Arsham Mazaheri on risk management and decision-making under uncertainty
“You shouldn’t paint the devil on the wall.” This is what was said in the past when someone worried about what might happen in the future. Today, it is Arsham Mazaheri’s area of expertise: painting scenarios that could go wrong, assessing the risks and preventing them. The trait has taken him a long way. Now he helps Taipuva’s customers reach even further.
Society is changing faster pace than ever, and today there are virtually no industries or sectors of society that are not affected by factors such as globalization, digitalization, climate change and society’s increasing complexity where systems and infrastructures are often built together. The changes bring a lot of good but also new risks. One day it may be a pandemic that creates a crisis, the next time something completely different.
In the process industry, it can be about a new standard or new safety or security requirements that manufacturing companies need to live up to. Anticipating, managing and minimizing the costly or time-consuming effects of such a scenario requires experience in risk management. Something that risk consultant Arsham Mazaheri has. As an expert in risk management, he mainly works to find effective processes with structures and approaches to identify, analyze and manage the risks that exist in the business.
“I do risk assessments to identify threats, quantify the likelihood of it occurring and to assess the consequences if the threat materializes. It is a question of assessing information in advance and, based on that, defining what measures should be taken. Either to reduce the likelihood or the consequence of the defined threats,” explains Arsham Mazaheri, pointing to the benefits:
“At Taipuva, we work as a team. Each one of us is an expert in a specific field and our common, collective and diverse experience contributes with great efficiency for our clients. The cost savings that we achieve are a byproduct of efficiency in themselves; but in addition and especially, by performing risk assessment and risk management, one can predict, avoid or mitigate costly undesirable events. And with it perform another round of cost savings, both in process and in operation, in addition to the implemented efficiency.”
Arsham Mazaheri describes himself as a conservative who has always painted alternative scenarios and created backup plans. It has been his way of dealing with reality and trying to anticipate and control his future.
“I was never very good at dealing with crises, but it was clear to me early on that I needed to get better at it if I was to survive in this world.”
Against that background, and the fact that he was born in Iran during the Iran-Iraq war in the early 80s, it’s easy to understand why Arsham began studying crisis management. He laid the foundation for his current career at Iran’s Technical University, Sharif University of Technology, where he studied civil engineering in the early 2000s. He then earned Master’s degree from the University of Borås, continued his studies in London and finally received his doctorate in risk management from Aalto University in Helsinki in 2017.
“My doctoral thesis was basically about developing a risk management model for decision-makers. That they can make risk-mitigating decisions by taking into account the uncertainty in the available data and thus the achieved results that they have in the risk assessment.”
Ashram’s main area of risk management is still “decision making under uncertainty” and he has been involved in countless projects since graduation, both as an employee and a consultant. Among other things, he contributed for seven years to studies in risk management and risk assessment for the shipping industry and its environmental impact.
As a consultant at Taipuva, his motto is “it is better to arrive on time and keep budget with the desired quality than not to do it”.
“In addition to consulting on Application Lifecycle Management and requirements management, as well as general configuration of Taipuva’s process management system Polarion, I help our customers with risk management in their processes whenever it is needed and requested – or when I see fit.”
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