Monday, 5 May 2008

Risk Assessment

I know JISC are keen on risk assessments, and rightly so. However, there are only so many things that you can anticipate going wrong when you're writing a bid several month before the actual events start.

We have the first major event of the project starting tomorrow, and two new risks have emerged.

It seems that the LeedsMet based server that hosts our e-portfolio tool has stopped working. If we are lucky, this could mean that the server has just crashed and needs rebooting. If we are unlucky, it means that the whole of the network in our building has gone down, and we won't be able to do any Second Life stuff until it's fixed. We won't find out until tomorrow.

The second risk that I could not have anticipated is the annual student trip to Whitby, which my colleagues decided to organise to coincide with the second day of the pilot. I only found out about this after all the students had signed up for their place on the coach. Whilst I think I can persuade our pilot students not to go to Whitby, I feel a bit mean depriving them of their annual social jaunt.

So, after analysing these unforseen risks, I have quickly come up with some plan Bs:

If the network is down, then we will stick with OpenSim standalone (which needs no network) until it's back up again. We'll need to concentrate on developing more advanced building skills earlier if we have more time in OpenSim.

If the students are tempted by the Whitby trip, we can counter this by offering an alternative social event at some point during the pilot. We may need to offer bribes in the form of free alcohol to achieve this. I'm guessing this may be tricky to claim back on expenses. If the worst happens, and a substantial chunk of our students decide to jump on the coach and eat whelks by the sea on Wednesday, then I'll just have to repeat myself on Thursday.

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