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What is Opportunity Management?

Smartpedia: Opportunity management refers to the aspects of systematic recognition, analysis and evaluation of opportunities, including the realisation of measures and the monitoring of success.

Opportunities and risks – a question of perspective

Many companies today operate in a rapidly changing business world. The term VUCA as an acronym for volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity is commonplace for these companies. Risks and opportunities influence entrepreneurial activity. Opportunity management refers to all aspects of the systematic identification, analysis, evaluation and prioritisation of opportunities, including the definition of measures, the realisation of these measures and success control.

In some publications, opportunity management is also defined as the conscious handling of savings and the optimisation of costs and deadlines. However, such an interpretation contradicts the fundamental effects of risks and opportunities, of risk management and opportunity management. The consideration of risks is very important for many organisations, but a risk is often – and rightly – seen as something negative. A risk is something insecure and it is not known whether it will occur. But it is the same with an opportunity. Even with an opportunity, it is not foreseeable whether it can be realised. It is also a (positive) deviation from a plan.

Opportunity management as mindset

The more complex an environment is, the more unexpected opportunities appear and disappear again just as quickly. This is why opportunity management is above all a mindset. A mindset that also derives opportunities from risks:

  • Risk: You want to go by car from A to B and fear a traffic jam.
  • Derived chance: You travel by train from A to B and use the travel time for reading.


Opportunities and risks - a question of perspective

Especially in the context of VUCA, it is important for companies to recognise opportunities and implement them. Of course, it is also advisable in opportunity management to use classic elements such as stakeholder management, a business case or projects to develop new solutions. Opportunities must be identified, analysed and evaluated, and the best of them used.

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One approach to consider both opportunities and risks may be the contingency analysis.

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