Risk Management and the “Inductivist Turkey” of B.Russell: the story that teaches us the importance of external risks

Risk management, what is it and how should be implemented in every business company; this is keeping in mind the great lesson taught us by the Inductivist Turkey or Russell.

In every company something unexpected happens; it can be a new client approaching with an uncommon request, an order does not arrive on time, a new competitor popping out in your product’s market, or one of your managers being stuck in a traffic jam and cannot make it on time to an important meeting.

Unexpected events can cause problems, and misunderstandings, and they can even cost money or loss of financial resources.

Reasons, why risk management should be implemented as part of a company’s strategy, are many, and managing risks should not be seen as an extraordinary event but a day-to-day thought.

When we talk about risk management it is important to distinguish between risk and threat since they are two different types of danger.

A risk is something that a company might face while a threat is a danger that is coming for real, and its nature is clear and known.

In a company’s case, a risk might be a natural disaster or even a cyberattack.

In case the company knows how it is not properly protecting its online services and database, then cyber attacks are not risks but, instead, they are threats.

In the business world, a risk is an event or a condition and it is considered normal, for a company, to face them at a certain time. For this reason, the company has to elaborate a risk management program; this identifying, first of all, the potential risks it might face.

Risk Management, what is it and how ISO 31000 helps implement it in every business company

Risk management has been theorized, thanks to internal audits, empirical and previous events that companies have faced, and a list of regulatory steps that have been emitted to help mitigate risk.

ISO (International Organization for Standardization) has emitted the Risk Management Guidelines to better help companies to anticipate dangerous happenings and make a risk management plan as mitigating risk.

In ISO 31000 risk management approach there are 5 steps to follow in the decision-making process of acting to prevent the company from facing great danger.

IS0 31000 risk management 5 steps

  1. Risk Identification: it is the moment in which risk, as the name says, gets identified and it can be categorized (financial risk, cybersecurity, production chain).
    In risk identification, it is also important to evaluate how much risk might impact the project lifecycle of a company and, in general, its overall business.
  2. Risk analysis: in this second step, the company faces a qualitative problem-solving method in which software, tools, and research are used to better understand the risk and, consequently, what sort of risk control to adopt.
    The main questions that the company has to have in mind are: what are the chances that this particular risk would happen? What is the potential impact and how much this event would impact the whole company? How long the event will take to generate an enterprise risk management crisis?
  3. Risk evaluation/prioritization: not all sort of risks has the same impact on a company. Some of them might cause a little damage while others can have a great impact on the company itself. This is why it is important to prioritize the risks after having categorized them.
  4. Risk mitigation: In this step, it has been suggested to list each risk, how long each of them will take, since their manifestation, to cause impacts on the company, and what sort of impacts they would cause.
    Here the company has to think about a strategy for effective risk management and decide what sort of policy to adopt when risks occur. The company can decide to go for risk avoidance, ignoring the risk in terms of not even doing actions that might “activate” it, or accepting it.
    It is also here that the company has to decide if rely on an insurance company, “transferring” the risk to someone else and, it also has to decide if it wants to go for risk reduction introduce a policy, and take initiatives to control and keep an eye on potential risks.
  5. Risk monitoring/review: Having a 360 overview of what is going on in your company’s market, new risks brought by new technologies,  product usage, etc. is a great way to keep the company as safe as possible.
    Regulations, laws, and stakeholders’ requests imply an always-changing environment and they all might expose the company to potential risks.
    Companies, indeed, need software and reliable tools, such as Timeneye, that allow managers to keep an eye on what is going inside and outside the company and, step by step, elaborate a risk management process

Now that we have seen the ISO 31000’s steps to adopt in terms of risk reduction and management, it is important to understand what sort of risk a company might face.

The most common risks a company might face

They are usually listed in 3 potential risk categories: preventable risks, strategy risks, and external risks.

  • Preventable risks: these risks happen inside and for this reason are also called operational risks. They are usually controllable and easily avoided or taken care of.

