Categorized | Risk Management

Creating a project risk register

For Novice project managers one of the more unfamiliar tasks is that of risk management. The risk management process is one which is well documented and contains a suite of documents that are used to manage the process throughout the life of the project.

The key document in all of this is the risk register.

The risk register or risk log, is the repository for captured actions and will usually include a variety of other information such as mitigation activity.

The complexity of the risk register can vary depending on the organization or the project itself but most tend to be based on standard foundations.

In this example we’ll talk about the various elements that go into producing a basic risk register. The good news is that risk registers don’t require fancy software and while you can buy designated risk management tools you can equally establish your own risk log in a database, spreadsheet or word processing document.

How to write a basic risk register

1/ Include a header that contains key information such as the project name – last review date, project manager name
2/ Create a table that includes
3/ ID number – a unique reference for each risk
4/ Risk Description – a detailed description for the risk e.g. “Hardware not available as required”
5/ Probability – how likely is it that the risk will be realized (e.g. 50%)
6/ Financial impact pre mitigation – “$5,000 additional cost to project if realized”
7/ Schedule impact pre mitigation – “two weeks delay to deliverable”
8/ Mitigation action – what will you do to prevent the risk from occurring
9/ Probability post mitigation – after carrying out the mitigation activity how likely is it that the risk will be realized (i.e 10%)
10/ Financial impact post mitigation – “$2,000 additional cost to project”
11/ Schedule impact post mitigation – “3 days delay to deliverable”
12/ Owner – who is responsible for following up the mitigation activity and updating the risk review team.
13/ Next Review date – when will the risk next be reviewed – i.e. monthly, weekly etc.

This basic risk register will enable you to capture and assess risks – control mitigation activity and act as an artefact that can be used for periodic risk reviews.

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