Risk Register

A risk is an uncertain event that has the potential to affect project objectives. Therefore there is a necessity to identify risks and record them in a continuously updated document. This document is the risk register. 

A risk register is a natural result of risk identification. Risk register is the document where we list and give details about each individual project risk that was identified. It should be continuously updated in all phases of a project.

Risk register is specifically used in the execution part of projects, therefore we can say we will come across this document in project work performance domain and delivery performance domain. However, a project manager should start to think about risks as early as possible. Therefore most of project charter documents have a kind of condensed risk register inside of them. Then it should be used for planning purposes. Along with all these usage areas, there is a specific performance domain focused on uncertainty.

To sum up, Risk registers should be used in;

In project management effort, risk register should be taken into consideration in scope definition, in development of schedule, in several estimating processes, in the determination of project budget, in almost all planning endeavor, in executing project work and of course in all risk related tailored processes.

Risk register is indeed one of the most important project artifacts. However, its usage has some drawbacks stemmed from general approach of project teams to overcomplicate it. A risk register should be simple and to the point. Therefore it provides a good basis for risk responses.

The essential elements of a risk register are as follow,
  • Date of record for each identified risk,
  • Unique number of the risk identified,
  • Risk group,
  • A brief description of the risk,
  • The controls for the risk,
  • The potential impact of the risk,
  • Likelihood of the risk,
  • Priority factors for the risk,
  • The person responsible for managing the risk.
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