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Example of a Risk Register and Everything You Need to Know (+Template).

The most important document in project management is the Risk Register. This is something everyone agrees on. However, very few PMs actually keep it in great shape. Why? They complicate it!
The Risk Register is a document that contains information about identified risks, the results of Risk Analysis (impacts, probability, effects), and Risk Response Plans. The Risk Register can also be used to monitor and control risk throughout the project’s life cycle.
The first steps in risk management for me were also overwhelming. The most difficult was Risk Register.
It’s simple at first glance.
Simply fill out the information about each risk.
This is a trap for many junior project managers.
The truth is:
Keep in mind that the Risk Register can change at any time.
It is changing quickly.
Risks change and evolve.
A Risk Response Plan might not be efficient.
Opportunities and threats may disappear or become irrelevant.
Before we get into the details, remember these things:
The Risk Register should be easy to use, adaptable, manageable, and easily accessible.
Risk Register is not an independent document. It should be integrated with other Risk Management processes. This is why I recommend my Risk Management Plan.
Risk Management Plan Template
(For Software Projects).
Software project managers are often unaware of the contents of a Risk Management Plan. They simply don’t know how to write it. This can lead to many problems. Get my template and use it for a starting point. You also have access to all my risk management resources. This template will take the guesswork out of your project. You can easily make minor adjustments and present your risk management plan to your team and stakeholders.
Download the TemplateRisk Register Example Video
You should watch the video because it contains additional illustrations and examples.
In the video, you’ll also find additional risk examples.
Simple Risk Register Example
This template is available below.
Before you use it, make sure to read these instructions.
What is the Risk Register’s content?
These are the main entities I recommend you include in the log:
Risk Index
It is a unique number that identifies the risk.
Throughout the project’s lifetime, you will take on hundreds of risks. Even for a small project, there are many risks.
You need a simple method to point out the correct risk in the Register.
In most cases, four digits should suffice. Start with 0001.
It doesn’t need to be complicated. Keep increasing the risk by adding to it. Never reduce it.
WBS Element
I recommend that you include the risk register with any other project documentation.
The Work Breakdown Structure is designed to be the hub for integration with other knowledge areas.
Linking to the top-level item, for example, can pose a threat to the project’s outcome.
You can link to a Deliverable, or Work Package. This is an isolated risk.
You will need to verify later whether the work package is on Critical Path.
Modern project management software can log risks in a WBS component. You don’t need to create a separate spreadsheet.
Risk Category
You can identify the root cause of problems by grouping risks into categories. This may help you to address multiple risks with one Risk Response plan.
Before you can use the categories, you need to decide which ones to use.
You can use, for example, the following:
These are the most common: scope, schedule and cost.
Specific to your industry (e.g. IT: Design, implementation, testing and deployment.
PESTLE: Political, economic, technological, legal and environmental.
It’s up to the individual to choose the best categories.
To increase your knowledge of possible risks, you can also read this article:
43 Important Risk Categories for Effective Risk Identification
Risk Title
It is a one-sentence description for a Risk.