5th Edition PMBOK® Guide—Chapter 11: Elements of the Risk Management Plan


1.  Introduction

The main output of the first risk-related project management process, process 11.1 Plan Risk Management, is the Risk Management Plan (no surprise there).   The purpose of this post is to list and discuss the elements of that plan.

2.  Elements of the Risk Management Plan

  Category Plan Element Definition of Element
1. OPAs Methodology Tools and data sources from the organization to be used in risk management.
2. Time Timing How and when risk management activities will be conducted; protocol for application of contingency and management reserves.
3. Cost Budgeting Funds needed for risk management activities
4. Quality Tracking How risk activities will be recorded in order to audit and improve risk management processes.
5. HR Roles and Responsibilities Defines, for each type of activity in the risk management plan, the following:

  • Lead (accountable)
  • Team members (responsible)
  • Support (consult)
6. Communication Reporting formats Defines how the outcomes of the risk management process will be documented, analyzed, and communicated.
7. Risk Risk categories Grouping potential sources of risk on the project, often in the form of a Risk Breakdown Structure (RBS).
8. Probability and impact definitions Different levels of risk probability and impact are defined (low, medium, high, etc.)
9. Probability and impact matrix Grid for mapping the probability of each risk and its potential impact on the project.
10. Stakeholders Stakeholder risk tolerances Stakeholder risk tolerances may be revised during the course of this process.

As you can see, many of the various elements of the risk management plan deal with the risk management knowledge area directly, but some of the them deal with aspects which intersect with many of the other knowledge areas.    Not just defining the substance of the risk management activities, but figuring out how much they will cost, when they will be done, who will do them, and who will be told about them.   All of these aspects are also included in the plan.

3.  Conclusion

The Risk Management Plan is the framework for doing the other four risk management planning activities, where risks are identified, analyzed, and managed.

The next post will discuss the second risk management planning process, 11.2 Identify Risks.

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