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Project Risk Register

Template & Guide

Version 1.3 (April 2008)

This Guide is intended to be read in conjunction with the following Template for the development of a
Project Risk Register.
As such, the Guide should be removed from the front of your final document.
The project management templates are being continuously improved. Feedback on suggested
improvements to this Template would be appreciated, and may be made to Project Services by


This material has been prepared for use by Tasmanian Government agencies and Instrumentalities. It
follows that this material should not be relied upon by any other person. Furthermore, to the extent
that ‘this material is relied upon’, the Crown in Right of the State of Tasmania gives no warranty as to
the accuracy or correctness of the material or for any advice given or for omissions from the material.
Users rely on the material at their own risk.

Inter Agency Policy and Projects Unit

Department of Premier and Cabinet
What is a Risk Register? Why would you develop a Risk
The Risk Register records details of all the
risks identified at the beginning and during A Risk Register is developed to:
the life of the project, their grading in
terms of likelihood of occurring and  provide a useful tool for managing
seriousness of impact on the project, initial and reducing the risks identified
plans for mitigating each high level risk, before and during the project;
the costs and responsibilities of the
 document risk mitigation strategies
prescribed mitigation strategies and
being pursued in response to the
subsequent results.
identified risks and their grading in
terms of likelihood and seriousness;
It usually includes:
 provide the Project Sponsor, Steering
 a unique identifier for each risk; Committee/senior management with a
documented framework from which
 a description of each risk and how it risk status can be reported;
will affect the project;
 ensure the communication of risk
 an assessment of the likelihood it will management issues to key
occur and the possible stakeholders;
seriousness/impact if it does occur
(low, medium, high);  provide a mechanism for seeking and
acting on feedback to encourage the
 a grading of each risk according to a involvement of the key stakeholders;
risk assessment table (refer to Table and
 identify the mitigation actions required
 who is responsible for managing the for implementation of the risk
risk; management plan and associated
 an outline of proposed mitigation costings.
actions (preventative and
contingency); and When would you develop a Risk
 in larger projects, costings for each Register?
mitigation strategy.
Initial risks must be identified and graded
This Register should be maintained according to likelihood and seriousness
throughout the project and will change very early in the Project. This initial risk
regularly as existing risks are re-graded in assessment will form part of the Project
the light of the effectiveness of the Proposal/Brief or Project Business Case
mitigation strategy, and new risks are for the project. Once the project is
identified. In smaller projects, the Risk approved the Risk Management Plan and
Register is often used as the Risk Risk Register should be fully developed.
Management Plan. In the case of smaller projects the Risk
Register may serve both purposes.

Inter Agency Policy and Projects Unit

Department of Premier and Cabinet
What you need before you start: Mitigation actions should include such
things as:
 Knowledge and understanding of the
project.  Preventative actions - planned actions
 Knowledge and understanding of the to reduce the likelihood a risk will
Key Stakeholders. occur and/or reduce the seriousness
should it occur. (What should you do
 Knowledge and understanding of now?)
appropriate types of risk management
activities, or where to obtain them.  Contingency actions - planned actions
to reduce the immediate seriousness
 Any of the following documents – of the risk when it does occur. (What
Project Proposal/Brief, Project should you do when?)
Business Case, or Project Business
Plan.  Recovery actions - planned actions
taken once a risk has occurred to
 The Tasmanian Government Project allow you to move on. (What should
Management Guidelines. you do after?)
Also advisable: The column for work breakdown structure
(WBS) indicates that the mitigation action
 Departmental Project Management has been added to the WBS; that is, it is
Guidelines. being acted upon.
 Corporate/Business Plan for the
Department/Business Unit. A number of different text styles have
been used within the template, as follows:
What you will have when you are  Text in blue italics is intended to
finished: provide a guide as to the kind of
information that can be included in a
A complete Project Risk Register that is section and to what types of projects it
ready to be given due consideration by the might be applicable. It should be
Project Sponsor and/or the Project deleted from the final document .
Steering Committee.  Text in normal font is intended as
 Text enclosed in <angle brackets> is
intended to be replaced by whatever it
How to use this template is describing.
 This document has been formatted for
The template consists of some headings duplex printing. If you intend to print
and a table that reflects the nature of the single sided, you may need to delete
information that is to be addressed. some page breaks.
The completed Risk Register should be
brief and to the point, so it quickly conveys
the essential information. It should be
updated on a regular basis, at least
Where to Get Additional Help
Project Management tools and resources
The description of the risk should include that can assist you through each step in
the associated consequences or impact your project are available at
where these are not obvious. These
consequences can be useful in identifying
appropriate mitigation actions. In larger
more complex projects, a separate column
may be required.

