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Note: For Risk sub-categories, see below.

Due to new regulation, or because new business practices involve an organisation doing something that it has never done before, managing the risk and the uncertainty associated with the practice of business is a key skill.

Risks can be identified and described at different levels of detail, and there can be considerable variation between different business practices or organisations.

Some business practices identify just a small number of high-level risks, while others have many hundreds or even thousands of detailed risks. A generalised or high-level description of risk can make it difficult to develop responses and assign ownership, while describing risks in a lot of detail can create a great deal of work. How can we determine the correct level of detail?

Navigate this section to learn more about the techniques for identifying risk, and how to manage and mitigate the impact on your schedule, your costs and your benefits.

Risk sub-categories

Health & safetyReputation

Note: see below the reputation sub-categories.

One of the most common failings in the risk management process is for the risk identification step to identify things that are not risks. One of the most common failings in the risk management process is for the risk identification step to identify things which are not risks. Clearly if this early stage of the risk process fails, subsequent steps will be doomed and risk management cannot be effective. It is therefore essential to ensure that risk identification identifies risks.

Different events and even simply the passage of time can erode stakeholder trust and engagement. Does anyone have any simple tools or techniques for measuring these changes or their impact through the life of the business practices?

Organizations and the projects they run operate on the basis of trust and confidence. Failure to deliver successful outcomes or to manage cost, schedule or other risks such as health and safety can damage your organization’s reputation which might affect the future funding of projects as well as the ongoing business operations. Navigate this section to find out more about the significance of and risks to your organiization’s reputation.

Corporate responsibility

Increasingly organizations are challenged to express their value to society and to demonstrate this value through their activities, including their projects. Corporate social responsibility influences the choice of projects as well as the ways in which those projects are delivered. Navigate this section to learn more about corporate social responsibility.

Risk management

Note: see below the risk management sub-categories.

Risk management involves identifying and assessing risks on your projects. You need to establish the likelihood of an adverse (or sometimes a positive) event taking place and understand the impact of that event, should it occur. Classic risk management involves avoiding, mitigating, transfering, or accepting and managing your risks. Navigate this section to explore the world of project risk and opportunity and to learn about their management.



Too many business practices fail to deliver on their promise. And when disruption occurs, the reasons for failure are rarely attributable to blunders in methodology, tools or technique. Instead, the issues preventing a successful outcome are more likely to be found as weaknesses of resolve, organisation, leadership, adaptation or communication. The quality of working practices, ingenuity, judgement, leadership and cultural factors are also crucial elements.

Global business practices and large projects are often complex. In a complex environment you are unable to establish the link between cause and effect, which makes decision making particularly challenging as any course of action may help or exacerbate a situation. Apparently inoccuous decisions may have far-reaching and unintended consequences. Navigate this section find out more about complicated, complex and chaotic legal and business practices environments.


Note: see below the uncertainty sub-categories.

Uncertainty in business and legal practices arises from several sources. You may have identified a number of risks, which you are unable to quantify or perhaps manage. In many cases, business and legal practices run into difficulties because they fall victim to risks that no one on the organization had imagined. Navigate this section to learn more about the tools and techniques for communicating and managing business and legal practices uncertainty.


Some say that risk identification is the most important phase of the risk management process, since it is impossible to manage a risk unless it has first been identified. As a result, many risk identification techniques have been developed, including brainstorms, interviews, questionnaires, checklists and prompt lists, assumptions/constraints analysis, SWOT analysis, Delphi groups, nominal group technique, root cause analysis, failure modes analysis and others. Some of these methods are creative and others draw on past experience; some can be undertaken by individuals while others require group input; some approaches are simple and rapid where others are labour-intensive and take time.

Time introduces uncertainty into legal and business practices because of its association with change. With increasingly complex legal and business practices scheduled to be delivered over increasingly long lifecycles, the impact of social, technological, environmental, political change all introduce levels of uncertainty into even the best laid plans and intentions. Navigate this section to learn more about the influence and role of time in legal and business practices management.