How to Perform a Qualitative Risk Analysis: A Quick Checklist


Note if you are taking the PMP® exam from 26 March 2018 onwards: click here to read the updated PMP® study material based on PMBOK® Guide 6th Edition.

Cheers, Stefania

Your project can easily conceal countless potential risks.

Of course, they differ in severity and probability of occurrence.

Consequently, after you identify project risks, quantifying the potential damage and the probability that a risk will occur enables your project management team to prioritize the risks, focusing your attention on the ones important enough to manage.

This is exactly what you aim at with qualitative risk analysis: assessing each risk enlisted in the risk register in terms of its possible damage and likelihood of occurrence.

Having made that point, here are the main steps to follow whenever you need to goal-prioritize risks for further assessment.

Image titled How to Perform a Qualitative Risk Analysis – a Quick Checklist

Qualitative Risk Analysis – Activity Checklist

Examine Each Risk in the Risk Register

  • Make sure that the information you are using in your risk assessment is accurate, via validity check out executed by outside experts or yourself (sample of data against other data sources).
  • Assign a probability to the likelihood of a risk occurring, and then assess the actual cost (or impact) if it does happen.
  • Plot out all of your risks in a probability and impact matrix, according to the values you assign.
  • Group your risks, so that you can come up with a better strategy for dealing with them.
  • Rank the risks, according to probability and impact.
  • Identify causes of risks requiring particular attention.
  • Monitor risks that require near-term responses and additional analysis and responses.
  • Complete a separate watch list of low priority risks.
  • Update the project risk register with the priority of the risks, the urgency of the risks, the categorization of the risks, and any trands noticed while performing the qualitative risk analysis.


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Hi, I am Stefania, hearth and keyboard behind Tipsographic, a free online resource for everybody interested in project management and agile. I specialize in project management tips, tools, and tricks. When I'm not writing, you can find me road cycling around Tuscany or spending time with friends and family.

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