Risk Identification is an ongoing and continues activity that takes place during the Risk Management Process and throughout the life-cycle of a project. Each step in the Risk Management Process should include some level of risk identification. Project activities such as programmatic and technical meetings, risk analysis, risk planning, telecons, reviews bring to light new and old project risks. Lessons learned databases also are a good source for identifying potential risks. When this occurs, they should be recorded in a database and analyzed. The procedures outlined below help the Risk Integrated Product Team (IPT), Program Manager (PM) and Systems Engineer identify project risks throughout the life of a project.

Risk Identification Procedures include:

  1. Risk Integrated Product Team (IPT) identifies list of potential risk items.  There are variety methods of identifying risks. Risk can be identified from:
  2. Risks are determined to be acceptable or not. Not all risk items identified in step 1 are accepted.
  3. Accepted risks should be recorded and put into a Risk Register
  4. Identify root causes for each identified risk
  5. Risk analysis should examine each identified risk to refine the description of the risk, isolate the cause, determine the effects and aid in setting risk mitigation priorities. (Risk Reporting Matrix)
  6. Risk Mitigation Planning should address each risk with action items and due dates.
  7. Risk Integrated Product Team (IPT) meets regularly (every 2 weeks) to assess risks and add new risk items, if necessary.
  8. Risks are closed when all the actions to close the risk have been taken. Some risk items are closed quickly; others are open for a long time. Some are considered watch items and the action plan doesn’t kick in until certain negative events happen.
  9. Closed risks remain in the database for future learning.

Common risk identification methods are:

  • Objectives-based risk identification: Organizations and project teams have objectives. Any event that may endanger achieving an objective partly or completely is identified as risk.
  • Scenario-based risk identification: In scenario analysis different scenarios are created. The scenarios may be the alternative ways to achieve an objective, or an analysis of the interaction of forces in, for example, a market or battle. Any event that triggers an undesired scenario alternative is identified as risk.
  • Taxonomy-based risk identification: The taxonomy in taxonomy-based risk identification is a breakdown of possible risk sources. Based on the taxonomy and knowledge of best practices, a questionnaire is compiled. The answers to the questions reveal risks.
  • Common-risk checking: In several industries lists with known risks are available. Each risk in the list can be checked for application to a particular situation.

AcqLinks and References:

Updated: 7/29/2017

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