Companies take care of preventable risks by making rules and behavioral codes that employees have to follow to keep the company in a safe zone.

Preventable risks happen, for example, when managers or employees do unethical or illicit actions that might put the company at risk.

  • Strategy risks are those types of risks that a company willingly decides to take to reach (hopefully) a higher business position on the market or a greater return in the future.

They differ from preventable risks since these latest are not wanted while strategic ones indeed are.

Asking the bank for a loan to make some new investment can be considered a strategic risk for a company.

These sorts of risks cannot be taken care of through rules or company suggestions.

In this case, what is important for a company to have is a risk management system based on the company’s capabilities to manage the events that will/would happen as a consequence.

This system is indeed designed to encourage companies to take strategic risks, even big ones, to feel comfortable and in control.

  • External risks are born, as the name says, from outside and the company will inevitably have to face them.

These risks might imply great danger to a company and they can cause fatal consequences to the future of the company itself if a risk management process does not take action.

External risks can be natural (climate change), economic (a worldwide economic crisis and inflation can cause financial risk) or even political choices (fall of a government) that can put at risk a business lifecycle.

The management needs to focus on external risk identification and it has to come up with a risk assessment and plan able to reduce the impact of these risks on the company.

The Inductivist Turkey or Bertrand Russell is an inspiring story able to teach us a lesson about external risks, and how unexpected events can happen and cause great damage.

Empirical data and, consequently, risk assessment and analysis are essential for companies to have effective time management that works.

The Inductivist Turkey of Bertrand Russell: an inspiring story able to teach us a lesson about the importance of risk management

 Scientists and philosophers thought about Inductivism as a response from science where consequential and similar events are considered as enough elements to conclude

When there is a consecutive happening of similar events, there seems to be a simple law able to describe the phenomenon. 

We might say that induction is a form of reasoning that starts from the examination of several specific cases and leads to a universal conclusion

We, as human beings, tend to think of things as related and we make a consequential relationship between them. If something happens today, tomorrow, and the next day again we unconsciously think that the same thing will happen repeatedly. This phenomenon goes under the name of Inductivism, and it has been first theorized by Francis Bacon in 1620 it became discussed later, with Bertrand Russel’s theories and thoughts; the one regarding the Inductivist Turkey. 

This story became extremely popular, thanks to Carl Popper’s re-formula

The “Inductivist Turkey” and risk management: how dangerous is it to rely on “taken for granted” situations 

The story tells that on a farm there was a turkey that every morning patiently waited to be fed by the farmer at 9 a.m. 

Every morning the turkey had the same routine: he woke up and waited for his food to be hand-in. 

Sunny days, rainy days, Mondays, Wednesdays, and even Sundays: he knew for sure that the farmer would go and feed him.  

We might say that he has an inductivist conscience concluding that every day, at 9 am he would be fed

The described routine went on and on until one day, for being precise during Thanksgiving Day, when the farmer opened the paddock and, instead of feeding him, he pulled his neck to make a traditional Thanksgiving dinner. 

In our everyday life, however, we constantly rely on inductions since they easily provide us with predictions about the outcomes of our actions. With no inductions, our world would be chaotic as we would have no reason to believe that the future is similar to the past and this would raise many doubts. 

In a project lifecycle, decision-makers start from a present situation and make assumptions; this also relies on past and previous experiences. Indeed, inductivism is a logical way of thinking but it can be taken wrongly since it does not concern any outbreak or changes. 

How to avoid concluding and, instead, keep an eye on what is going on 

Once the philosopher Karl Popper read the Inductivist turkey’s story, he immediately argued that the truth of universal statements is not logically justified through the truth of single propositions, as many of these are: any conclusions obtained in this way can always be false. 

So what is Popper’s proposal? His idea is that once admitted there are no inductive procedures that make it possible to establish the truth of hypotheses and theories, the pretense of being able to attribute to scientific claims a truth should be dropped. 

