Risk assessment includes both the identification of potential risk and the evaluation of the potential impact of the risk.
A risk mitigation plan is designed to eliminate or minimize the impact of the risk events—occurrences that have a negative impact on the project.
The result is a clearer understanding of where risks are most concentrated.
This approach helps the project team identify known risks, but can be restrictive and less creative in identifying unknown risks and risks not easily found inside the WBS.
Some companies and industries develop risk checklists based on experience from past projects.
These checklists can be helpful to the project manager and project team in identifying both specific risks on the checklist and expanding the thinking of the team.The risk management plan tells you how you’re going to handle risk in your project.It documents how you’ll assess risk, who is responsible for doing it, and how often you’ll do risk planning (since you’ll have to meet about risk planning with your team throughout the project).Identifying risk is both a creative and a disciplined process.The creative process includes brainstorming sessions where the team is asked to create a list of everything that could go wrong.If it’s very windy out or if the ground is slippery and uneven, then falling is more likely (Figure 16.1).When you’re planning your project, risks are still uncertain: they haven’t happened yet.Some examples of categories for potential risks include the following: You can use the same framework as the work breakdown structure (WBS) for developing a risk breakdown structure (RBS).A risk breakdown structure organizes the risks that have been identified into categories using a table with increasing levels of detail to the right.It’s important to come up with guidelines to help you figure out how big a risk’s potential impact could be.The impact tells you how much damage the risk would cause to your project.