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Although we cannot predict the future, having a detailed risk management plan will help you see all possible outcomes and assess the impact of any risks that may exist to support your decision-making in times of uncertainty.
Project managers often view risk management plans as a way to check boxes rather than a strategic part in planning. I have seen projects fail due to the lack of a risk management plan or the absence of a strategy.
What is a Risk Management Plan and how do you define it?
A risk management plan simply means a document that describes how your project team will respond to any unexpected or unanticipated events that could affect the project.
Although you may hear the term “risk management program” abbreviated to “RMP”, it is not the only one that can use the acronym. RMP can also refer the Risk Management Professional certification from PMI, or Resource Management Plan in a similar context.
While some organizations prefer to have complex approaches to risk management, it is not necessary. It is important to identify the risks in your organization/project, then to categorize a risk response.
What is covered in a Risk Management Plan?
Your project’s nature and the standard operating procedures used in the organizations will determine the degree of fidelity of your risk management program.
A risk management plan attempts to answer the following questions:
What is the purpose of this project and why is it important?
Why is risk management important to the success of a project?
What will the team do throughout the project to identify, log, assess and monitor risks?
Which risk categories will we manage?
Which method will be used for assessing risk severity?
What are the expectations of those who take on the risks?
What is too much risk?
What are the risks? And what can we do about them?
The problem is that depending on the project, this document may be hundreds of pages long or less than a dozen pages.
We held a workshop on managing risks. DPM Members can access it here.
How do you decide how detailed to provide? These are just two examples, but they are not the only way to do it. ).
Risk Management Plan Examples
A simple example: Lightweight RAID log
A risk management plan in its simplest form could only have a few pages.
How and when risk will be assessed
The roles and responsibilities of risk owners
What point should an escalation be triggered by project risk?
This is how a basic example for a risk management program could look.
A lightweight risk management approach, which may not require a formal risk register to calculate risk severity but is more effective, may include a list in your weekly status reports.
This list, also known as a RAID log, usually tracks risks, assumptions, issues, and dependencies that the sponsor and team can review and discuss.
Here’s an example RAID log that shows how it can be used to track Risks, Assumptions and Dependencies.
When to use it
Related: What are RAID Logs? Expert Template + Simple Example
A more complex example: Heavy Duty Risk Matrix
If an organization already has a culture for risk management, it may have a template that they can follow. This requires a lot of detail. These details could include a description of the methodology used to perform qualitative and quantitative risk analyses, as well as an impact matrix.
A powerful impact