Step Two A: Analyze Risk
Table of Contents
Here are additional sources of information to help you answer the questions on this worksheet and understand how this worksheet functions.
Before you start
Before you analyze the risks associated with your project, complete the Step One: Assessment worksheet, or generate your own list of strengths and limitations of your project.
If you completed some or all of the Step One Assessment worksheet and identified one or more limitations, you will arrive to this worksheet to find that some potential risks have already been generated for you. If you do not understand how this worksheet functions, please consult the Worksheet Help Menu for the more technical aspects of how to use this worksheet.
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This worksheet is designed to help you analyze the possible risks that were automatically generated by your Step One assessment and/or generate your own potential risks (negative impacts).
There are eight questions on this worksheet to help with the analysis of each potential risk. In your analysis, you will decide whether the potential risks are significant (important) and likely in the context of your project.
If a risk is not significant and not likely, it is not relevant and can be safety ignored. You may choose to delete these right away, when you arrive at this worksheet.
For a risk that is significant or likely or both, your analysis continues by identifying strategies to minimize the significance and/or likelihood. Risks that are significant and likely should be priorities for action as they may jeopardize the project.
Priority risk areas: Before minimization strategies
For risks that are significant or likely, or both and for which you have chosen minimization strategies, you will do a final analysis to see whether significance and/or likelihood have changed.
Risks that remain both likely and significant are threats. They may affect your ability to move forward with the project. Risks that remain likely or significant (but not both) may be ignored or may be mentioned in your business case.
Threats: After minimization strategies
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Relationship to the next step(s)
Your risk analysis is one half of the story about the potential overall impact of your project. The other half is your benefit analysis (Step Two B worksheets). It does not matter which you do first.
When considered together, they will help you summarize the pros and cons of your project so that you can provide your best advice about whether to proceed or reconsider your project. This summarizing activity happens in Step Three: Advise.
Click here to view a visual of how potential risks and benefits work together to exert opposing forces on various impact areas.
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Print your results
Once you complete your analysis, you may output your answers to MS Word using the Output Menu on the upper right had side of the page.
The OBCC tool has been programmed to output your answers to this Step Two A worksheet in different visual styles. Your choices include:
Output 2.1 Full text risk analysis table. This is available for each individual element and/or for all elements rolled up together
Output 2.2 Priority risk action areas diagrams. These are available for each individual element and/or for all elements rolled up together
Five other options that are best viewed after doing both the risk and benefit analyses include:
Output 2.5 Priority strength and limitation action areas scorecard
Output 2.6 Project impact summary based on strengths, limitations and strategies
Output 2.7 Strategies to minimize risks and maximize benefits
Output 2.8 Summary of project strengths/limitations with minimization/maximization strategies
Output 2.9 Summary of overall project impacts, benefits and risks
To create all of these outputs in one MS Word document, click the My Answers for this worksheet option on the Output Menu.
To create just some of these outputs in an MS Word document, click the Choose which worksheets I want to print option on the Output Menu.
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Analyze the automatically generated risks based on your Step One assessment, and/or generate your own possible risks. In addition to the automatically generated risks, you may want to add your own risks. Or, sometimes because of the topic, intended audience for the business case, or the phase of planning you are in, the automatically generated risks may not be useful to you. If this is the case, consider using the Identify your own risks bundle of questions on this worksheet. As you answer the Identify your own risks questions, you will have the opportunity to identify project limitations that you feel triggered these potential risks.
To help you with this, you may want to print out a blank copy of the Step One: Assessment worksheet to help you generate ideas. To do this click the Blank worksheet option after choosing Choose Which Worksheets I want to Print on the Output Menu.
Assess risks first, or assess benefits first, or go back and forth. Potential risks and benefits exert opposing forces on various impact areas. Click here to view a visual showing how this works. [Separate pop up window to Cindy's diagram.] Assessing them is a parallel process. Therefore you may choose to first assess risks, or go to Step Two B to assess benefits first. Either method is valid.
Assess risks for only some of six elements. The risk analysis questions on this worksheet are organized into 'bundles' – each bundle of risks assessment questions is related to one of the six project elements. Each bundle shows the potential risks that were triggered from your answers to the Step One assessment relating to that element. Use the click to show/hide function to open or close a particular bundle.
Depending on where you are at in your planning process, you may wish only to analyze some of the bundles. It is common for example to take a broad look at the evidence you have to support your project, before looking closely at budget, roles, etc. If this is the case for you, analyze the risks only for the Evidence-base bundle.
If you skipped one or more questions related to an element in Step One, no risks or benefits will be triggered in the Step Two worksheets by those particular questions. The OBCC tool has been programmed to assume that the ones you did not answer in Step One are not relevant. Only the ones you answered will trigger possible risks or benefits in the Step Two worksheets.
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Additional sources of information to help you answer the questions on this worksheet and understand how this worksheet functions
Worksheet Help Menu. Here you can find information about the more technical aspects of how to get information in and out of this worksheet.
Learning Centre Menu. Here you can find a link to a resource database with other planning tools and resources and sources of evidence to support work on this Step One worksheet.
On the Step One worksheet itself. Information about which impact areas may be affected positively or negatively, depending on how you answer the assessment question can be found below each question in the blue shaded area.
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