Thursday, September 2, 2010

Measure, Manage, Monitor - The reality!

For those of us sufficiently familiar with "Star Trek: The Next Generation", the diagram below is really not the Borg!

Sadly, though, many organizations treat the concept of putting in place a few robust processes mapped to a risk and controls matrix as if it were. The Borg was bad, MMM is good - lets just get that one out of the way early!  
So whats so good about MMM.........well imagine that you are (which you may indeed be!) a risk manager or compliance director (or CTO, CCO CIO or actually anything with a C in it!) and that you are besieged by regulators, shareholders, markets, customers and internal stakeholders and they all seem to want you to show that you are following every regulation, managing risk 'effectively' and are generally better than anyone else around you.

Sound familiar? Sound almost impossible?

Well it really isn't, thankfully. Not because this MMM concept is a new form of intelligence (sic The Borg!) but because it moves all functions into a best practices step processes, and using a series of associative algorithms (nothing genius here, just joining dots with cause and effect conditions) it becomes possible to prove that a business or indeed any entity is "doing the right thing" which is the key not only to defensibility but to a better business all around.

So, next time you hear a Quant expound about Black Scholes anomalies, or VAR interdependency or even Sochastic variable inconsistency, its ok to continue to look dumbly at the source (as i still do!). Why: because other than not knowing what they are talking about, you should also know that the people that need to know what the Quant is saying (and upon whose evaluation your and my future depends!) are likely to also be as blissfully clueless about what is being imparted. More importantly they will give so much more credence to "doing the right thing" and proving that they have done so than being given reams of sometimes meaningless, and often at best confusing, data.  

Of course, the secret to MMM is not actually in the diagram....................  
If you were to "Google" Measure, Manage, Monitor you will get approximately 22,200,000 hits. Funny how the best and smartest concepts are so copied. MMM was a concept I authored in 1999, no less (with the documentation to prove it, of course!). Love to see that Microsoft, IBM all so many other good folks flatter me with their plagiarism!!! 

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