Science is not empirically verifiable

No matter how great the number of singular statements at our disposal is, this cannot verify universal statements, while just one singular statement can falsify

So, what do decision-makers and managers do when we talk about project management risks and how to avoid them

The story of the Inductivist Turkey teaches us that we cannot rely on similar events or a particular business case because in project management just even a single difference can change the course of a project lifecycle and its related goals and objectives. 

Despite these difficulties, it is important for project planning to keep constant track and monitor every single step to not just assume universal statements or draw conclusions but, instead, have an on-time idea of what is changing or going in another direction. 

Timeneye, the time tracking software that will help you monitor your project life while avoiding making assumptions.

To achieve their goals and objectives, managers need to monitor the project lifecycle at every single step to verify if something is interfering with it. 

Many project management tools also include one of the key features when we talk about project management methodologies: time tracking. 

On Timeneye, every minute tracked will be assigned to a project, phase, and client. Users can track time just by clicking on a single button, also, Timeneye offers in-depth reporting and monitoring tools to find where the time sinks. These features are essential for decision-makers who need to keep an eye on the project lifecycle and want to avoid bitter surprises realizing too late that they invested time, not in primary activities and tasks. 

Managers can monitor each project’s status, how much of the already decided budget it is taking, the work by receiving a weekly email recap on what the team has done, and also see what are the latest tasks a user has been working on

The Inductivist Turkey taught us that risk management methodologies help us to constantly monitor the project scope and keep an eye on the costs. 

Timeneye is aware of that, and it provides its users with a User Cost Calculator that allows them to monitor the profitability of the project at every single phase of it. If you want to avoid making assumptions and check every single step of your project lifecycle look at our time tracking software and sign up for a free 30-day Timeneye trial!

10 Good Time Management Skills to work smarter, not harder! – Timeneye

10 Good Time Management Skills that will help you manage and give value to your time at work!

We all have a 24-hour day, not an hour more to add or one to cut off.

Sometimes the day seems too short to get all of our to-do list things done.

Time management is the key if we do not want to postpone activities, work extra hours or overthink, in our free time, about what needs to be done.

Mastering time is not easy and, often, we do not even know what exactly time management means and how to apply it to our working and private life.

Indeed, we wrongly tend to think of multitasking as a great way to save time and check off activities on our to-do-list.

Being good at time management is a matter of attitude and personality traits and they take time, hard work, and patience to change, even slightly. 

When we talk about time management it is essential to distinguish personal characteristics, time management skills, and time management techniques.

Time management – Personal Characteristics

It is well known that the environment in which we live, the family and people that surround us, added to some biological traits, shape our personality.

Our characteristics are difficult to get modified and they need great effort and discipline, other than motivation.

Soft skills and life skills are the ones related to personality traits when we talk about time management.

Soft skills mostly regard how we interact with people (social and communication skills), while life skills are more about the challenges we face in life.

In life skills, we find our ability to deal with emotions and stress levels, problem-solving, creative thinking, decision-making, etc., etc.

Hard skills are more related to time management techniques but they are also very important when we talk about personality characteristics and time management. Hard skills usually include diligence, the propensity in being organized, flexibility, etc.

If you are not a pro in effective time management and you have the impression to never have enough time or be in control of your time, before striving to change your personality, you need to, first of all, acquire time management skills.  by getting also a little help from time techniques, such as Time management tools and time tracking software like Timenye can be considered time techniques and offer great help. 

Time management skills and Time management techniques

Skills and techniques combine and support each other but skills are the ability to do something.
Time management skills mostly are the capacity to be fully focused on a task, in control of your time, and ability to avoid wasting time and procrastination. How? Being able to prioritize important tasks and urgent tasks, and plan and set goals.

Techniques embody how a skill gets acquired.

They assume the important role of helping the person to get into the process of acquiring the knowledge that s/he wishes to have.

To better time management, techniques find “practice” in time management methods and tools and they help the user to better manage important tasks with focus, meeting deadlines, and being on time.

Practical examples of Time management techniques are to-do list, the Pomodoro timer or the so-called Pomodoro technique, the Eisenhower Matrix, etc.

