Monday, November 14, 2022

Risk Register and Risk Report: What Are The Differences?


Risk Register and Risk Report are two key artifacts in Risk Management. Risk Report has been introduced for the first time in the PMBOK Guide, 6th edition and continues to be there in the PMBOK Guide, 7th edition. Also, the Risk Register will be used in projectsprograms and portfolios as well as in Agile management.

In fact, in the latest PMBOK Guide, 7th edition, Risk Report is informed to be one of the commonly (and frequently, emphasis mine) used reports, if you are really doing risk management. The commonly used reports noted in the PMBOK 7th edition are:

  • Risk Report, 
  • Quality Report, and 
  • Status Report. 

Needless to say, reporting is an important aspect of management.

Also, if you are preparing for the Project Management Professional (PMP) exam or Risk Management Professional (RMP) exam, you have to clearly know the contents of both the register and report. Specifically for the RMP exam, from 2022, the PMBOK Guide 7th edition (and tacitly 6th edition) will be one of your reference sources

In this article, we will see the differences between these two key project and risk management artifacts in an exercise format. We will also see in which processes the content of these two project documents are populated. 

Content of this article have been taken from the following video courses, where in-depth explanation and guidance are available:

Now, let’s start with the differences between Risk Register and Risk Report. 

Differences (Exercise): Risk Register and Risk Report

As shown below, we have a table with Risk Register in the second column and Risk Report in the third column. Try to note down the differences between the Risk Register and Risk Report on your own first, before checking the answers. 

Were you able to find out at least five differences?

Scroll down to see the answers.

. . .

. . .

. . . 

In the below table, we have the differences noted.

Next, let’s try another exercise. 

Processes (Exercise): Risk Register and Risk Report

In this exercise, we have the Process Name(s) noted in the third column. You have to inform in which process (or processes), the content of the Risk Register and Risk Report are noted.

Following are the processes in Risk Management:

  • Plan Risk Management
  • Identify Risks
  • Perform Qualitative Risk Analysis (Perform QLRA)
  • Perform Quantitative Risk Analysis (Perform QTRA)
  • Plan Risk Responses
  • Implement Risk Responses
  • Monitor Risks

I believe you have tried it first on your own, before checking the answers.

Scroll down to see the answers.

. . .

. . .

. . . 

In the below table, we have the process names noted for the contents of the Risk Register and Risk Report.

A Sample Risk Register

Below is a sample of a real risk register.

As shown above, in the Risk Register, we have Risk ID, Risk SWOT value (threats or opportunities), Risk Title, Risk Pre-mitigation parameters such as probability, impact on schedule, cost, performance etc., and risk score.

A Sample Risk Report

Below is a sample of a real risk report.

As shown above, in the Risk Report, we have information about overall project risk, the project chances of success with respect to schedule and cost with probabilistic analysis, sensitivity analysis, summary information about individual project risks, risk audit information and a summary conclusion.

You can learn more on the 
flow of risk register and risk reports, and how they are populated as they pass through the risk management processes in the following article.

Fundamentals of Project Risk Management Framework


In my interactions, few managers, who understand the value of risk management, use Risk Register! On the other hand, Risk Report is almost unheard of, because organizations don’t take risks seriously. It creates problems later with many change requests (CRs) or issues overwhelming the projects, programs or portfolios. Do also note that issues are risks, which have already occurred. I’ve seen many such instances and projects running into real trouble. 

When you clearly know the content of these two project artifacts and know how they are prepared, it’ll help you immensely in not only managing the risks, but also scope management, schedule management and cost management aspects of a project. 

PMP Live Lessons and RMP Live Lessons:

PMP 35 Contact Hours and RMP 30 Contact Hours:

1 comment:

  1. Wonderful comparison shown between Risk Register and Risk Report which is not directly available in books I have gone through so far.


Sign- or Log-in and put your name while asking queries in comments. Any comment is welcome - comments, review or criticism. But off-topic, abusive, defamatory comments will be moderated or may be removed.