Momentum, Democracy & IT Controls

I have written often on the need for transparency requirements for IT security controls and often how one might apply them to e-voting systems. I have specifically written about how this problem applies and is not solved in Momentum. I had a discussion today and recalled the voting results for Momentum’s Democracy Review e-consultation, in particular the vote on CLP governance issues where over 40 votes arrived in the dying hours of the vote, changing the result which up to that time, had been an important yet sectarian contest between “stop the purge” and “Labour against the witch hunt” as to who’s definition of fair expulsions should become momentum’s view. For clarity, I voted for the “stop the purge” proposal but, either of these positions would have embarrassed Momentum’s leadership, as from their actions, they seem quite prepared to use the exclusion mechanisms against political opponents and also the disciplinary rules even against former allies with a very limited support of natural justice.

This is important today as Momentum propose to change their OMOV systems for their central committee but voted not to appoint independent scrutineers. Whether what I saw is true and whether my suspicions are true is not the central test, Momentum cannot prove that the system is safe from an insider attack.

Since the private pages are not archived to the wayback machine, I have taken a screen shot of the final result as at 28th July 2019, showing the final results and posted it below/overleaf. …  …

Risk, bias and planning

Risk, bias and planning

A couple of years ago, I wrote a precis of the McKinsey Quarterly article, “Distortions and deceptions in strategic decisions”. They started with a review of the way human bias can adversely impact strategic investment decisions illustrating it with a story about a mega-merger which failed. They conclude the article with,

Companies can’t afford to ignore the human factor in the making of strategic decisions. They can greatly improve their chances of making good ones by becoming more aware of the way cognitive biases can mislead them, by reviewing their decision-making processes, and by establishing a culture of constructive debate.

The first half of the article examines the propensity to optimism vs. perceptions of loss aversion and argue that portfolio management is a better way to evaluate the risk as lossess can be compensated by other success. I believe though that British management and particularly public sector management is very risk adverse; there is a higher fear of getting things wrong than getting things right although how we end up with Universal Credit, the Boris “vanity lard bus”, his water cannons and his other “erections”, I don’t know.

What made me remember the article was it’s listing of what they call tools to isolate any human bias to me most importantly

Another technique is to request that managers show more of their cards: some companies, for instance, demand that investment recommendations include alternatives, or “next-best” ideas.

I wonder how many of these lessons need to be applied to local authority planning decisions.  Check below/overleaf for more …

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Predicting Outage

Mike Harding (Sun Preventive (sic) Services) presented on his groups new offerings. The highlight for me was his very dramatic illustration that standard availability metrics i.e. Four or Five Nines are historic and cannot be changed, in order to manage, leading indicators are needed which is why Sun has developed the Operational Risk Index (ORI). This may not be new to some of you, but it is to me despite Richard Morgan’s attempts to keep me up to date.  Mike also had a very dramatic illustration of risk dimensions, differentiating between probability and severity (or cost). Interestingly the bulk of the audience chose to minimise probability not cost. …

About: Risk

I was preparing a project proposal before christmas and we were trying to define what a risk was (Again!). Some mediocre (if the cap fits……) project managers think to improve their credibility by saying risk every other word. I offer you (& them) the following, although its not original,

“A risk is an event that is futuristic, uncertain and detrimental.

Its a new FUD! …