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8.1 Assignment: Risk – A Case Study

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1. Considering the Challenger Space Shuttle tragedy that occurred in 1986, give a synopsis of what you perceive to be the major risks (5 minimum) that should have been considered BEFORE the tragedy occurred.

2. Using your judgement and based on additional research, how would you rank these risks? Additionally, give an indication of probability (High, Medium, Low) of occurring and the impact for each (High, Medium, Low) as this may also help you develop your rankings. Consider a table or matrix to show your response. Prepare a Risk Assessment Table as per Figure 8.1 in the course text.

3. Where there any risks that should have been taken more seriously and prioritized – in other words, was there any mounting evidence or other compelling reasons to believe that certain risks had a higher probability of occurring?

4. Were there any “triggers” that indicated a potential risk was becoming a problem or issue (realized risk)?

5. What do you consider to be the primary lessons learned from this horrible tragedy?

6. In your opinion, could this tragedy have been prevented if a thorough risk assessment had been completed and implemented including careful monitoring of triggers and consideration of mounting concerns before the liftoff? Please explain your response.

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