Risk management

Manage and mitigate risks and issues


"What are the risks and issues that I'll have to face?"

The Risk Management Strategy guides the programme to reduce or mitigate risk, to develop alternative courses of action and to communicate both the means of averting risks and the responsibilities for this.


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The likelihood and impact of perceived risks will change over the duration of the programme.

Some risks will become greater as a result of another unforeseen event occurring, and new risks may need to be identified as implementation progresses.

The strategy should be reviewed regularly and updated as risks change and it defines how the programme will approach the following:

  • The identification of all risks to the successful outcome of the programme and its projects
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  • The maintenance and updating of a Risk Log
  • The assessment of risks and possible countermeasures
  • Details of responsibilities and processes for risk monitoring and control
  • Detailed plans for managing the risks
  • Other roles and responsibilities, for example risk owners


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The Risk Log

As each new risk is identified it should be added to the Programme's Risk Log.

The Risk Log brings together all the information about the known programme risks and provides a basis for prioritisation, action, control and reporting related to Risk Management.

Programme risks will typically have different timescales for when they might materialise and affect the programme and in some cases can be predicted to be further away in time than others, and so attention can be focused on the more immediate ones.

The proximity of each risk should be included in the Risk Log.




Strategic-Level Risks

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Strategic-level risks are those risks emerging from the environment in which the business operates and the environment in which the programme is run and that threaten the organizational benefits the programme is designed to deliver.

Strategic-level risks are also associated with any failure to achieve a common understanding among the sponsors and other stakeholders of the Programme’s business change objectives and requirements.

Such a failure will, of course, jeopardize the chances of success of the entire programme and thus represents a major challenge to Risk Management.

Strategic Level Risks may emerge from any of these sources:

  • Other existing programmes may be a source of risk to a new programme
  • Inter-Programme dependencies- although they are often difficult to anticipate - they should be carefully considered
  • Other initiatives within the organisation [if a new initiative arises during the course of a programme, it is important to work through the impact of the new initiative on the programme]

  • Political pressures on the programme


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Programme Level Risks

  • Changing requirements and vague objectives will expose the programme to danger
  • Programme definition - risk is inherent in planning a programme
  • Management skills - in-house skills available or third party providers contracted in
  • Inter-project dependencies




Operational Level Risks

  • Transition - especially with regard to proper planning, management and resourcing
  • Acceptability within business operations - business managers must be involved in the benefits identification and management processes
  • Acceptability to stakeholders - similar considerations apply to the Programme’s stakeholders





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