• Hannah

A Risky Business

Updated: Jul 24, 2018


I find that nothing can empty the mind quite as quickly as trying to populate a risk register. Every project needs one and every grant funding application will need to show that you have thought about the risks involved but no matter how many of these I do I still find the risk register the hardest part.


So it got me thinking there must be a way of making this whole process less painful.


I’ve created a good template for the actual risk register, using the following headings:

- Risk - what it the risk

- Risk Owner - who is in charge of managing the risk in the project

- Likelihood – scored 0-5

- Impact – impact of it happening, scored 0-5

- Score - likelihood and impact multiplied together.

I then create a key high risk 20-25 (red), medium risk 11-19 (yellow) and low risk 0-10 (green) I then highlight each row by colour dependent on the score, to clearly demonstrate the severity of the risk.

- Mitigating action - your plan to reduce the likelihood of the risk happening and alternative action to take instead.


So you know what you need to fill in, you just need the risks themselves and this I find is when the mind goes blank. So what I do is think of each of these categories:


People/team - are you missing any key roles, recruitment potentially delaying project timelines, key personnel leaving, offshoring, outsourcing, on boarding into your organisation


Third parties - securing resource, time commitments, focus, management of


Inputs to the project - materials, research, physical space


Project duration – challenging timescales, test environments, participants, sample sizes


Project outputs - who owns the outputs, IP


Commercialisation - licenses, speed to market, customer base, lead generation, price

Competitors - impact of their work,


Environmental – impact of project on environment


Not all of these may apply to your project but it gives you a great start for populating your risk register and makes the whole thing less painful.


A risk register is only one small part of the bigger grant application. If you are struggling for bandwidth to complete your application or just want another pair of eyes to review what you have done, we work with clients to both review grant applications that they have written and write them for you, we’d love to help you with your application, if you are interested in finding out more please contact us here.


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