How to Categorize, Assess, and Prioritize Project Risks

Project managers may fail to work on the right things at the right time with the right people, resulting in challenged and failed projects. Why does this happen? A top reason is the failure to organize projects properly. Learn to structure and manage your projects through risk categories and assessments, making it easier and quicker to complete your projects. While we will focus on project tools and techniques, these same concepts may be applied at the enterprise, portfolio, and program levels. Furthermore, these tips may be used in your personal lives.

people in a meeting

What You Will Learn

At the end of this workshop, participants will be able to:

  • Explain individual and overall project risks
  • Describe the relationship between project objectives and risk management
  • Restate how risks can be managed at an enterprise, operational, portfolio, program, and project levels
  • Share the benefits of categorizing risks
  • Tell how to use the affinity diagram technique
  • Tell how to use the forced ranking method
  • Share the benefits of assessing risks
  • Describe how to assess risks qualitatively
  • Describe how to assess risks quantitatively
  • Explain the difference between qualitative and quantitative risk analysis
  • Share the benefits of prioritizing risks
  • Describe how to prioritize risks
  • Explain the Pareto Principle
  • Explain risk thresholds

Workshop Agenda

  • Welcome and Introductions
  • Risk Management Overview
  • Q&A 
  • Break
  • The Why and How to Categorizing Risks
  • Q&A / Drawing
  • The Why and How to Assessing Risks
  • Q&A
  • Break
  • The Why and How to Prioritizing Risks
  • Q&A
  • Wrap Up / Drawings

Group Activities

  • X/Y Exercise
  • Project Objectives/Risks Use Case
  • Affinity Diagram Exercise
  • Forced Ranking Exercise
  • Risk Assessment Use Case



Harry Hall was a speaker at our annual PMI Palmetto Symposium. Harry’s speaking style is personable, with relevant stories and actionable take-aways. His topic of risk is well-presented and relevant to both the project manager and most business professionals. We had the pleasure of having Harry speak in past years and he always received high marks from our attendees, so we were very pleased he could join our event. -Kathi Soniat, Past President, PMI Palmetto Chapter

Harry has led many workshops for the Columbus, GA PMI Chapter as he is one of the most requested facilitators. He is wonderful to work with in customizing workshops for our chapter members and always delivers a quality program. Harry has a wealth of knowledge and experience from which we all benefit in his workshops. -Alison Mills-Long, VP/BankCard Vendor Relationship Manager Past President, PMI Columbus, GA Chapter

"I've received many outstanding responses from participants concerning Harry's Project Risk Management training." - Lanny Wingrove, Past President - Chattanooga PMI Chapter

Harry Hall, PMP, PMI-RMP

Hi, I'm Harry Hall, the Project Risk Coach. Many project managers spend their time putting out fires, rather than proactively moving things forward. The results are a loss of time, missed dates, frustrated team members, and adverse impacts to your project management career. Hey, I can help! In this workshop, you will learn to do the things that matter most.