WRONG – PMP Certification: Plan Risk Management (based on PMBOK® Guide, 6th Edition)


  • WHY Plan Risk Management Is Important. Risks identification is the first step for putting together a risk register that prevents and minimizes unexpected problems for the project. Project managers cannot plan for risks until they have addressed which threats or opportunities they are likely to run into.
  • WHEN Plan Risk Management Is Executed. Identify Risks is an iterative process that continually builds on itself, since uncertainty, and thus risk for the project, can occur at any time and in any other part of the project.  Yet, in a typical project most of the risk identification activity takes place during planning.
  • HOW Plan Risk Management Operates.
pmp 2018 plan risk management pmbok guide 6th edition tipsographic main

Plan Risk Management 101

What Does Plan Risk Management Involve and When Do You Perform It in a Project Life Cycle?


  • WHAT Plan Risk Management Is. Identify Risks implies determining every possible potential opportunity or threat that might affect the project objectives.
  • WHY Plan Risk Management Is Important. Risks identification is the first step for putting together a risk register that prevents and minimizes unexpected problems for the project. Project managers cannot plan for risks until they have addressed which threats or opportunities they are likely to run into.
  • WHEN Plan Risk Management Is Executed. Identify Risks is an iterative process that continually builds on itself, since uncertainty, and thus risk for the project, can occur at any time and in any other part of the project.  Yet, in a typical project most of the risk identification activity takes place during planning.
  • HOW Plan Risk Management Operates.
InputsTools and techniquesOutputs
  1. Project charter
  2. Project management plan
    • All components
  3. Project documents
  4. Stakeholder register
  5. Enterprise environmental factors
  6. Organizational process assets
  1. Expert judgment
  2. Data analysis
    • Stakeholder analysis
  3. Meetings
  1. Risk management plan

Source: PMBOK® Guide, 6th ed., Chapter 11, section 11.1, p. 401.

Plan Risk Management Key Terms

What Are the Key Terms to Fully Understand the Process of Planning Risk Management?


  • Assumptions Analysis. An analysis of the assumptions made when calculating estimates.
  • Assumptions Log. A document where project manager and project team capture, document, and track assumptions throughout the project’s lifecycle.
  • Brainstorming. A technique for gathering information that brings subject matter experts, team members, risk management team members, and anyone else who might benefit from the process together in a room and asks them to start identifying possible risk events.
  • Delphi Technique. An estimating technique that entails soliciting information from experts anonymously to avoid peer pressure.
  • Nominal Group Technique. A method that uses group members to vote on which ideas generated from a brainstorming session are worthy of further investigation. Not mentioned in the in the PMBOK Guide, it is possible a question about it on the PMP exam anyway.
  • Risk Register. The documented list of all identified risks of the project and their characteristics.
  • SWOT Analysis. A technique for analyzing strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats of the internal organization and the external environment.

Plan Risk Management Tips

pmp 2018 rapid review free online prep tipsographic

What Are the Best Tips to Answer Correctly the PMPCCertification Exam Questions on Plan Risk Management Process?


  • Structure of Risk Statements. In the risk register, a risk statement always starts with the risk cause and then defines the risk effect.
  • Triggers. Warning signs or low-priority risks not listed as one of the risk register elements until the Plan Risk Responses process is carried out. A project manager includes them on a watch list during Identify Risk process and monitors periodically if they need escalation to the risk register.
  • Uncertainty or Estimate. Whenever the PMP exam mentions the words “uncertainty” or “estimate” – for PMP example, in questions on time or cost baselines, negative or positive risk is present.
  • Roles and Responsibilities for Risks Identification. The Identify Risk process is led by the project manager and involves project team members. External subject matter experts and other stakeholders can help during the project, but the primary input in this process should come from the project team members, experienced in doing the work and in the uncertainties associated with it.

Click here for a detailed analysis of each project management process group and knowledge area.

SOURCES: Project Management Institute (2017). A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide). 6th ed. Newtown Square: Project Management Institute.

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