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Risk Matrix Template

Identify and prioritize risks based on their probability and severity.

About the Risk Matrix Template

A Risk Matrix allows you to compare the severity of potential risks against the likelihood that they will occur. Risk matrices are helpful for risk management because they provide a visual representation of the risks involved in a decision.

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What is a risk matrix?

A risk matrix is a tool that helps you analyze risk by visualizing potential risks in a diagram. It allows you to weigh the severity of a potential risk against the probability that the risk might occur.

When to use a risk matrix

Risk matrices offer a clear, visual way to identify the risks involved in a particular decision. This allows you to take steps to avoid or mitigate negative outcomes by quickly identifying potential consequences of a choice.

Different risk matrices exist, but they all generally categorize risks in one of the following ways:

  • Risks that are critical or high-priority should be dealt with immediately, as they are the most severe. Most teams choose to escalate these risks in order to meet a deadline or serve a need before it becomes unmanageable.
  • Major risks should be treated with urgency, as they carry potential consequences that are only slightly less severe than critical risks.
  • Risks that are classified as moderate are not a high priority and are typically associated with coming up with an alternate strategy to overcome a setback during a project.
  • The team should only address minor risks once the others have been mitigated.

How to create your own risk matrix in 3 steps

The risk matrix is a grid of sticky notes that show the probability and impact of potential risks. This allows you to see all the risks you face and prioritize them by urgency. FigJam's whiteboard tool is the perfect way to create and share your risk matrix.

Open the whiteboard by Selecting the Risk Matrix Template and move on with these steps below:

Step 1: Come up with all potential risks

Invite all your team members to collaborate and try to come up with a list of risks that could affect your project. Categorize each risk according to how big of an impact it would have: low, moderate, major, or critical.

Step 2: Plot the risks on the matrix

Place the risks with the highest probability and impact in the upper right-hand side of the grid.

Step 3: Create an action plan

Explore the risks with the highest potential impact and probability and develop a detailed strategic plan to minimize these risks. The final outcome should be a step by step action plan that explores each risk and can inform future project management.

FAQs about risk matrix

How do you create a risk matrix?

A risk matrix is a table used to communicate the risks associated with a project or activity. The matrix can be used to help prioritize risks for further analysis.

How do you read a risk matrix?

Start in the bottom left corner of a risk matrix to see the lowest probability, lowest impact risks. The probability will increase with the vertical axis, and severity will increase with the horizontal axis.

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