Just because someone is famous does not make them right.

It is a common mistake that people are considered to be right simply because they are famous. Just because someone has written a book or is well known does not mean they are always right.

Often in their specialist subject, they are probably more right than others, but not necessarily. If they are famous, they are almost certainly experienced at giving the crowd what it wants which makes them even more compelling.

The real risk is when we listen to someone who is well regarded in one field when they opine or state a belief about another field. For example, an expert in lean manufacturing or lean service provision is asked to opine on the subject of lean software development.

The fault is not with the famous person. They are only doing what they have been asked to do. And they are normally given the incentive to do it.

The fault is the people who listens to a lay person and treats them like an expert… Simply because they are an expert in another subject.

Michael Jordan might be an expert in Basketball but I’m not sure I’d ask him about his opinion on IT risk management even if he had spent 6 months reading academic papers on the subject. Similarly I do not think Michael would be too interested in my views on Basketball (Isn’t that the one with the bats?).

It takes a long time to get the IT Risk Management mind set right. However it is a new and exciting subject. Expect experts to appear from all over. Expect experts from Scrum and Lean and Kanban and Real Options to suddenly declare themselves to be experts in IT Risk Management. Existing tools will be made more exciting by adding the word risk. Expect to hear about Risk Burn downs and Risk Retrospectives and Risk Driven Development and Risk Scrums and Feature Risk and eXtreme Risk and Risk Pairing and Risk Stories.

But most of all… Watch out for Michael Jordan, expert in IT risk management. It says so on his business card.

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About theitriskmanager

A IT programme manager specialising in delivering trading and risk management systems in Investment Banks. I achieve this by focusing on risk rather than cost. A focus on costs can lead to increased costs. View all posts by theitriskmanager

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