Douglas Hutcheon is a Risk Specialist with SNC-Lavalin’s Infrastructure Construction Business Unit. The last several years he has been developing a specialization in Risk Management and has been working on numerous large Infrastructure project proposals in Canada. With the Monthly Dinner event just around the corner please take a moment to learn more about our fascinating speaker.
Douglas’ 12 years of industry experience has primarily been in large Infrastructure projects, including start-up, execution, operational (cost) & financial reporting, and forecasting.
Prior to working in construction, Douglas spent his formative years serving in both the Army Reserve and Regular Force. The Military, like construction has some time-honored opinions about what Risk is and how to manage it; and Douglas incorporates elements of this boots-on-the-ground view into this speaking, particularly when reflecting on how to bridge the divide between Theory and Reality.
Q&A with Douglas Hutcheon
From the many projects that you have worked on which one was the most challenging in terms of the risks?
My most recent project had the largest variety of distinctive “Risk Fronts” to contend with.
Have you been caught off guard by a “blind spot” risk and were you able to overcome it?
Early into my second career, I was “blind” to many aspects of managing “civilians”. I have been able to “improve” but not “over come”. I am constantly striving to get better (see Question 5 below) and this process will never end, but it will be a life-long, career long journey.
How often do you refresh your assessment of your top risks?
The timing of Risk re-assessment, both Negative and Positive should be re-assessed considering several factors, generally time horizon, impact, and influenceability.
What is a dream project that you would like to work on because of the challenging risks involved?
An International Giga Programme would be awesome, preferably Infrastructure.
What skills have you been able to transfer from your Military experience to project management?
After a period of “adjustment” or “re-integration” into civilian life, I was able to re-frame or translate numerous managerial and leadership experiences from the Military and use them as points of reflection or more accurately introspection. These “TSN Turning Points” became powerful sources or catalysts in the development of my second career and continue to influence me today.
What books have inspired you or ones that you have recommended most?
I have recommended Monday Morning Choices and The Dip the most to many of my Direct Reports and I have used Monday Morning Choices several times as a Developmental Tool in a Book Club format. My father gifted me a copy of Courage, and I think I am due for a re-read of this one.
Monday Morning Choices: 12 Powerful Ways to Go from Everyday to Extraordinary, David Cottrell.
The Dip: A Little Book That Teaches You When to Quit (and When to Stick), Seth Godin.
Courage: The Backbone of Leadership, Gus Lee.
Do you have any particular morning routines?
I have always been a morning person. Even before I joined the Army. My wife and I are triathletes, so almost every morning; we are training (swim, bike, run, cross-train), except for prescribed rest days (we have a coach).
Thank you Douglas for taking the time to answer our questions and allowing us to get to know you better. We are looking forward to your presentation on risk management.
For anyone that is interested in learning more about the event Cognitive Uncertainty: A Barrier to Better Project Risk Management or to register please click below.