Project ManagementRisk Management

It’s Time to Reinvent Your Project Risk Register

Many project managers using risk registers fail to understand the basic risk concepts and utilize incorrect techniques in preparing risk management plans. Studies have indicated that 81% of organizations believe their risk registers are ineffective at identifying potential risks, and 30% of project failures result from inadequate risk management. In this article at CMS Wire, Norman Marks explains the problems with a risk register and ways to avoid them.

Mistakes to Avoid

Failure to Update

At the start of the project, you document each risk in a risk register. You may even carefully review the risk register each week and determine if any action is required. Remember, there are often internal and external changes that impact all areas of the project, including risks. During the project lifecycle, new threats might appear, or existing risks might change in priority. Therefore, if you fail to keep your risk register updated, it might become ineffective and inaccurate.

Failure to Simplify

If you have a complicated risk register, you will undoubtedly find it challenging to maintain it. Create a risk register that is simple to review, understand, and update.

A Check Box Exercise

Studies have revealed that six out of ten project managers believe that risk identification and documentation have limited or no impact on their overall project plan. Many project managers consider risk register as a check box exercise and fail to properly assess and prioritize risks.

How to Create an Effective Risk Register

“There may be different gradations of ‘failure,’ each with its own level of consequence and each with its own likelihood,” says Marks. Therefore, the effective risk register must document:

  • Level of risk
  • Type of risk
  • Risk accountability
  • Probability of risk
  • Risk mitigation measures

To capture the above information, you must:

  • Follow a systematic process to ensure you are identifying all the potential risks associated with your project.
  • Record the details, actions, and updates during the project lifecycle.
  • Give your team members accountability for risks.

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Nivedita Gopalakrishna

Nivedita Gopalakrishna is currently working as a Content Specialist with CAI. She has more than eight years of experience in blogging, copywriting, and ghost-writing. Nivedita started her career as a reporter/sub-editor in one of the reputed newspaper organizations in India. She went on to pursue her career as a content analyst in an Indian-based company, Brickwork India Pvt Ltd. Nivedita has assisted several overseas clients with SEO-friendly content for B2C copies, blogs, product descriptions, newsletters, sales letters, e-books, and research papers. When she is not at her computer, you can find her either reading vintage novels or singing Indian classical music.

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