The Risk Register is a table that tracks the project risk management activities.
When to use
The Risk Register is used whenever you are conducting any aspect of project risk management. The Risk Register documents the results of the activities that have occurred and normally tracks the status of risk response implementation.
The Risk Register is a table that tracks the risk management activities on a project. It is normally created using a spreadsheet application such as Excel although there are several commercially avaiable applications. When using Excel, I maintain two worksheets. One worksheet is the open, or unresolved, risks. When a risk resolution has been implemented and verified, I move that risk to a second worksheet of resolved risks. At the end of the project, all risks are resolved. The “open risk” worksheet is empty and the “resolved risk” worksheet is a record of all the risks and what was done. This is ready to be placed in the project archives and used for discussion during the Lessons Learned session.
Risk Register column headings
The exact names for column headings vary widely among organizations. There is no required format, if your organization has a template – use it.
Typically the column heading can be separated into three categories. The first category is the headings that describe the risk. There is often a risk number assigned to each risk. In addition, there is usually a column that is the risk name or description. I also like to include the task or phase in which the risk will impact the project.
The second category of columns is the analysis columns. These will often have a column for probability and another one for impact. These columns may be descriptive in nature (high, medium, low) or numeric values for probability or cost and schedule impact. These are often combined into a risk ranking or priority. I also include a column for urgency in the analysis section to help prioritize the risk response development activities.
The final category of columns addresses the risk response. They normally include a column for a description of the response, the status of the implementation and possibly a trigger if the need for risk response implementation is uncertain.
Additional columns are often used based upon the procedures or preferences of the organization or stakeholders.
Risk Register: “A repository in which outputs of risk management processes are recorded.” PMBOK® Guide
This definition is taken from the Glossary of the Project Management Institute, A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge, (PMBOK® Guide) – Sixth Edition, Project Management Institute, Inc., 2017.
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