6.1d Innovation and           Risk Management 

Case Study

OE21 Guideline: 

6.1d Innovation Management


Note: This Case Study refers to specific OE21 surveys and tools (spreadsheets or docs). Please try the link(s) below to learn more about these surveys and tools:


6.1d Innovation and Risk Management


Assumption: The (Elafino Sports Center) organization has implemented the OE21 6.1d Innovation Management, process steps. The following are the results and outcomes:

The Elafino Sports Center are using the OE21 Guideline 6.1d Innovation Management tools and implementation to solve critical issues fast.


(Example) The Elafino Sports Center had a critical requirement to determine what should be done to avoid losing customers. 


The focus teams had an initial meeting to plan an "innovation session" aimed at planning the use of the ACI-Innovator survey and ACI-Innovator spreadsheet tool. The goal of the meeting was to create the first of several "target questions" to be sent out to all Elafino work units and managers.


The meeting resulted in creating this target question:


  • What should be done to avoid losing customers?


After the planning meeting, the Operations Focus Team opened the ACI-Innovator Survey tool and input the above target question. The ACI-Innovator Survey template provides for input of a target question and supporting input fields for collecting one to ten (10) ideas alongside the idea category.  The ideas and categories are intended to respond to the target question.


The OFT emailed the survey question with a LINK to about 75 Elafino employees and contractors. Each of these responders used the LINK to open the survey and input their best ideas, each with a category. The average response time per person was about fifteen (15) minutes.


The Elafino Leadership Focus Team (LFT) was very happy to discover that 75 people could receive and respond to the ACI-Innovator survey in less than 30 minutes!


After closing the survey, the results were exported from the web-based survey into the ACI-Innovator spreadsheet. The spreadsheet macros were used to organize inputs into idea and category columns. Next, they were sorted by category A-Z. The results were that about 452 ideas were captured, sorted, categorized, and counted in less than one hour.


The CEO (JT) remarked: "These Innovation Sessions are QUICK and that saves TIME and MONEY!" The CFO nodded his approval.


Figure 6.1d-4 shows a snapshot of the OE21 Innovator after inputs and sorting were done.

Figure 6.1d-6 results sort.PNG
Figure 6.1d-6b results sort.PNG

Figure 6.1d-4 OE21 Innovator inputs with sorted (A-Z) by Categories

Figure 6.2d-4 shows that the OE21 Innovator spreadsheet macros placed the ideas in unique categories. The OE21 Innovator results showed that:


  • There were 452 ideas submitted by 75 people

  • Each idea has a category that responders input during their survey process

  • The ACI-Innovator sorted the ideas into  about ten categories

  • The number of ideas per category was visible


From these results, the Elafino focus teams decided that the first and most important contributor to loss of customers was that Hockey Services were not available at times that most customers desired. The loss of revenue from Adult Hockey Financial Reports was significant. 


Next, the Elafino Operations Focus Team (OFT) conducted a "drill down" OE21Innovator Session, to learn ideas that could be solutions to the problem of hockey services availability. The next target question was input to the OE21 Innovator Survey model, and the Link was sent back to the people who knew the most about the Hockey services, including managers and employees. 


This second OE21 Innovator Session produced about 120 ideas with categories. After input and sorting the OE21 Innovator spreadsheet was used to discover the best ideas to optimize the hockey schedules, including:


  • Interview all customers who use hockey services and ask them for their desired schedules

  • Offer hockey schedules in the morning, afternoon, and evening time-segments each day

  • Reach out via email and direct mail to notify all customers of the new schedules

  • Interview lost customers to alert them of the new schedules (try to save them)


Next, the Elafino Focus teams turned to OE21 6.1d Risk Management.


The CFO led the risk discussion with a big question for all focus team members:


"What RISKS do we have that - if not eliminated - could cause the Elafino Sports Center great financial damage and may even cause a business closure?"


The OFT implemented the OE21 Innovator survey and spreadsheet process to help collect ideas in response to the CEO target question.  About twenty-seven (27) focus team members responded. 

