Risk Register Template-The Benefits of a Standardized Approach

risk register templateYour Risk Register Template is the tabular structure that provides a home for every element of your risk management process.

Clever application of a standardized Risk Register Template helps you manage complexity and prevent failures, so that your projects are less risky, and more flexible and efficient. In an earlier article we reviewed the 12 key elements of the Project Risk Register.  Now let’s look at the seven Cs that describe the benefits your Project Risk Register delivers.

1. Consistency. You achieve consistency when you conform to a logically ordered and integrated standard. A Risk Register Template provides a quick and easy framework that is simple to complete and ensures you include all the elements necessary to assess, treat and manage risk. This allows you to achieve a consistent level of quality, time and again.

2. Compactness. A tabular layout makes it easy to see all the issues at a glance. Distilling a large amount of complex information into a compact format allows you to break down key information so that you can deliver it to your audience in easily digestible chunks. Don’t think that your team and stakeholders will painstakingly search through lengthy written documents to find the information they need, because they won’t. Providing them with a compact alternative encourages knowledge sharing and risk awareness.

3. Concision. Like the Project Charter, concision is king. That’s why this post is no more than 600 words, while still making all the important points. Think of your Risk Register Template in the same way – it is a tool that forces you to be concise. It includes exactly what needs to be included – no more and no less. You save time and energy.

4. Commitment. Risk Management isn’t the job of just the project manager. Using a structured template allows you to identify actions to treat risk and to assign those actions to risk owners. By doing this, you get commitment from your wider team and stakeholders to own and manage risk. This also increases awareness of the overall project risks and how everyone has a contribution to make.

5. Completeness. In your Risk Register Template there is a place for everything. Nothing in the risk management process is ignored, inadvertently or otherwise. This maximizes your ability to holistically manage project risks.

6. Control. When project risks are listed consistently, coherently and completely, with commitment to action plans, then and only then can you track and control them. This allows you to control the quality of your risk management process. You and your team can refer to the Register as a touchstone for checking and monitoring progress towards achieving your agreed risk management outcomes.

7. Communication. Clarity of communications is at the core of any successful management endeavor. The outcome of all the above benefits is that the Risk Register allows you to communicate clearly with your project team and stakeholders about project risks and how they will be managed, monitored and controlled. Nothing is left to chance.

Often a standardized approach, such as a template, is viewed as an inflexible one size fits all solution that stifles innovation. In this case the reverse is true. Using a Risk Register Template helps you improve how you manage project risks, and lets you do it consistently, concisely and thoroughly. By using a Risk Register Template instead of reverting to a random process, you quickly generate a systematic and ordered method for capturing and managing risks that creates time and capacity for innovation.

For busy professionals who need to meet continuing professional development requirements and boost their career opportunities, our online courses provide a flexible and cost-effective way to achieve this by providing anywhere, anytime access and a supportive online community. Continuing Professional Development offers a series of online project management courses to advance your project management skills and your career. Our Risk Management Online Course which includes an Excel Project Risk Register Template, gives you the practical skills to develop a comprehensive risk management process. You can purchase it separately, or as part of our bundled course Project Management Essentials-Part 2.

Risk Management Online Course

Take this risk management online course to help you understand and manage risk. Comprehensive risk management is pivotal to successful organisational, business and project outcomes. Risk management not only uncovers threats but, just as importantly, it can reveal golden opportunities. These opportunities can make your project smarter, faster and more profitable. Read more …

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About the Author

Vivian Kloosterman is the founder of Continuing Professional Development which delivers online learning courses over the web. Advancing personalized learning has been identified as one of the 14 biggest challenges facing our world in the future, and Vivian is particularly focused on creating interactive, engaging e-learning courses for professionals that are practical and relevant to help them meet CPD requirements. She is a professional engineer with 30 years of business, governance, management and technical experience.

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