National security is often a silent partner. It remains ready and waiting for the arising of a national disaster. Despite the misconception, national security plans aren’t simply instruction booklets gathering dust, waiting to be opened in case of an emergency. National security plans are constantly shifting and evolving in order to reflect any potential or imminent threats. For project managers, the implementation of appropriate risk management is crucial to national security. The appropriate evaluation of risk is where most security contingency plans fall down when it comes to a crisis.
Unfortunately, there have been countless examples of risk management failures throughout human history. The nature of predicting potential disasters before they occur has been, and continues to be, one of the largest challenges to the human race. With every project and risk management failure comes new opportunity for education.
By neglecting the value of risk management and contingency plans, often governments and corporations have made the fundamental mistake of cutting appropriate funding for national security projects. One example that led to tragic consequences was Hurricane Katrina – one of the deadliest and most destructive tropical cyclones to ever hit the United States. Tragically, many residents in the state of New Orleans suffered. This is predominately attributed the lack of risk management planning to prepare the levees surrounding the cities.
A report that was released in June 2007 by American Society of Civil Engineers states that the failures of the federally funded levees in New Orleans were found to be primarily the result of numerous system design flaws. According to the report, the US Army Cops of Engineers who are responsible for the conception, design and construction of the region’s flood-control system failed to pay sufficient attention to public safety and national security.
Months after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, it was demonstrated that the levee failures were not caused by natural forces, but due to problems with the design of the structure and mechanism failures. Plans to augment the levee system in 2004 were tabled by congress due budgetary concerns. The negligence of the levees is believed to have worsened the effects of the hurricane enormously.
Since Katrina, appropriate reconstructions and precautions have been put in place in order to bring levees up to modern building code standards. Although the effects of Katrina were not just national, but global. Threats of national disaster are taken extremely seriously and with an approach of prevention rather than just preparation.
When embarking on projects that have the potential to effect national security, project managers must ensure they are armed with suitable contingency plans. The application risk management is fundamental if project managers wish to see their project meet the standards of efficient national measures.
Being up to date with current national security methods can not only guarantee the safety of a project, but also ensure the safety of the general public. National security threats are often virtually unpredictable and infamously changeable. Having the skills to predict both conventional and non-state actors successfully in relation to the project is crucial for project managers.
Treating national security as a secondary priority could ultimately lead to disaster. Successful project managers will have received the correct training in order to deal with a number of different national security threats. To discover more about risk management training and methodologies relevant to national security, contact us today. National security should always be at the forefront of project management, keeping up with the ever-changing procedures and training is of utmost importance.