Risk Potential Assessment

The UK Government’s Major Projects Authority (MPA) has published its Assurance Toolkit with a particularly useful risk management tool.

Risk Potential Review

A Risk Potential Review (RPR) is a structured analysis across the various aspects of your project, to gain an overall measure of the risk involved.  It is a valuable part of the first, definition stage of your project.  Typically, bigger, more complex, higher impact projects carry more risk than smaller, incremental, operational projects.

Table 4.2 of Risk Happens! offers you a checklist of typical considerations for a Risk Potential Review.  It covers things like:

  • Sponsorship
  • Requirements
  • Scale
  • Impacts
  • Constraints
  • Dependencies
  • Capacity
  • Capability
  • Novelty
  • Stakeholders

Assigning threat levels against each question in my checklist will give you a simple numerical assessment of the potential threat level of your project.  You can download a copy of the Risk Potential Review checklist here.

Risk Potential Assessment

If you need a more thorough evaluation of the impact of project failure, and the complexity of your project, the MPA’s Risk Potential Assessment worksheet in Word format is a great tool for your project toolkit.  And, you can re-use it free of charge.  You may disagree with the final assessment categories in Table C, but the questions are useful at the start of any project.

MPA Risk Potential Assessment (© Crown Copyright, May 2011)

The “so what?”

I recommend you download this tool, adapt it to your own domain, and have it ready for the start of your next project.

PM Student

Josh Nankivel is running a competition to win a copy of Risk Happens! at PMStudent.com, where you can read my article: “Why every Project Manager Needs to Understand Risk” 

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