PM 007 Project Risk Register: Guide

Tasmanian Government Project Management Framework

Have you remembered to remove:

 The versioning statement from the
front cover of your document?
 This guide and checklist from the front
of your document?
 All blue italic instructional text and
<prescriptive text enclosed in angle
brackets> within the template?

PM 007 Project Risk Register: Guide

Tasmanian Government Project Management Framework
<Project Title>
Risk Register as at <Date>
File No.: <n>

<enter name of unit>

Department of <enter name of department>
REPORT FOR: (Optional) eg <Project Name> Steering Committee
PROJECT OBJECTIVE: As stated in the Project Business Plan.

Rating for Likelihood and Seriousness for each risk

L Rated as Low E Rated as Extreme (Used for Seriousness
M Rated as Medium NA Not Assessed
H Rated as High

Grade: Combined effect of Likelihood/Seriousness

low medium high EXTREME
low N D C A
medium D C B A
high C B A A

Recommended actions for grades of risk

Grade Risk mitigation actions
A Mitigation actions, to reduce the likelihood and seriousness, to be identified and
implemented as soon as the project commences as a priority.
B Mitigation actions, to reduce the likelihood and seriousness, to be identified and
appropriate actions implemented during project execution.
C Mitigation actions, to reduce the likelihood and seriousness, to be identified and costed for
possible action if funds permit.
D To be noted - no action is needed unless grading increases over time.
N To be noted - no action is needed unless grading increases over time.

Change to Grade since last assessment

NEW New risk  Grading decreased
— No change to Grade  Grading increased
<Project Title> - Risk Register (as at dd-mm-yyyy)

Id Description of Risk Impact on Change Date of Mitigation Actions Responsibility Cost Timeline Work

Grade (combined
(including any Project Review (Preventative or for mitigation for Breakdown

Assessment of

Assessment of

Likelihood and
identified ‘triggers’) (Identify Contingency) action(s) mitigation Structure


consequences 1) action(s)

<n> <A “newspaper <Describe the <Change <Date of <Specify planned <Specify who <Specify This is to
headline” style nature of the in Grade last mitigation is responsible timeframe indicate that
statement. Also risk and the since last review> strategies: for undertaking for the
identify relevant impact on the review>  Preventative each mitigation identified
triggers that may project if the risk (implement mitigation action(s) mitigation
cause the risk to be is not mitigated immediately) action(s)> to be action has
realised.> or managed>  Contingency complete been
(implement d by> included in
if/when risk the WBS
occurs).> (workplan).

1 Steering Lack of H H A NEW 15/02/06 Preventative: Project NA 15/03/06 Y

Committee availability will  Highlight Manager
unavailable. stall progress strategic
Identified triggers: (ie. delayed connection - link
 Steering decisions will Project
Committee defer output Objective to
meetings finalisation, relevant Agency
repeatedly extend project strategic
rescheduled timelines and objectives
due to lack of staff resources  Confirm 2006
availability; will be required meeting
 Members do for longer than schedule in
not attend anticipated) January
despite prior  Confirm SC
confirmation of membership

1 In larger projects, the consequences of the threat may not be evident, and noting them under each risk or in a separate column can be useful in identifying
appropriate mitigation actions.

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<Project Title> - Risk Register (as at dd-mm-yyyy)

attendance.  Widen
(include other
2 Inadequate funding Budget blow out M M B No 15/02/06 Contingency: Project TBC TBC N
to complete the means cost change Re-scope project, Manager
project savings must be focusing on time
Identified triggers: identified – ie. and resourcing
 Funding is reduced output
redirected; quality,
 Costs increase timeframes are
(poor quality extended,
materials/ outcomes
inaccurate cost (benefits) will be
estimates) delayed and/or

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<Project Title> - Risk Register (as at dd-mm-yyyy)

3 Staff reject new Rejection H H A NEW 15/02/06 Preventative:

procedures means High level Sponsor NA 21/02/06 Y
Triggers include additional time reinforcement of
 Staff don’t and resources policy changes;
participate in required to Provide Project NA 21/02/06 Y
training (not achieve opportunity for Manager
prepared for new successful staff feedback
roles); implementation - prior to
 New procedures ie. outputs policy/procedure Consultant $3,0 30/03/06 N
not applied (work- languish; more finalisation; 00
arounds still training is Develop Training
used). required Plan that allows
(additional cost, for repeat Project 30/03/06 N
time delays); attendance Manager NA
potential for (perhaps 2 stage
‘falling back into training?);
old ways’ (more Identify staff
change mgt ‘champions’ to Project 30/04/06 N
required); loss promote adoption Manager NA
of credibility for of new
project procedures
(perception of (buddy system);
failure). Circulate
information to
staff that
 promotes how
new procedures
have improved
processes (eg.
10 steps
reduced to 4
steps etc);
 proportion of
staff that have
completed the
 Identifies local

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<Project Title> - Risk Register (as at dd-mm-yyyy)

‘buddies’ for

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