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IFSM Microsoft Project WBS (Risk Register)


 The purpose of this Individual projectis to develop a risk analysis and a risk register spreadsheet for the ITP project.  This is an assessment of the potential risks that your project may run into in the future, and a plan for how to either prevent them or handle them if they do occur.  By addressing project risks in advance, we can reduce risks, reduce the chance that risks will mature into problems, and reduce costs, and increase chances of project success.



A project risk register,


     IIn the WBS (no fewer than 12 tasks must have risks identified — 3 major tasks, 3 sub-tasks, 3 lowest level leaf node tasks or sub-sub tasks, and also at least 3 risks at the overall project level (Level 0)).  (Note that this is minimum required, along with the other things below, to earn a satisfactory score.  To earn a better score, you would want to include more risks at each level, and some of the additional things mentioned below.) 

·         Risks may include, for example, technical IT risks, external risks that impact the project but which are outside the PM’s control, project management risks, risks of project changes, and so forth. 

      Please note that a task could have more than one risk!  The risk register must include MITIGATION strategies to eliminate or minimize the risk (risk handling procedures, mitigations) and contingency plans (what you will do if the risk happens).  If the format you are using does not include these columns, please add them, then be clear on the difference between mitigation and contingency.  Address what aspect of the project will be affected by each mitigation action – cost, schedule, or scope.  Provide a recommendation for whether or not the mitigation action should be implemented, remembering that EACH mitigation will impact the project’s scope, cost or schedule. 

      The risk register should also include:

o    Title or description of item or TASK at risk.  (This is the WBS task in which the risk occurs, not the risk itself.)

o    Also includethe WBS ID anda designation of which WBS level the task is at.  Each risk in the Risk Register should show the WBS level of the task that it refers to.  I urge you to let the computer do this for you, since doing it by hand seems error prone for some reason.  Either import the field from MS Project or use an Excel formula to calculate the level for you. 

o    Description of the RISK (What is the risk? What is at risk of happening?) (This identifies the nature of the risk itself, not the task.)

o    Risk category or type (e.g., technical risks, quality risks, financial risks, external risks, organization risks, project risks, quality risks, other risks, etc)

o    Consequences, impact, or cost at risk (adjectival or numeric)

o    Likelihood or probability (adjectival or numeric)

o    Initial risk score (or “risk product”, consequence times likelihood)

o    Risk handling category (avoidance, mitigation, transfer, acceptance, etc.)

o    Brief narrative risk handling / control / action plan, including

§  the mitigation action that, if taken, would minimize the impact of the risk.

§  cost and time to mitigate. 

§  contingency plan – what the team will do if the risk actually happens

o    See the textbook for definitions and details

o    Designation of risk “owner” or risk manager (best designated by title or role rather than by individual’s name)

o    For additional points, you may include such things as:

§  Additional risks

§  Risks for additional tasks

§  Results of handling each risk after controls are implemented:

§  Consequences or cost at risk

§  Likelihood or probability

§  Final risk score or product (consequence times likelihood)

§  Quantitative numerical consequences, probabilities, and risk scores (rather than subjective, qualitative, or adjectival assessments)

§  Additional narrative discussion of each risk, handling method, etc.

§  Total of all the risk scores (risk products) for the entire project after risk controls are implemented, in dollars.

o    Suggested fields to include should include those listed in among others.


      Also include some risks associated with the general ability to complete the project successfully.  (You might consider these risks at Level 0, the root level, of the WBS, affecting the entire project.)

      Finally, if you quantitatively calculated the risk product in those terms, then what is the total of all the initial risk scores (risk products) for the entire project, in dollars.


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