When project teams set out to achieve specific goals and outcomes they always have to first stop and consider risks. This is important during the planning phase and also important to frequently assess during the project life-time. The project team should check the status of the risk plan against reality at various moments in time.
A risk plan is simply a plan that helps you identify where obstacles to successful outcomes could appear and what you could do about it. In some cases a potential risk can be avoided by taking some preventative actions in time. Some risks or obstacles could be things that can happen at any moment and some would only occur under specific circumstances. The project team should consider the key elements of the project plan – where would the project plan have the highest risk of failing if key milestones or achievements are not met? That is the starting point of the template that I am sharing with you.
The Risk Management Template shows you how to identify risks, identify the risk level of a possible obstacle to project success, determine what can be done to avoid or mitigate an issue/obstacle to success and of course select who exactly should take the actions in the event that the risk is realized or upfront as a preventative measure.
Risk Management Template resource link
Just download the attachment and complete the sections in yellow for each of the key elements of your project plan. Then answer the questions as outlined at the top of each column for each of the key parts of your plan.
When you review the plan look at the elements that were rated as “high risk” that it could occur and also a “high impact” if that risk did materialize. Focus your attention more on those items, but it is also true that sometimes a “low risk” obstacle could have a high impact on the project so be sure to review every element of the risk plan when you do your regular risk plan checks.
Every plan has risks and great returns on investments are often associated with a higher level of risks. The objective is not to avoid risks completely since the ability to manage risks well and willingness to accept and manage risks can be a competitive advantage in the marketplace. This template can help you increase your awareness of risks and learn how to manage them throughout your project. Becoming better at risk management will make you a valuable project member and business partner.