Watch out for Risk!

“An uncertain event or condition that, if it occurs, has a positive or negative effect on one or more project objectives.” PMBOK Guide®

Risks to the project and their characteristics must be identified. An assessment of overall project risk should be included in the project charter, though the major risk identification effort occurs during planning. This is not a one time process. Risks should be continually reassessed and everyone should be involved. The Identifying Risks process leads to the production of a risk register. The risk register is the one document for the entire risk management process that will be constantly updated with information as the risk management processes are completed. This is controlled at the project team level so you do not need an approved change to update it.

Implementing risk responses is where the value of proper risk management becomes most apparent. Responses can be handled smoothly since the previous documented plans allow for timely and effective responses to the risk events. Throughout the project, the risk register and risk report are reviewed regularly. This is to ensure that everyone is aware of potential risks and ready to implement the planned responses as needed. Information on triggers enables the project manager, risk owner, and team to recognize indications that a risk event is imminent. At that point, the risk owner, supported by the project manager, would lead previously assigned resources in performing planned response activities. The consequences of threats are averted, or opportunities are taken advantage of. The success of the implemented responses are evaluated using the risk thresholds documented in the plan along with an indication of what amount of relief is required from the risk response.

The risk register is updated with information on responses taken, details on how well the responses addressed the risk and suggested changes to future risk response plans.

Risk Register

  • Potential risk owners and the potential risk responses they will own.
  • Root causes of risks where they have already been identified.
  • Updated risk categories, such as technology changes, lack of resources, regulatory hurdles, cultural issues.
  • Other information, such as risk triggers, potential impacts, when each risk could occur, and when each risk will no longer present a threat or opportunity.

    We provide helpful templates in most of our courses, and this is one of the most popular. Click here to download your own copy of the Risk Register template. Come back often to see other templates to help your projects thrive!

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