How to critically evaluate a business plan

Analyze each section individually, and then look at the plan as a whole to determine the viability of the business and the likelihood of its success in the manner proposed. Also consider the writing skills and attention to detail that went into formulating the plan. Read the executive summary.

How to critically evaluate a business plan

Managing risk during turnarounds and large capital projects: At chemical sites, where assets are highly complex, ensuring that risks are managed properly is of vital importance both to the safety of the workforce and the success of the project as a whole.

Within the framework of turnarounds and shutdowns in the chemical industry, this article looks at the key aspects of risk and outlines how different tools can be used to overcome the challenges of risk management. Using practical experience gained onsite, the most risk-prone aspects in turnarounds as well as ways in which risk management tools can aid project success are highlighted.

Whether the risk is operational or strategic, concerns market failures or environmental disasters, all business processes will at some point be exposed to risk. Within the context of capital-intensive industries, whose complex assets and processes often require highly technical skills and operational know-how, the perception of risk is often limited to health and safety rules and regulations.

As such, when discussing risk management with managers at chemical sites, the first notion that tends to spring to mind is the way in which his or her team will be protected from accidents at work. During such projects, companies are forced to engage contractors to ensure that the huge volume of work can be completed on time.

These contractors are often not familiar with site processes and systems including safety protocols and therefore could be considered to be at higher risk of accident or injury than those who work at the site all year round. While undoubtedly a crucial factor, this viewpoint excludes a number of other risks at play.

The vast number of tasks being carried out by multiple workers at any one time means that one particular action or lack of it could completely derail the schedule and have repercussions across the rest of the planned work for that day, week or even the whole project.

Managers must understand that the risk of one single delay to the schedule could put pressure on some workers to complete their tasks in less time, as well as cause confusion as to what should occur, where and when.

how to critically evaluate a business plan

Tasks may either then not be conducted or be carried out in a hurried or unsafe manner, which could lower efficiency and impact the safety of all employees while onsite.

If the potential impact of risks to the schedule on both health and productivity is not taken seriously by managers, it could have a disastrous effect on the success of the turnaround and ultimately, the bottom line.

With specific reference to the chemical industry, this paper will look at the key aspects of risk within the framework of turnarounds and large capital projects.

Beginning by outlining some of the key problems turnaround managers have when attempting to manage risk, the paper will then examine the use of risk management tools in planning, scheduling and project execution as a means of addressing those challenges.

Finally, it will make use of experience obtained while onsite at a chemical plant in France to evaluate the benefits and obstacles encountered during a turnaround risk review where such a risk management tool was used.

The ways in which risk is addressed and handled within the industry will be outlined and critically assessed. For example, a risk register listing risks, their causes and consequences is usually compiled before a project starts and includes anything and everything that could threaten the project.

This could range from bad weather to unexpected repairs, missing parts or the absence of appropriately qualified personnel. This register is then filed away and seldom referred to again, if at all.

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As each event has a unique set of requirements, some risks which were present at previous projects may have disappeared due to mitigation measures, some new risks may arise which were not relevant in the past, or the impact of existing risks may be greater under new circumstances.

Part of the reason for this is the sheer scope of risk: It is therefore vital that the turnaround manager understands that the process of evaluation cannot be a one-size-fits-all approach: As the nature of risk means that it changes over time and according to location, environment and circumstances, managers must learn to move away from the idea of it as a static obstacle which can be swiftly overcome with a few meetings and a hastily written report.

Dealing with risk in an effective way means taking a dynamic approach to a constantly evolving situation, which in practice means that risks need to be continuously evaluated and measured at different stages of the project.

This means that the fundamental difference between a risk and a hazard must be understood — where a hazard is latent and only develops into a risk when it directly impacts a project. A good example of this is the weather: The identification of risks should therefore begin much sooner than most managers realize, ideally at the same time the turnaround is being planned.

how to critically evaluate a business plan

The use of different tools which give the process some structure tend to aid the process, and usually begin with a risk register as mentioned above. Some teams begin with a brainstorming workshop to identify potential risks to the project, while others start with a list of common risks.

Where possible, using risk registers from previous turnarounds to build a list of what could potentially occur within a new project is perhaps the easiest approach. While this provides a good foundation, it can be misleading. Only using the information from previous projects ignores problems that by pure chance did not occur in the past and lays the project open to delays or even failure.

One way of overcoming this is to begin with a non-project-specific risk register; from experience, there are approximately between and hazards that are applicable to most turnarounds. The hazards could range from the late delivery of materials to more banal items such as a lack of parking spaces and gates.

When a site normally operates with workers, accounting for the access of 3, during a turnaround is vital. Managers should then evaluate which hazards are relevant to the project at hand and then divide them into themes which allow them to be more easily dealt with.

The nine themes to which hazards are typically assigned to include: Purchasing and sourcing, 8. Environment, safety, health and quality and 9. What is viewed as highly dangerous to one manager might seem only moderately dangerous to another.grupobittia.com Searching for Business Ideas.

The starting point for developing new business ideas lies inside the prospective entrepreneur rather than in the marketplace, laboratory, business plan etc. 4. Evaluate the management team. Ask yourself whether you believe this team is capable of executing the business strategy outlined in the plan.

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