Risk Register

Published by Dan on

Free Risk Register Dashboard Template


It’s important for any project to have a high quality and well maintained risk register. The ability to understand, track, and update the risk profile of your project is vital to its success and can save you significant amounts of time and money.

Without a risk register, you may find the following:

1) Risks develop into issues more frequently – If you don’t identify the risks to your project, then you can’t take action to reduce the chance of them developing into issues. For example, if I knew my entire project was reliant another company delivering on time then I might introduce procedures that closely monitor their activity.

2) Risks are harder and more costly to manage when they materialise – If you know that a given risk may become an issue then you can create a backup plan before it materialises. Failure to identify the risk in the first place leaves you exposed to sudden and expensive issues.

We recommend that your Risks are frequently reviewed and updated. Depending on the circumstances it could also be worth to hold Risk workshops where team members can raise new risks and find innovative solutions to existing ones.

The Association of Project Management contains several good articles in its ‘Body of Knowledge’ and I suggest you read these for more details: https://www.apm.org.uk/body-of-knowledge/delivery/risk-management/

Points of Interest

These relate to the blue boxes in the template – please delete them

1) Dashboard – The dashboard contained in this document will auto-populate as you fill in the ‘Risk Register’ tab. But, some formatting is inevitable.

2) Formatting – Be sure to format the document to your brand colours and replace the freepmotemplates.com logo with your own.

3) ‘Project’ Column – If you’re working on one specific project then remove this column. Or you can change it to read ‘area’ or ‘project stage’ etc.

4) Scoring Matrix – We’ve included a basic scoring matrix as part of our template. However, many organisations will have their own guidance on how to assess the priority of risks so please replace our version if this is the case.

5) Updates – The blue section of the Risk Register is for updates. Risks should be reviewed frequently and updates submitted here.

6) ‘Status’ Column – Be sure to always fill this column in as it feeds into the dashboard

Creating a new Risk

1) Open all filters on the ‘Risk Register’ tab
2) Scroll down to the next free row
3) Input the details of your Risk

Updating a Risk

1) Filter column R by ‘Open’ answers
2) Either find your risk by reference number, by searching with ctrl+f, or by reading each line until you find the right risk
3) Write you update in column P. We recommend updating it in the following format: {Date}{Your Initials}: {Content of update} E.G 19/09/19 DG: This is an update.

Process Recommendations

Holding regular workshops with your project team to draw out new risks is recommended. This can take the form of an agenda item in a project board meeting, or as its own separate session.

You should create a feeling of openness and honesty in these session to draw out valuable suggestions from others. Having a closed outlook, or fear of raising too many risks, will mean that some critical risk may be missed from the register.

Our scoring matrix is standard across industries, however, your organisation may have more detail guidelines on how to rate risks. Please replace our scoring matrix if this is the case.

Got a recommendation? Then please get in touch with me here to let us know! We’re always looking to improve our documentation.