What’s the Difference Between a Risk Reassessment and a Risk Review?

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Project risk management is never once and done. It is continuous and requires periodic risk reviews. Additionally, projects may require risk reassessments. The terms "risk review" and "risk reassessment" are both integral to risk management processes, but they serve different purposes and are conducted at different times or under different circumstances. Here's a breakdown of the differences.

Risk Review

Risk Review

  • Purpose: A risk review is a regular examination of the project's or organization's risk management processes and the current state of risks. It focuses on monitoring existing risks, checking the progress of risk responses, and ensuring that the risk management plan is still aligned with the project or organizational objectives.
  • When It Occurs: Risk reviews are conducted at regular intervals throughout the lifecycle of a project or an operational period within an organization. The frequency of these reviews is often predefined in the risk management plan.
  • Scope: The scope of a risk review is generally narrower than a reassessment. It focuses on the current risk register, the status of risk responses, and any minor changes in the risk environment. It's more about maintaining vigilance on known risks and the effectiveness of the risk management strategy rather than seeking out new risks or making major changes to the risk management approach.

Risk Reassessment

  • Purpose: Risk reassessment involves a comprehensive reevaluation of the risk landscape to identify new risks, reassess existing risks, and evaluate the effectiveness of risk response strategies. It's a deeper dive into the risk management process.
  • When It Occurs: This is typically done in response to significant changes in the project, organization, or external environment that could impact the risk profile. Such changes might include shifts in market conditions, operational changes, new regulations, or after a major project milestone is reached.
  • Scope: The scope of a risk reassessment is broad and thorough, potentially considering all aspects of the risk management plan and the project or organizational context to ensure that no new risks are overlooked and that all risk responses remain appropriate and effective.

Summary

Both processes are crucial for effective risk management, ensuring that risks are identified, analyzed, responded to, and monitored over time.

  • Risk Review is a routine, periodic process aimed at maintaining oversight on existing risks and the effectiveness of the risk management plan, ensuring that no deviations have occurred that would necessitate adjustments.
  • Risk Reassessment is a comprehensive and potentially transformative process triggered by significant changes, aimed at ensuring the risk management strategy remains relevant and effective in a changing environment.

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