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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The Ultimate Risk Management Guide: Everything You Need to Know

the ultimate risk management guide everything you need to knowWhat’s the worst that could happen? Risk management is one of the first things you should be thinking about when planning for pretty much anything in your business.

The truth is, risk inescapable; success of your business is not determined by your ability to avoid risk, rather by your ability to accept, plan for, and take advantage of the varying outcomes risk might present to you.

It might sound negative, but risk management is actually more optimistic than it seems.

The key takeaway is that successful risk management strategies are proactive, as opposed to reactive.

By thinking ahead, you can prepare for and prevent risks before they even have a chance to arise.

In this article, we’ll take a look at how you can use Process Street to streamline and automate your risk management approach, including:

Hopefully by the end of it, you’ll have a better understanding of how to focus your risk management efforts into a forward-facing, proactive approach.

There are lots of ways to approach and prepare for risk, and this article will give you the tools you need to master risk management.
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What Is ISO 31000? Getting Started with Risk Management

what is iso 31000? Getting started with risk management

We analyze and manage risks every day.

From crossing the street, correctly preparing food, fastening seat belts, to coordinating a journey via public transit. Each of these is an example of a risk management process happening in our heads; sometimes the result of “common sense”, sometimes these decisions are made unconsciously.

When it comes to business management, a more rigorous, formalized approach is needed.

One such strategy for managing risk is to utilize standards for risk management, like ISO 31000. This approach is useful in pretty much any situation, for organizations of all shapes and sizes, to manage risk in their everyday operations.

Managing risk effectively is essential to ensure businesses succeed and thrive in an environment of constant uncertainty. This post covers everything you need to know about ISO 31000; here’s a quick rundown of the article structure:

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Basics of Enterprise Risk Management (ERM): How to Get Started

risk management framework

Organizations exist to create value for their stakeholders. By setting objectives, developing strategies, following through and continuously improving processes, value is created.

That’s the ideal situation, at least. In reality, it’s not always as simple as making a plan and sticking to it. There’s always the risk that certain events could affect the success of these plans.

It’s the job of management to make adequate preparations to ensure that systems are in place to continue hitting objectives, even when the beast of unforeseen circumstance rears its head.

Enterprise risk management (ERM) is a direct solution to these kinds of uncertainties, allowing management to oversee the continual creation of value on a complete, integrated, organization-wide level.

By utilizing an effective ERM system, you can rest assured that the organization will see a consistently high success rate in terms of hitting objectives and KPIs.

Stakeholders of all kinds, from customers, suppliers, government and regulatory bodies are all increasingly interested in how businesses are implementing ERM. A well-implemented ERM system could set the foundation for many high-quality, long-term client relationships.

Equally, not having a proper system for enterprise risk management could mean your business is perceived as less competent, and could even result in loss of clients and damage to brand image.

In this post, I’ll discuss:

  • Introduction to and basics of enterprise risk management
  • Benefits of a well-implemented ERM system
  • Core ideas of ERM
  • Examples of different ERM approaches
  • The enterprise risk management process
  • Implementing ERM
  • Automating ERM

To begin with, I’ll start by breaking down the full scope of an ERM system, and some basic definitions.

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