It is inspirational to hear words that rhyme where a line and a stanza impart a meaning using the song-like attributes of the articulated statements. The command of a poem makes one remember. It helped some University students recall difficult formulas in integral and differential calculus. It is real and it does work. I’ve used it a lot during my college years singing “The Integral of u” to the tune of “The Wonder of u.”

I have always wanted to write about risk-based management principles in a poetic form. The uncanny characteristic of a poem to send the intended message with amazing clarity catches our senses so that we suddenly become more receptive. We listen more and even unconsciously let down our guard. Our biases disappear to consider the intended message.

 Today, I am happy to share with you an original 18-stanza rhyme poem of (8-6-8-6 metric) I have been working on in the past three days mostly while standing on the Calgary train, going to work.

 The pleasing element of a rhyming poem brings joy and knowledge to many, especially those with heightened senses and sensibilities.

 "Have you ever stopped doing what you were doing, sat down, and asked yourself, “What is the purpose of life? What is it that people do every day? What is it that matters most to a person regardless of demographic?”

There are various perspectives. However, it all comes down to one central element, and that is to manage risk. Yes, the purpose of life is managing risk. Even in our sleep, and in our dreams, we administer risks. In our beliefs, in our religion, in our pursuit to be a good person, we manage risks.

People have to manage daily the risk of sin, e.g. of temptation, of jealousy, gluttony, revenge, and greed. One needs to control his vice, his expenses, his career, and many others.

It is in front of all of us and in the very fabric of our daily life. Risk management is the only thing we do for a living.
This intriguing concept drives the reason why we go to work every day. We all have one main, central purpose yet we all go about it almost unconsciously. We are still employed by companies we worked in to manage risk." 

"If there is no risk to manage, we become useless (Frago, R., 2015)."

Source: Risk-based Management in the World of Threats and Opportunities: A ...

In view of the aforementioned, you can refer to this as the risk-based manager’s poem. Better still, everyone’s poem. After all, all of us in reality are managing risks. We are all risk managers in this world!

Read on and enjoy the rhymes…

  RISKS… What are you?

There are risks in all you do,

Be it in bed or on the road.

Opportunity or threat to you,

Control them if you could.


To recognize them is a must,

Before one can do a thing.

It is folly just to trust,

With no idea what they’ll bring.


Of course we need a risk-based plan,

To help us make the move.

It help us track the work we've done,

And keep us in the groove.


Risk is a threat to objective,

When it keeps you from your goals.

Opportunity when it brings you,

Successful endeavors.


For risk in fact is double-faced, 

With smile and frown on each.

From where you stand, ‎do appreciate.

Which one to you is which?


Risk is in the future,

Not in the present or the past.

An event that still to occur,

Whether it's good or bad.


If one is sure of what's to happen,

We're sure it's not a risk.

When certainty is at its highest,

We have a fact indeed.


If now the threat is in their midst,

They need to fix the problem.

For if they fail to do the trick,

Serious issues will befall them.


Now if the risk is something good,

We can enhance, make it better.

We can improve from what it is,

So benefits can be higher...


To manage risk, we have to plan.

A plan that's right and true.

On how this risk can be addressed,

Without us turning blue.


‎A project that observe this rule,

Not finger-crossed approach, 

Will reap the very best in store,

Actions beyond reproach.


The one who look at risk in part,

Must also see the whole.

There are no ifs and there's no but,

It's essential to our goal.


Risk appetite dictates your move.

I'm sure you know it does.

It will affect business resolve,

Whether to do it or to pass.


Do not forget one element,

In risky endeavors.

It is the fact that "time" governs,

Your plans, our schemes, and more!


When time is long to do the work,

Success is in the bag.

But when  duration is too short,

Failure is being flagged.


I don't know why, I have no clue,

When men do what they do.

They seek the goal and then pursue,

Ready or not, they have to go.


Remember this, deep in your heart.

That haste makes waste my dear.

The rule of thumb that sets apart.

A project in the clear.


So it is here that I depart,

I bid you well and good.

Manage your risks with all your might,

And take them like you should.


Source: Frago, R. (2015).Plan to Schedule, Schedule to Plan\Draft Manuscript\Copyright 200-202\ISBN 978-0-9947608-2-1 (Canada)

Rufran C. Frago (10Dec2015) - Author

Note: This article was first published in Linkedin Pulse on December 11, 2015 by Rufran C. Frago

The paperback and Kindle edition of the book "Risk-based Management in the World of Threats and Opportunities: A Project Controls Perspective" is available in 


The book provides new/additional knowledge to project management practitioners (beginners to experts), risk management specialists, project controls people, estimators, cost managers, planners and schedulers, and for students of undergraduate courses in Risk Management.

The sectional contents offer practical and common sense approach to identifying/managing risks. It is a must have for company managers, directors, supervisors, aspiring industry professionals, and even those students fresh from high school. The material is especially design to start with the foundational principles of risk gradually bringing the reader to deeper topics using a conversational style with simple terminologies.

Other articles authored by Rufran Frago:

  1. Risks Surrounding Canada’s TFW Part 1
  2. Risks as a Function of Time
  3. Project Schedule: P50, Anyone?
  4. Changing the Culture of Your Organization
  5. A Person Perceives Others Based on His Own Interest
  6. How Can Management Motivate and Empower?
  7. How Can Managers Increase Leadership Effectiveness
  8. Risks Surrounding Canada’s TFW Part 2
  9. Scaffolding Hours: What are they? Directs or Indirects? Part 2
  10. Oil Price, Recession: Causes, Issues and Risks

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