Risk Register in Project Management

Risk management is necessary in every project, and the precision to which it is developed and conducted greatly affects the outcome of the project itself. The best way to keep tabs on the risks facing, or that have already occurred in your project is through a project risk register.


What is a project risk register?

The risk register is a master document that is usually used to record and highlight all the risks facing the project. It may be a simple document, a spreadsheet or even a database. The information put into it regarding the risks is categorized according to factors like the type of risk, severity and date of occurrence.

Creating a project risk register

While there are many ways to develop a risk register in a project, the most convenient and easiest way is through tabular form. The information is easily categorized and presented in a manner that is easy and fast to read. This gives all the relevant people a strong and clear approach when tackling the risks. To ensure that all the risks have been identified, the project manager should seek input from all the concerned people. These include other team members, stakeholders, regulatory authorities and ordinary people affected by the project.

For neatness, the risks should be properly identified and categorized in the project risk register. You can create classes and categories for risk types and risk status:

  • business risk – This concerns the achievement of the benefits that the project hopes to achieve.
  • Stage risk – Risks occur in specific stages of the project and as such are associated with developments undertaken in those stages.
  • Project risk – These are concerned with the management of the project. Different types of risks affect different aspects of the project as a whole and the overall outcome.
  • Description There should also be a short description of each risk to allow different people understand the risks quickly and easily.

Project Risk Status: This is whether the risk is live or is no longer a threat to the project. The status of different risks changes as they are addressed. Other convenient and crucial categories that you should include the following:

  • Date – The date when the risk was identified.
  • Severity – The effects of the risk and how threatening they may be to all the concerned people.
  • Chances – Different risks also have different occurrence levels. This too should be indicated to ascertain level of threat.
  • Answers – The countermeasures of the risks should also be stated to help guide different people as they tackle the risks.

The project risk register should be constantly updated as different risks are identified both before commencing the project and during the progression of the project. This will ensure that all the risks are properly identified, categorized and approached.

If used well, the risk register can guide the project as it develops, ensuring that flaws, both anticipated and unexpected, are kept to the minimum. For effectiveness, all associated persons should give their insight on the project and any risks that may be have been identified, or which may be anticipated.

After you have finished all necessary steps in your project risk register development, it is important to ensure neatness and order in your project risk register for a clear and certain approach to different risks.