Timeneye, for example, is a time management technique that helps users to, step by step, acquire time management skills and make time measurable thanks to a stress-free and easy-to-use time tracker.

Time management skills and techniques are strongly related to each other and, in the next paragraph, we will see the best 10 good time management skills and how Timeneye helps the user to acquire them.

Best 10 time management skills 

1. Plan & organize

First things first! To properly manage time, we all need to start planning and organizing our day/week, the project that has been assigned to us, its related tasks, etc.

Planning skills are fundamental if we want to be good at time management and, to develop them, we need a daily effort and constant activity.

Planning skills include writing down and organizing the calendar, setting up meetings and inviting colleagues to join, splitting a project into tasks, and allocating each one to the right person.

A company usually relies on Microsoft Planner since it allows its users to organize projects and, also, keep an eye on them thanks to visual, intuitive, and collaborative functions.

Timeneye easily integrates with Microsoft Planner giving to the user the possibility to track time on projects, monitor the budget, and stay connected with the team without ever leaving the app. 

Microsoft Planner, as also other apps that integrate with Timeneye such as Google Calendar and Outlook Calendar, contains a calendar since it is one of the main and most useful planning tools for employees and managers.

It is up to them to fully focus on a calendar app (Google Calendar or Outlook Calendar) or, instead, rely on a project management software such as Planner to better manage their time project.

To be good at planning and organizing, we sometimes need a little help and some time management tips. It is here that Timeneye comes in for us. Timeneye is a time tracking software that perfectly integrates with useful calendar apps such as Outlook Calendar and Google Calendar.

If you use Google Calendar or Microsoft Outlook, Timeneye will make your life easier by importing events as suggested time entries, it will track the time you spent on meetings and it will help you organize your workload.

But even if you are not using one of these apps, Timeneye can make your life easier when it comes to planning and organizing. How?

Providing you with an easy-to-use dashboard where you can handle your workflow and see your project split into phases to better focus on a task; we will better see this feature in the next step!

2. Goal setting and priorities

After having planned a project and having decided how to organize ourselves, we have to have clear in mind what our goals are and what we want to reach (hand in the project to the client before the end of the month, outsource less important tasks, etc.) and decide what needs to be prioritized.

What are our priorities? What needs our attention and what, instead, can wait?

It is here that the Eisenhower matrix comes to use since it helps us to evaluate what needs our attention first and what, instead, can wait.

The Eisenhower matrix suggests we DO what is both urgent and most important, DELEGATE what is urgent but not important, PLAN in the calendar what is important but it is not urgent, and DELETE what is not important and not even urgent.

Timeneye helps users to set goals and prioritize what can be considered important and what can wait.

Indeed, Timeneye helps users to monitor their projects, stay on budget and visualize their daily effort.

When a project has been handled in Timeneye it is possible to name it and choose an identifying color, set a budget, and divide it into phases.

It is this latest feature the one that better helps the user to prioritize activities while also allocating them to team members.

Diving a project into phases allows the user to take a closer look at its ongoing projects, understanding what is going off trials, what is taking too long, and what, instead, needs to be prioritized.

3. Delegating and “outsourcing”

Taking care of everything is not always a good idea since, as mentioned before, not all activities can be considered equally urgent or important.

Delegating might be the answer and saying no should be considered as an unpolite way to manifest uninterest but, instead, a clear and honest way to value your time.

Delegating is not always easy but it is important to do it so you can focus on what needs your attention and what can be outsourced.

If you are not used to delegating activities to someone else it might be helpful to understand how much a task can be considered difficult or easy to delegate, to whom you can delegate it, how much money it would cost, and if it is the case to outsource it.

Ah, and start with the easiest task to delegate so you won’t be worried about its executions if the deadline is met, etc. Then you can, step by step, start delegating more difficult tasks.

Timeneye perfectly integrates with project management software such as Jira, Basecamp, Asana

Once you have integrated Timeneye with your project management tool, you can start assigning tasks to team members and, with Timeneye, it will be possible to divide them into phases and check the time they will take.