After the OE21 Innovator process was completed (about 30 minutes), the 27 participants had come up with six risks that could - if not eliminated or mitigated - lead to a possible shut down of the Elafino Sports Center. The six risks were:


  1. Visitor falls on the concrete floor

  2. Child offender finds a victim near grandstands

  3. Utilities fail; ice melts

  4. Crime in parking areas

  5. Better sports facility opens nearby

  6. Competitor recruits key instructors


Risk 1 (Visitor falls on the concrete floor) - This risk is a possible "show-stopper." The problem is that customers come to see hockey and figure skating events, and the ice rinks have water runoff that often runs across the concrete floor near the concession stand. The "slip, fall and then sue " risk is very high. Depending on the injury, the lawsuit could overwhelm the Elafino's financial and insurance resources.


Risk 2 (Child offender) - This risk is about several incidents when known child offender/predators get into the Sports Center and hide under the Rink grandstands watching kids come in and out of restrooms. They try to get them to come under the grandstands then you can imagine what happens. This risk could lead to serious harm to youth, followed by legal actions against the Elafino company.


Risk 3 (Utilities fail; ice melts) - This risk is about the 3 to 6 times a year that the utilities fail during storms and power outages. If this happens, the ice rinks melt, hockey and skating events must be canceled and customers get refunds. The result is a serious financial loss to the company.


Risk 4 (Crime in parking areas) - This risk is about customers going back to their cars after night events and walking through the dark parking lot. A few bad people have been robbing or threatening to harm some of these customers. After this, the victims seldom come back to the Sports Center. One woman is likely to sue because of the poor lights and lack of security.


Risk 5 (Competitor) - This risk is about a new XYZ Sports Center that is planning to open in the Elafino Sports Center region. The sports company will be a direct competitor in both hockey and figure skating.


Risk 6 (Competitor hiring key people) - This risk is about the new XYZ Sports Center that is aggressively trying to recruit the Elafino's key hockey and figure skating managers. In fact, they recently succeeded in hiring away a key figure skating manager, which caused the Elafino considerable time and loss of revenue until they hired a replacement and got them up to speed.


To help the Elafino focus teams manage these serious risks, they implemented the ACI-Risk Manager tool.  The ACI-Risk Manager uses impact and probability inputs to calculate risk ranking. As shown in Figure 6.1d-5, the left side of the ACI-Risk Manager spreadsheet models requires the input of:

  • Risk Number with any related risk number (if needed)

  • Risk Responsibility and Risk Title

  • Risk Start and End timeframe

  • Risk Probability (%) that risk is likely to occur

  • Rick Impact (1-5; 5 is the most negative impact)


Figure 6.1d-5 - ACI-Risk Manager (left side) presents example inputs and the Risk Rank calculation with color codes (red = high risk; yellow = moderate risk; green = low risk)


Figure 6.1d-5 - ACI-Risk Manager (left side)

Once these inputs are present, the ACI-Risk Manager provides for input of:


  • Plans for risk management or mitigation

  • Responsibility for action

  • Action plan start/finish dates

  • Percent (%) of action plan completion

  • Notes about "risk triggers."


Figure 6.1d-6 - ACI-Risk Manager (right side) presents example inputs.​


Figure 6.1d-6 - ACI-Risk Manager (right side)

The right side of the ACI-Risk Manager had risk elimination or mitigation plans that made good sense to the Elafino focus teams. Those responsible for the plans had to work out the details of the plans, including estimated costs and schedule.


  • Risk 1 (Visitor falls on the concrete floor) - Apply non-slip paint or wax; ice warning signs


  • Risk 2 (Child offender) - Control access with MIS ID check database


  • Risk 3 (Utilities fail; ice melts) - Add backup generators for ice rinks


  • Risk 4 (Crime in parking areas) - Add lights and security patrols as needed


  • Risk 5 (Competitor) - Study competitor offerings; innovate and offer better services


  • Risk 6 (Competitor hiring key people) - Keep workforce satisfied and motivated

The Elafino focus teams used the ACI-Project Manager tool to plan the tasks and to estimate the schedule and cost for each of the six risk management plans. The CFO and CEO reviewed the project plans, approved, modified or rejected individual plans and provided the budget and staff to execute the plans.


Over time, the Elafino Sports Center significantly reduced its key risks before serious impacts occurred, which is what organizational excellence is all about.

The Elafino LFT (IT Manager) published the 6.1d Innovation Management output results on the Elafino INTRANET, and notified all focus teams and managers of these updates.