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What can possibly go wrong in a decision for a new asset?

  • We do not, in fact, need a new asset at all
  • We do not need the asset we think we do
  • We choose the wrong place, the wrong time for it, with too much or too little capacity
  • We have not considered the resources that will be needed after it is in place, including interdependencies with other assets (for example, electric buses need new facilities)
  • We underestimate how much it will cost to acquire in the first place; we forget other costs – such as how it may require us to upgrade other assets
  • We underestimate the risks in construction
  • We underestimate the risks in operation
  • We do not fully appreciate what choosing this asset, this option, means for all the things we will not be able to do, the futures that we cut off by choosing this one
  • The consequences of this decision spread outwards as ripples on a pond, to impact on things we maybe never even thought about.

Questions to ask:

  1. What are the risks of doing this (including the risks in what I am saying no to) versus the risks of not doing it?
  2. What would happen if we put it off for five years?
  3. What alternatives does this rule out: what am I effectively saying no to?
  4. What will it realistically cost to operate and maintain?
  5. How wrong have we been on similar construction cost estimates in the past?
  6. In what ways can this fail?
  7. In whose interest/s is this?
  8. In whose interest is this not? (who will lose out if it goes ahead)
stewards_of_the_21st_century/what_can_possibly_go_wrong_in_a_decision_for_a_new_asset.txt · Last modified: 2022/03/17 10:31 by ruth

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