4. Clarity with a focus on communication

Handling a project with many phases while also coordinating the other teammates’ activities is not easy and it can also be quite confusing if there is a lack of communication.

Timeneye is a time tracking software that easily integrates with collaborative team apps such as Microsoft Teams, Google Gmail, and Microsoft To Do

Integrating Timeneye to Microsoft Teams allows you to organize meetings, and workshops and chat with colleagues while the time gets tracked and stored in the cloud. After a meeting on Teams, you migrate with your team to Microsoft To Do, you can now assign tasks and, when completed, check them off!

Integrating Timeneye to Gmail helps the user to track and save the time spent while answering emails (and for some of us this activity might take more than one hour!).

Your time is precious, especially the one you spend communicating with your colleagues!

5. Create a routine

Creating a routine means being flexible. I know, I know, it seems contradictory but trusts me, it is not.

When you focus on an activity every day, approximately at the same time, and you write it down in the calendar, your teammates expect you to contact them around that time in case you are working on something common.

This implies that you will receive immediate feedback and you will be able to go on or change direction before it is too late!

It takes discipline to put in agenda, every day at a certain time, a project activity but it also takes flexibility to expect to receive sooner feedback with the possibility to change everything from a to z.

Timeneye helps you create a routine thanks to the so-called Suggested Entries. An Entry is a section in the workspace where the time data gets stored and it is possible to export it in detailed timesheets.
Your Timeneye web app starts to learn from your entries addressing your activities to a daily routine and, in this way, it makes pop up a suggestion in your calendar dashboard.

In case you do not want Timeneye helping you out with Suggested Entries you can easily modify them from the Register Time dialog.

6. Focusing on a single task and not relying on multitasking.

When we talk about good time management skills we usually think that multitasking might be the best, achievable way to get more done in less time. But it is not like that!

Focusing on many activities, also very different from each other, at the same time might be confusing and distracting.

Our brain is at its greatest capacity when focused on one single thing and getting it done.

 Timeneye helps you do so thanks to the possibility to split a project into phases and keep an eye on each of them.

7. Stress management

When we talk about productivity and effective time management we tend to forget the importance of mental health and it has become quite common to hear the word “productivity close to the burnout one.

Handling a project is not easy, especially when we also have to manage or get along with other people’s work and a deadline is approaching.

It is important to take some breaks during your day and say no, as well as delegate tasks when something is not important. Get a coffee or a fresh glass of water, avoid looking at your phone and, if you get the chance, get outside for a little walk.

You can do it by booking some break slots on your Timeneye calendar so nobody will ask you for a brief call or, also, you will hesitate to do some other working activities with your brain off.

 Remember that to say no does not mean being unpolite; it means valuing your time!

8. Problem solving

Facing problems, we hope for your small ones, is part of the business.

Especially when you handle a complicated project for a particular client.

Usually, problems happen during chaotic moments, when activities seem to add up and deadlines approach.

Timeneye has been thought to ease the user’s working life thanks to automatic features such as email reminders, report automation, and budget threshold.

You can set email reminders in case a project’s phase is taking too long as you can also set a date on which you wish to receive your custom report with all of your time and project info.

When you open a project, you establish a budget that should be respected. When this does not happen, with Timeneye you get the chance to receive an alert that warns you that things are not exactly going as expected.

9. Avoiding perfectionism, prioritizing deadlines

It is important, even if the client did not mention it, to have a deadline even if it is just for yourself.

When you have clear in mind when a task needs to be done, you start properly managing your time, avoiding postponing the activity or indulging in unnecessary rework.

With Timeneye you can set a project deadline and receive an automatic email that reminds you to be aware of the deadline and not indulge in overdoing things around.

10. Take time off and rest

We already talked about the importance of resting in stress management.

Being productive does not mean work, work, and work but having the capacity to focus on work when it is time to do so and rest when our body and mind need it.

So shut your laptop down and take the time for yourself but before doing so, make your working life easier while being in control of your time.

Sign up for Timeneye and start your free 30-day trial!

Your time is priceless, take better care of it

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