Smart book takes aim at improved risk management

Oct 30, 2020 at 11:02 am by WGNS

Risk is real and affects all projects, both public and private. All projects, large and small, are subject to a variety of risks. The failure to manage inherent risk with diligence and know-how can lead to devastating consequences for an organization. However, risk can be managed effectively.

Murfreesboro’s Christian Smart provides expert advice on risk management in a book to be published in November by McGraw-Hill.

Smart is a consultant for NASA and the U.S. Department of Defense whose book offers a guide to businesses to determine and minimalize risks in project management. “Solving for Project Risk Management: Understanding the Critical Role of Uncertainty in Project Management” is his first book.

Smart has a Ph.D. in applied mathematics, with more than 20 years of experience with the application of predictive analytics, machine learning and risk management to defense and aerospace programs. 

The restrictions of the Covid epidemic proved an opportunity for Smart who used the restrictions to concentrate intensely on expanding a manuscript focusing on risk management in the defense and aerospace industries to business overall as requested by McGraw-Hill in editing negotiations.

The timing was fortunate, Smart said, as his family had just decided to stay home for several weeks due to COVID-19, and that helped him focus and meet his deadline. 

The publication date is Nov. 3. It will be in bookstores and should be in the business section of some bookstores across the country, including Barnes and Noble.

Smart has written several award-winning conference papers on project risk in his work on NASA and Department of Defense projects, which led to invitations to present his work on risk to the Navy, the American Institute for Aeronautics and Astronautics, and the International Council of Systems Engineering. The book is an outgrowth of that work.

“If a company is exposed to too much risk, it can go bankrupt,” Smart said, adding, “ To compensate, many private firms that do not understand their risks and rewards act too conservatively and do not take on enough risk.”

He began work on the book in 2014 with a working outline but was able to work on it only sporadically until last year when he completed his original manuscript.

Efforts to arrange publication eventually led to McGraw-Hill.

The book has drawn strong endorsements across the business community.

"Christian Smart has produced a brilliantly researched, highly readable book that should be of interest to everyone who gets out of bed in the morning-that is, everyone who encounters risk. I only wish I had read it earlier in my would have saved my employers millions of dollars,” Norm Augustine, former CEO of Lockheed Martin. 

He is the chief data scientist for Galorath, a consulting firm that specializes in cost estimating for Department of Defense and NASA programs.  Smart has a Ph.D. in applied mathematics, and is a prolific research, writer, and presenter. He has received numerous best paper awards and an Exceptional Public Service medal from NASA. Smart currently serves at the vice president for Professional Development with the International Cost Estimating and Analysis Association. He served as director for cost analytics for the Missile Defense Agency for seven years. 

He lives in the Riverbend Subdivision in Murfreesboro, with wife Glenda, young son Miles, and their cat Elvis. They are members of Belle Aire Baptist Church, and he is involved in the local Kiwanis Club.


WHAT: New book, “Solving for Project Risk Management: Understanding the Critical Role of Uncertainty in Project Management,” published by McGraw-Hill

WHY: Effectively managing risk is critical to successful business.

WHO: Dr. Christian Smart, data analyst, applied mathematician.

WHEN: November, 2020

Sections: News