Risk & Strategy
Julia Hanbury Image
Julia Hanbury
Senior Marketing Communications Manager

Diligent Q&A — Renee Murphy on how Risk Manager is helping reduce blind spots

November 14, 2023
0 min read
Image of Renee Murphy, Distinguished Evangelist at Diligent

Tell us about your role at Diligent.

As Distinguished Evangelist I represent Diligent in all manner of content creation, events and analyst relations. I come from the analyst world, having spent over a decade at Forrester – as one of only five analysts in the space focused on governance, risk and compliance (GRC) – helping clients with their risk and reporting strategies. Now, I lend my GRC expertise to help our teams tell the Diligent story and help customers understand their needs and how we and the Diligent One platform are uniquely positioned to help them. This role requires a lot of passion, a lot of insights and a lot of listening.

During your tenure at Forrester, how did you see the way companies approach risk evolve?

Ten years ago, the majority of Fortune 500 companies we spoke to were talking about risk management, but didn’t have a mature risk program. Today, most organizations have leaders in place running their risk programs. They are measuring some risk metrics, but not a lot, and a majority use spreadsheets and word documents to manage and report risk.

The next phase of elevating corporate risk programs will center around efficiency and innovation Spreadsheets are perfect if you don’t want to know what’s going on in your organization, because you have a mountain of data in front of you but it’s impossible to make sense of it. But organizations are facing a broader and more quickly evolving set of risks than ever before, and boards and directors have a fiduciary duty to understand and oversee these risks. A unified and connected GRC platform is key to this.

Tell us about how Risk Manager — what role does it play in the Diligent One platform?

Diligent’s board reporting dashboards help provide boards with an easy-to-comprehend, holistic view of their risk posture. But before insights can be elevated to the board, risks and controls need to be identified, assessed, and scored. This is where Risk Manager comes in.

Risk Manager is an app on the Diligent One platform that acts as a single source of truth for all your organization’s risks and controls — from compliance and regulatory risks to financial risks, operational risks, IT risks and more. Using Risk Manager, you can:

  1. Identify risks that may affect the day-to-day functioning of your organization. Risks can be identified with a flexible set of attributes based on your company's objectives, goals, and strategies.
  2. Create a hierarchy of risks, ranking risks against other risks, controls, organizations, assets, processes, and other relevant entities to help inform strategic decision making.
  3. Assess risks to determine possible mishaps, their likelihood and consequences, and your organization's tolerance for these events.
  4. Score risks based on factors like potential impact and likelihood of risk.

Essentially, it is a one-stop-shop for identifying, assessing and managing risks.

Who would benefit most from Risk Manager?

Risk Manager is for anyone managing end-to-end risk related workflows. That could include GRC professionals in risk management and internal audit. It also seamlessly integrates with other Diligent One frameworks and applications, so users managing audit workflows, for example, can also access the data that lives within Risk Manager.

For a great example of how Risk Manager helps break down siloes between teams, we can look at the City of Lethbridge in Alberta, Canada. They were looking for a software solution to create a more efficient process, drive consistency and reduce manual and duplicate work. Using Risk Manager, they are now able document all of their risks, the impact and cause, score them and categorize them by inherent and residual risk. This has led them to be more transparent and effectively communicate risk appetite to different departments, so they can determine where to spend their time and resources and as a result, where to allocate budget.

What is unique about Risk Manager?

For one, it’s user-friendliness! Over the past few months our team has been working really hard on some pretty awesome enhancements to the user experience that make managing and scoring risks a seamless experience. Just a few of these exciting features include:

  • Risk heatmap — This color-coded dashboard shows the total number of risks in each category ranked as low (green), medium (yellow) or high (red), helping you to identify, prioritize, and mitigate risks and make important strategic decisions.
  • Risk mitigation plans — Once a risk is assessed, you can use Risk Manager to define a plan for mitigating the risk. Workflows are configurable to exclude certain aspects of a risk mitigation plan if you choose.
  • Associated questionaries — Users can create and send questionaries directly from a risk record to team members, and get responses that inform decisions related to managing and scoring risks.
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Another thing that makes Risk Manager unique is the ability to report your findings directly to the board through pre-configured and customizable dashboards, giving executives and directorsclarity on risks across your organization so they can make better decisions.

As with all solutions on the Diligent platform, we are constantly adding new enhancements to Risk Manager based on customer feedback and requests, and there will be some exciting new additions to the app over the coming months!

Finally, why is Risk Manager such an important app?

You can’t manage what you can’t measure. In a world of proliferating risk, software is essential to efficiently and proactively neutralize risks, as well as align leadership on the risks affecting your entire organization. Risk Manager is the heart of an organization's risk management program, and an essential tool to clarify and manage risk.


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