How to Prevent Project Failure With a Risk Register

risk register

What do professional skydivers and successful project managers have in common?

They both identify, assess, and plan for risks.

Skydivers look at the conditions, equipment, and capabilities before, during, and after they jump out of planes. Project managers look at the conditions, equipment, and capabilities before, during, and after projects.

Why do they do that?

To stay on top of potential issues that could derail intended outcomes” – Project Manager, Guide to Using a Risk Register

How do they do that?

Well, I don’t know how skydivers do it, but to identify, assess, and plan for risks, a good project manager is never far away from a risk register.

But, when I discovered that 81% of organizations feel their risk registers are ineffective at identifying and planning for potential risks, and 30% of projects fail as a direct result, I felt the need to write this Process Street post about how to create one.

So, listen up as we go through the following:

If you’re in a hurry, grab this free Risk Register Process Checklist now, and catch up with the what, why, and how later.

Got your parachute? Ready, set… Geeeeronimoooooo…

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HAZOP: The Cornerstone of Effective Risk Management

HAZOP

I’ve just read an article.

The first two lines scared the living crap out of me:

Dihydrogen Monoxide. It’s everywhere. It’s in our bodies, it’s in our houses, and it’s in the air we breathe.
If we consume too much of it however, we will die.

Critical Risk Analysis for Our Daily Lives, Harvard

As a self-confessed worrier, you can imagine what happened when I read that.

Sheer. Blind. Panic.

Until I read the next line;

Dihydrogen Monoxide is just the chemical name for water

Yes, I did feel silly. But it did get me thinking.

About ‘risk’ of all things.

Risk is everywhere, in everything we do.

As we’ve just read; there’s a risk of dying from drinking too much water. There’s a risk of catching coronavirus every time we leave the house. Risk of breaking an ankle slipping on spilled coffee at work. Risk of choking on a toast crumb.

So, given that everything in work and life is so risky, how are we able to work and live?!

Through managing the risks we face.

Which brings me to the point of this HAZOP post.

HAZOP (which stands for Hazard and Operability) is a way of managing risks. It’s a technique that identifies potential hazards and functional flaws in new or existing systems and processes.

To get to grips with how to manage risk with HAZOP, we’ll cover the following topics in this Process Street post:

If you need a little convincing, here’s a sneak peek of the free HAZOP Process that we’ve created. Check it out and get it for free below.

Pour yourself a glass of Dihydrogen Monoxide, and let’s get started!

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Business Risk: The 3 Main Threats to Your Business and How You Can Manage Them

Business Risk - The 3 Main Threats to Business and How You Can Manage Them

Global stock markets post biggest falls since the 2008 financial crisis.”The Guardian, 9th of March 2020

It was a Tuesday morning and my phone buzzed me out of my groggy, lethargic state, flashing open the above notification. The Coronavirus had hit businesses and our economy hard, potentially costing 2.7 trillion globally.

A viral risk, that went viral. Was something like this not foreseeable?

In this Process Street article, we turn our attention to the concept of business risk. As we write this article, the corona crisis is unfolding. We were warned about the risk of a virus outbreak but it appears we weren’t as prepared for it as we could have been.

But viruses are not the only risk we face. The 2020 Global Risk Report from the World Economic Forum (WEF) highlights a host of other risks, which we’ll turn our attention to in this article.

To get started, click on the relevant subheaders below to spring to that section. Alternatively, scroll down to read all we have to say regarding the concept of business risk.

Belts and braces on, let’s jump to it!
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