Adequate preparation is essential to conducting a successful risk analysis workshop. This first step involves concentrating on the risk management framework’s risk analysis component, starting with assembling the risk analysis team, typically led by an owner’s representative. The team may consist of owner representatives from engineering, operations, and management; independent subject matter experts (SME); and facilitators.
The team’s size can vary depending on the risk analysis level. A screening-level risk analysis may only require a three-person team, including a dam or levee safety engineer (representing the owner), an SME acting as a facilitator, and an additional engineer to record the discussion.
For higher-level analysis like semi-quantitative risk analysis (SQRA) or quantitative risk analysis (QRA), the team will likely need:
- Multiple SMEs.
- A large group of engineers.
- The owner’s management personnel.
- A facilitation team with multiple co-facilitators and recorders.
SMEs, including engineers, geologists, operators, and economists, bring diverse expertise encompassing various areas relevant to the analysis. Their experience and knowledge are crucial in estimating the likelihood of failure for different potential failure modes (PFM).
Regulators and owners might also participate as observers during the process. Though not mandatory, observers play an essential role in the long-term adoption of risk-informed decision-making in the dam and levee industry. Risk assessments familiarize individuals with the process and objectives of incorporating risk into designs, operations, and maintenance.
Once the team is formed and the necessary data is available, the owner distributes the project information to participants to familiarize them with the facilities and assist with informing their risk estimates.
While SMEs begin the data review process, the facilitation team prepares templates and forms to support various aspects of the workshop, such as screening PFMs, estimating risks, and documenting the findings. Proper upfront preparation of these templates streamlines the workshop and reporting process.
Workshop logistics involve more than finding a suitable location; they include considering the workshop format, scheduling breaks to prevent burnout, and ensuring necessary equipment and materials are available. They also include setting the workshop up for success by arranging a functional meeting space, providing food and water, and facilitating introductions among participants.
Adequate planning and preparation set the foundation for a successful risk workshop and improve efficiency by reducing downtime spent on document retrieval and real-time coordination.