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. At TeamSuccess.io, we do small risk assessments in the beginning of each sprint. We work in Scrum teams, and even though the use of Scrum reduces lots of project risks, doing risk assessments is crucial, and bring various benefits.

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)?
risk management

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