When should a Risk Assessment be carried out?

When should you carry out a project risk assessment? It depends on your field, size of your project, context and complexity.

Here are a few questions, to help you decide when to carry out a risk assessment:

  • Has the scope of the project changed?
  • Are there new activities or events coming up?
  • Have there been any other changes, such as new technology or new procedures, which could lead to new risks?
  • Have employees or stakeholders spotted problems, for example faulty equipment?
  • Does your project have a legal timeframe to carry out a risk assessment review? Or regulatory requirements?
  • Do you need to do a risk assessment for insurance purposes?
  • Has there been unusually high staff turnover?
  • Has there been an unusual volume of sickness absences?
  • Have there been complaints of stress or bullying?
  • Have there been other big changes at the workplace, or in the project?
  • Where are you on the project lifecycle?
  • What is the particular risk culture you are working in (e.g. risk tolerant or risk avoidant)?

References and resources

  • ISO 31000:2018, (2018) Risk management – Guidelines, provides principles, framework and a process for managing risk. Source
  • Deloitte & Touche LLP. (2012). Risk assessment in practice. Deloitte. Source