What can I prevent?

“One of the bad parts about being in charge is having to think of every conceivable terrible idea and trying to work out which ones I can actually prevent.”

Steve McHugh, With Silent Screams

To be able to create possible scenarios of what could happen is only a useful skill if you also can evaluate their costs.

  • How probable is it?
  • How much will it cost us if it happens?
  • How much will it cost to avoid it?

You simply ignore it if something is probably and the cost to avoid it far exceed the cost of it happening, and you do something about it if the cost to avoid it is low. The hard part comes in estimating probabilities, if something is extremely improbable but the cost of it going wrong is extremely high, how much time and effort should you use to try and avoid it?