If you are a manager or professional leading change management efforts, it’s essential that you contain risks throughout the process.
Change management is a difficult task, involving a multitude of stakeholders, multiple timelines and unexpected surprises and risks.
A key part of managing risk of change is to create risk register for entire change management project. This tool provides key insights into how potential risks will impact different stages of the process. By creating an effective risk register, managers and professionals can identify areas where there is uncertainty and ensure they have plans in place to manage them correctly.
In this blog post, we’ll explore six steps to create your own risk register for change management by discovering what they are and understanding each step’s importance in curating the most efficient and competent system of protection possible.
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Change Management Risk
Change Management risk is any risk that could potentially threaten the success of a change management project. This risk can originate from external sources such as competition, regulation, or the industry environment, or from internal sources such as personnel, organizational structure and process changes, stakeholder involvement and technology changes.
Addressing the change management risk involves more than just risk identification and risk assessment. It also entails risk monitoring, risk tracking, risk management, risk response planning, risk communication and risk mitigation. Risk identification is the process of recognizing or identifying risks that might have an impact on a given change management project.
Once risk has been identified it is necessary to understand the risk in more detail. This involves risk assessment which is the process of assessing risk in terms of its probability, impact and magnitude. Risk probability refers to the likelihood that a risk will occur, and risk impact measures the potential effects of a risk.
What is Risk Register?
Risk register is a document that captures, identifies, assesses and tracks risk as part of the risk management process. It is a tool used for risk identification and risk assessment. The risk register can be used to identify, analyze and communicate risk information related to a particular project or initiative in an organized manner.
Purpose of Risk Register
You need a risk register because, as projects get larger, longer, and more complex, it becomes increasingly difficult to monitor every area. Without a risk register, you’re flying blind and could easily be derailed by unexpected challenges. A risk register is an invaluable tool that can help to keep track of all the risks associated with a project and ensure that those risks are managed effectively. If risks aren’t tracked in a central location and reviewed regularly, something may be missed or forgotten
06 Steps to Create Risk Register for Change Management
Following are the 06 steps to create risk register for change management:
Step 1: Risk Description
The first step is to identify potential risk and describe them. There are different types of risk, like risk from the outside and risk from the inside. You need to track all the risks for your project so that you can be prepared for them if they happen. For this purpose all team members need to sit together and brainstorm to identify potential risks. Its also good to invite external stakeholders to have clear identification and description of risk of a change initiative.
Step 2: Risk Assessment
Risk assessment is the process of determining the probability and impact of risk. Change management risk assessment involves the identification and evaluation of potential risk factors to change initiative as well as the determination of risk levels for each risk factor. It enables organizations to identify which risks are most likely to occur and how they can be managed or mitigated.
Risks can be categorised as low risk, medium risk, and high risk. Low risk refers to risks that have a low probability of occurrence and a low impact on the project or change initiative if they do occur. Examples of low risk could include minor delays or cost overruns or minor changes in scope of the project.
High risk refers to risks that have a high probability of occurrence and can have a significant impact on the project or change initiative if they do occur. Examples of high risk could include major delays, which could delay the timeline of the project, or cost overruns and scope changes, which could increase costs exponentially.
Step 3: Mitigating Actions
The risk register can be used to capture mitigating actions that can be taken to reduce risk. This involves recording the potential risk responses and strategies that can be implemented to address risk and reduce its impact.
Risk mitigation plans must be documented as part of the risk register in order to serve as a roadmap. This plan should include risk response strategies that can be implemented to address risk and reduce its impact. The risk mitigation plan should focus on risk probability, risk impact, risk responses and risk strategies.
Step 4: Owner. (Delegation)
Once risk has been identified and risk assessment is complete, risk needs to be assigned to an owner for risk management. The risk register should include the name of the risk owner, who is responsible for monitoring and managing risk throughout the course of the project.
Risk owners can be single persons or a group of people who are responsible for risk management throughout the life cycle of a change management. Risk owners are usually experienced in risk management, with the knowledge and expertise to identify risk, assess risk, and develop strategies for risk mitigation.
The risk owner should be given responsibility over risk monitoring, risk assessment, risk response strategies, and risk mitigation. Risk owners need to ensure that all potential risks are identified and tracked in the risk register in a timely manner, and they must monitor risk throughout the life cycle of a change management.
Step 5: Target Date
The risk register should include a target date for when risk mitigating actions must be taken. This is an essential part of risk management, as it ensures that risk factors are being monitored continuously and acted on in a timely manner. Establishing a target date for risk helps to prevent risk from having an adverse effect on the project or change initiative.
It is essential to set a realistic and achievable risk mitigation target date, which should be based on the risk assessment that has been conducted. This risk mitigation target date needs to be specific and measurable, allowing risk owners to monitor risk progress throughout the life cycle of the change management initiative.
6. Status of Completion
The risk register should also track the status of risk mitigation activities. This includes tracking when risk mitigation actions are completed, as well as any further risk mitigation activities that may be required. It is important to regularly review risk mitigation plans and update the risk register accordingly.
Risk mitigation completion status can be tracked in different ways, including use of risk scoring models, risk monitoring and reporting activities, risk analysis techniques and risk management processes. Risk scoring models quantify risk levels by assigning numerical risk scores to risk events based on their risk probability and risk impact.
Benefits of Risk Register for Change Management
Following are some key benefits of risk management:
Prevents adverse effects on project or change initiative
Risk mitigation is essential to prevent adverse effects on a project or change initiative. If risk analysis is not conducted properly and risk factors are not monitored and addressed promptly, risk can result in delays, cost overruns, scope changes and other issues that can have a major impact on the success of the project.
Ensures timely identification and mitigation of risk factors
The risk register for change management is an essential risk management tool that ensures timely identification and mitigation of risk factors. By monitoring risk throughout the life cycle of a project or change initiative, risk owners can be alerted to potential issues quickly, allowing them to assess risk and respond in a timely manner.
Helps to track progress of risk mitigation activities
The risk register for change management not only helps to identify risk factors, but also to track the progress of risk mitigation activities. By monitoring risk throughout the life cycle of a project or change initiative, risk owners can measure and track risk progress, allowing them to understand how effective their risk mitigation strategies have been.
Keeps all stakeholders informed about risk status
Risk owners should ensure that all risk management activities, including risk mitigation strategies, risk assessment results and risk mitigation completion status, are communicated to all stakeholders in a timely manner. Regular reporting and updates on risk can help stakeholders to monitor risk progress and stay informed about the risk status of the project or change initiative.
A risk register is a key risk management tool that helps to identify risk factors, track the progress of risk mitigation activities and keep all stakeholders informed about risk status. By monitoring risk throughout the life cycle of a project or change initiative, risk owners can prevent adverse effects on the project and ensure timely identification and mitigation of risk factors.