How to build a project risk register

Back in our article 5 Essentials for project managers we described how important it was to capture and monitor project risks. However for first time project managers it may be confusing what to record and monitor.

Risks that are captured within projects are usually recorded within a risk register (sometimes referred to as a risk log). Whilst there’s no hard and fast rule about what risk registers contain as a minimum for each risk captured the log should contain:

1/ Unique ID or Number for each risk
2/ Who raised the risk
3/ Date that the risk was last reviewed
4/ Description of the risk
5/ Countermeasures/Mitigation – how to prevent the risk from occurring
6/ Risk “Owner” – who owns associated tasks and activity
7/ Likelihood of occurrence (often a score e.g. 0 – 5)
8/ Impact – This may be both financial and procedural (again this may be in the form of a rating score)
9/ Action Status

Bear in mind that risks may come from a variety of sources, these can include

Business risks e.g. Resistance to change
Supplier risks e.g. Failure to deliver product to time
Design risks e.g. Product fails to meet business need
Economic risks e.g. Project exceed budget

The risk register should be reviewed regularly by the Project Team, new risks should be added and existing risks reviewed and like hood/impact assessed.

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