Management of Uncertainties...

Management of Uncertainties  Donald Rumsfield, US defence secretary at a press briefing during 2002 has stated “There are known knowns; there are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns – the ones we don’t know we don’t know”. Uncertainties are the things that are unknown unknowns. Uncertainty can be defined as unpredictable events in manufacturing environment that disturb operations and performance of an organization. Presently organizations are functioning in environments which combine known knowns, known unknowns and unknown unknowns. The growth of the last category presents organizational management with a new and little charted management challenge. The fast changing and uncertain environments these days brings a lot of uncertainties for the organization. These uncertainties require management to be agile and responsive for facing the conditions of change and uncertainty. The timing of uncertainty often causes a greater challenge response from the management than the uncertainty itself. “All of management’s value is derived from managing uncertainty.” Sometimes risks are equated with uncertainties. But uncertainty is much more than risk and it encompasses risk in it as shown in Fig 1. Fig 1 Risk and uncertainty  Every organization has to pass through several periods or many situations of uncertainties. Periods of uncertainties are an inevitable aspect of most organizations, but even the most proficient managements have difficulty in handling these periods. They use decision milestones to anticipate outcomes, risk management to prevent disasters and sequential iteration to make sure everyone is making the desired product, yet the organization still ends up the periods of uncertainties with unfulfilled plans, overflowing budgets and compromised outcomes. Uncertainties may exist in practically all decision making situations....