Identify Project Risks

A project risk is an uncertain event or condition that may affect a project outcome. Given the inherent uncertainties that can exist when carrying out a research project, it is important that the project plan is carefully reviewed to identify known areas of uncertainties. During the planning of a project, the project scope, schedule, and budget should be analyzed for risk. Identified risk should be investigated to determine its likelihood and probably.

Based on the probability (likelihood) and potential negative impact of the identified risk on the project, a risk rating can be determined. The figure below provides an example of a ‘Risk Probability and Impact Matrix’ that is provided on the ‘Risk Register Template.’ This matrix structure combines the probability and impact to identify the total risk exposure, and thus can be used to prioritize risks for attention. In this manner risks can be rated as low, medium, or high in terms of priority. As shown in the figure, as the impact and probability of a risk increases, so does its priority for attention. Mitigating measures should be identified in a priority manner to identify actions that can be taken to help avoid the risk or lessen its impact on the project. The identified risk and the associated mitigation strategy should be identified and recorded within a project risk register during the planning stages of the project.