Join Bob McGannon for an in-depth discussion in this video Building a risk register, part of Project Management Foundations: Risk.
So you have a collection of items that you want to keep track of and care for appropriately. First thing you would do is find a place to keep them, right? Many project managers draft a set of risks, but create a problem for themselves because they don't create a common and accessible place to keep and care for them. To prevent yourself from having this problem on your projects, it is important to create a risk register. Let's examine the data elements you include in a rich useful risk register.
First and foremost, the risk register captures details for the risks that have been identified at the beginning and during the life of the project. It also includes the high, medium, or low grades in terms of their likelihood of occurring and how seriously they'd impact your project. Second, you include the plans for treating each risk, as well as the costs of any treatment strategy, who's responsible to execute, and the results if that strategy was executed.
Third, your risk register should identify the owner of the risk and how the risk is tied to a task or series of tasks in the project schedule. Risks typically manifest themselves in the execution of tasks or a hurdle to executing a task appropriately. As a means of tracking your risks appropriately, and understanding when they might occur, or the risk possibility is past, having risks tied to tasks is a useful management practice.
Now that I've outlined the data to include in your risk register, let's talk about best practices for making the risk register as pragmatic as possible. First, use your risk register as a risk focus task or to-do list. You should have statuses related to each risk and allocate action items to each risk. You should also assign resources to each risk-related action, so it's clear who's responsible for managing the risks.
My second best practice to share, ensure you understand the in's and out's of your project before you build and publish your first risk register. This allows you to collect the knowledge and understanding of your key stakeholders and understand how they want to manage risk. It also helps to know where to get the information you're going to need to ensure your risks are relevant. Third, sort the risks in your risk register by probability and impact to your project.
You'll be dealing with a number of risks in a typical project. However, you do not need to share every risk with your sponsor and senior stakeholders. They will probably only be interested in risks that they have to address themselves. Having your risk register sorted appropriately means you can easily share the top risks with senior stakeholders. One last best practice, make your risk register complete, but keep it brief and to the point. Your risk register should be much more than a list saying you have 20 risks.
Ensure it can quickly convey essential risk information and what you're doing about the risks. Also, make sure it's updated at least after every status meeting. Your risk register will serve as a great tool if you are vigilant by including and maintaining the right information throughout the project. It brings your risk management plan to life and gives you a concise crisp summary of the status of all the risks on your project at any point in time.
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- Incorporating risk management into your project
- Identifying risk
- Categorizing risks
- Performing qualitative and quantitative risk analysis
- Building a risk-response plan
- Deciding when to execute a risk-response plan<br><br>
- The PMI Registered Education Provider logo is a registered mark of the Project Management Institute, Inc.