoming connectors, or an event fires, unless also constrained by other events blocking the object's functions. Events may thus operate as a clock, or trigger and as a governor or inhibitor.
- The data-flow method is capable of modelling both excitatory networks and inhibitory process networks.
- Everything, that is not a connector or event, is an object of one type or another - including the organisation itself.
There is an implied object as container hierarchy (although not in any way mandatory):
- Entities can contain processes and all other objects
- Processes can contain processes and all other objects
- Data-stores can contain data-store objects
This hierarchy is very much a rough rule of thumb, for there are many cases where a data-store will be modelled with containing processes and data-stores - such as where the data-store is intelligent. Entities like organisations or people are, however better seen as external to the process unless they are containers of the process, as they will always have some processes that are not modelled in any given chart and therefore are potentially unreliable.
Entities and Entity Groups
Notionally, every process, can have a controlling entity (particularly where a person is actually doing the process itself). In the charting method, processes are not "owned" by people (although this is how one tends to conceptualise them), so much as controlled by them. In its pure form the process chart would show "process owners" as controlling entities connecting to their processes and thus, like events, constraining their execution unless present and active. To avoid diagrammatic clutter, where a process is controlled by a single entity (or single entity group), that entity (or entity group) can be identified in the process "owner-controller" property in the process description.
An entity group might be a typing pool, call centre staff pool, a community, etc. Each member of the entity group is inter-changeable for each other member with respect to the process concerned. Individual entities within the entity group may have other filters, conditions and constraints that subsequently exclude them from actually controlling the process. An entity group may be a sub-group of another entity group such as C-level executives in a company entity, or administration staff in a stakeholder community.
With the exception of community entities (which are effectively both an entity and an entity group), all entities and entity groups are presented using the same symbol. This is consistent with the central assumptions about entities with respect to the view of the process flows presented in a chart.
Bundled with the BPC RiskManager suite and also supplied in both hosted and installed forms, the BPC SurveyManager software solution is an outstandingly versatile interactive web page generation engine using a survey model as the design and data storage paradigm. While being outstanding at survey creation and management the software is powerful enough to build build conventional data-input web pages. The full technical and SM language programming documentation is available from here.
- Are you looking for BPC SurveyManager Documentation or to learn more about the software?
Research into Virtual Worlds in Business & Education
Through our Virtual Worlds research group - "Waisman Learning Systems", we do extensive work in the development of virtual learning and business spaces in SecondLife, and undertake considerable formal research into the application of Virtual Worlds to learning. You will find technical and text book material in our Virtual World Learning Systems pages. There is an extensive overview of the literature, and history of virtual worlds, a very large bibliography, details of our in-world networked lecture theatre control systems and lecture delivery systems, and a complete documentation of an extensive academic study undertaken by our WLS team into the effectiveness at achieving learning outcomes of different approaches in delivering course material in 3D virtual worlds.
- Are you looking for our virtual Learning research papers?
You will find an extensive reading list and bibliography of works covering virtual worlds and virtual reality concepts, history, ideas, related technologies, and application in learning as well as relevant papers on learning taxonomies and teaching concepts relevant to virtual world learning systems here.
Internal Audit and Management Science
If yes, you will find complete enterprise level internal audit methods and manuals on this site cross linked to our other management papers. The internal audit manuals cover everything from managing the audit team through planning the audit program to the detail of designing the audit, conducting interviews and undertaking the controls analysis; to reporting the results. Everything you are likely to need to manage and train an internal audit team is here.
- Are you heading up an Internal Audit Team or learning internal audit methods?
You will find articles covering topics of general management and process management methods in the RiskWiki including the detailed theory and practice of plannning, process re-engineering, control theory and our proven theories in stakeholder network organisation modelling. The work here is generally unique to this site. All methods have been used extensively and effectively in practice. Start here with process engineering.
- Are you a manager, management consultant or student of Management Science?
- Are you managing a merger or an acquisition?
Take a look here first and learn about the risks in mergers and acquisitions and successful strategies for managing them from our team who have been through it successfully from both sides or the equation multiple times.