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Addressing change methodically

Applying risk-based thinking

Whether it concerns opportunities from which we think we could benefit, or threats or vulnerabilities that could have a negative impact, it can make sense to take a systematic approach to evaluating and executing a change. One approach could be to apply the principles of risk-based thinking.

Once an issue has been recognised, this means evaluating the risk - or opportunity - it presents, to decide on what could be donw, and how. And not least to monitor the improvement to further optimise it.

The following presents a suggestion on how this can be done. Not incidentally, this approach also encompassesl the needs for SMART goals: that is goals that are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Timely. These are also noted below.



Provide a unique identifier for the issue (risk or opportunity)



Description / Event statement

What needs to change?

For non-sales staff, we need to increase the confidence, capabilities and supporting material to enable them to up- or cross-sell solutions during their interactions with customers.


IDs of associated issues



Impact description

What benefits result from resolving this issue?
What can we accomplish?
Why (reasons, purpose or benefits)?

(This should make the goals Specific)

Don't miss chances for increasing turnover - by

  • recognising the possibilities to expand the scope of a soolution
  • not turning down requests that are different than "normal" / expressing appropriate interest in potential solutions that are different or atypical.

How much difference does this make?

  • 5 (major/business threat)
  • 4 (high/annoys customers)
  • 3 (moderate/involves extra work)
  • 2 (minor/annoys colleagues), or
  • 1 (insignificant)

Moderate opportunity: 3


How likely is this to happen?

  • 5 (Almost certain)
  • 4 (Probable)
  • 3 (Reasonably likely)
  • 2 (Remotely likely), or
  • 1 (Rarely)

Opportunities arise in many non-sales interactions: 4

Risk / Opportunity

If we multiply the impact and the probability we get an approximate estimation of the risk or potential value:

  • Critical (risk/opportunity ≥ 20)
  • High (20 > risk/opportunity ≥ 10)
  • Medium (10 > risk/opportunity ≥ 5)
  • Low (5 > risk/opportunity)

15: High potential value

Effort involved

How hard would this be to change?

  • 5 (Lots of effort)
  • 4 (Significant effort)
  • 3 (Reasonable effort)
  • 2 (Easy), or
  • 1 (No effort)

Needs to gather inputs and commitments from different stakeholders, and create appropriate materials: 3


Based on the assessment of the risk and effort involved, is this Relevant?
Is it worthwhile?
Is it the right time?

Based on this the decision would be to

  • Tolerate (accept)
  • Treat (reduce)
  • Transfer (to another issue)
  • Terminate (workaround or otherwise eliminate)

It's not rocket science, but it could make a big difference: Treat


Acceptance Criteria

List the criteria that would indicate that the issue has been resolved.

(This should make sure the goals are Measurable)

To lower the threshhold to up- and cross-selling, anybody with customer contact needs to

  • be able to recognise up- and cross selling opportunities
  • feel capable of selling, or up- or cross-selling
  • be aware of the breadth of solutions we offer
  • be able to effectively communicate the possibilities and benefits
Planned actions

List the steps to be taken to respond to the issue.

(This should make sure the goals are Attainable)

  • Provide training on sales/up-/cross-selling best practices.
  • Create a mentoring program for non-sales people to get feedback and suggestions from sales colleagues.
  • Collect feedback and suggestions through the mentoring program for improvements.
  • Create an intranet page with past customisations that we can share as examples.
  • Provide examples with meta-information (challenges, goals, success stories) for pitching.
When should we achieve it by?

When will we get this done?
How long will it take?

(This should make sure the goals are Timely)

Training program and intranet resource by the end of Q3.

Mentoring program to start in Q4.



Names or roles of those responsible for making the change.

Selected, experienced sales people.


Names or roles of those responsible for ensuring the change gets made.

Sales management.


Names or roles whose input needs to be included.

Marketing. Product management. Non-sales people with customer contact.

Interested parties

Names or roles of those who need to know about the change.

Management team.


Completed actions

List, by date, all actions taken to respond.

Plann completed. March 17th.

Applicable documents

The changes to the affected procedures, documents, records, policies, etc. (including the section references in those documents, as applicable).





Status of the issue

Whether the issue is

  • Open (still might happen and still has to be managed)
  • Closed (has passed or has been successfully mitigated)
  • Moved to another issue


Status of the reaction

Whether the reaction is

  • Open (waiting on a plan)
  • Planned (no action taken yet)
  • In progress (planned and some action(s) taken)
  • Abandoned
  • Escalated
  • Done


Date reported

The date the risk or opportunity was first reported.

March 17th.

Date of last review

March 17th.

Date of the next review

April 30th.