1. Define Opportunity, Issue, Risk or Problem

Getting agreement on what opportunities to pursue, while at the same time considering various issues and dealing with risks, is extremely important to achieving the impact you want. Traditionally, we rely on words shared in conversation or at meetings to figure out what to do.

  • Wouldn’t it be great if you could cut down the time it takes to implement a plan if everyone could agree on the size of the opportunities, issues or risks and their likelihood of occurring in the near-, medium- and long-term?
  • Wouldn’t it be great if your environmental scan of both internal and external impressions of opportunities, issues and risks could be then reduced to a more manageable set of actions you can reasonably undertake, without forgetting those initial environmental scans?

Below is an example of how to capture various views on what you want (i.e. opportunities or goals) and what you need to watch out for (i.e. issues and risks). The following graphic is only one example of several tools that can help capture internal and external impressions of opportunities, issues and risks. Rich discussion on the size of impact and when your team thinks each event will occur are important to agreeing on what you will focus your scarce resources on.


A visual consensus-building tool reduces the number of opportunities, issues and risks to make it easier to confirm what you have decided to pursue (opportunities), and allows you to begin developing specific plans to deal with risks (e.g. risk mitigation table).