5-step risk assessment template: Assess risk with Coda
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5-step risk assessment template: Assess risk with Coda

Project risk assessment template for better management

Perform a thorough risk assessment of your projects in 5 steps with a template that you can share with your team.
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Risk is a natural part of life. It doesn’t matter what you’re doing, there is always at least some risk involved (and we’re talking about everything from brushing your teeth to wrestling alligators).
The same holds true for businesses. However, even though there is always risk involved, you can still have a successful project by using proper risk control measures. Risk assessment is a critical part of project management and helps determine whether or not you can (or should) risk the risk.
What is risk assessment?
Risk assessment in project management is a qualitative and quantitative measure used to identify potential risks, figure out the likelihood of the risk happening, and how those risks might impact your project. While risk assessment isn’t designed to help you avoid risk, it can help you decide whether or not a risk is worth it and come up with a further action plan to help mitigate said risks.
A risk is defined as anything that could potentially happen that affects the desired outcome of a project or affects the people, processes, technology, and resources used in a project.
What is a risk assessment template?
A risk assessment template is one of the most practical risk management tools because the template gives you a process to follow for assessing any potential risk that comes up during your project.
Using this risk assessment template also allows you to have increased visibility to see the risks across projects and accordingly allocate resources to projects that need them the most, based on the probability and impact of the risks.
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Risks
2
Search
Related Projects
Risk
Probability
Impact
Action
Addressed
Launch Monetization Ecosystem
System Crash
15%
Extreme
Add Action
System Bugs
20%
Medium
Add Action
Release alpha version of product
Alpha crashes
45%
Extreme
Add Action
Action Items
2
Search
Risk
Action
Vote
Added By
Executed
1
System Crash
Create back up system
develop separate launch plan
facebook-like reaction, you have not reacted
1
AD
Adam Davis
2
System Bugs
Setup team of developers to fix bugs onsite
facebook-like reaction, you have not reacted
1
BL
Ben Lee
3
Alpha crashes
Create a system for engineers to address a crash
facebook-like reaction, you have not reacted
1
BD
Buck Dubois
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Why does a business need to conduct project risk assessment?
You may consider using a risk assessment template if your team is...
Repeatedly running into the same problems
Having trouble identifying risks ahead of time
Or needs to be aligned on an action plan to mitigate risks
Risk assessment is a critical part of your workflow. Let’s look at exactly how a risk assessment helps your business.
Proactivity
Being proactive by identifying a risk and being prepared for it is the best way to set your project up for success. Sure, that means you could be worrying about something that may not even happen. But if the risk does happen then you’ll have a plan in place to mitigate the risk. Instead, if you’re stuck in a cycle of reacting to problems after they happen, you’re never going to get ahead of potential risks in your business and it’s always going to feel like you’re playing catch up.
Accountability
Similar to being proactive, conducting a risk assessment allows you to be accountable when things go wrong. Rather than scrambling to try to explain why something suddenly went wrong to a stakeholder, you can easily say, “As we discussed, x situation happened. Luckily, we have a plan in place to deal with this exact scenario.”
It doesn’t matter how bad the risk might be, if you have a plan to address the risk you’re showing your stakeholders that you are prepared and care about positive outcomes.
Transparency
People don’t like hearing about risk, but they do like hearing that you are prepared for all the possible scenarios. Running a risk assessment at the beginning of your project allows you to be transparent with your stakeholders and show them what might happen throughout a project.
Showing people what could go wrong may be seen as a bad thing, but by showing them that you have a plan in place to mitigate risk (as risk is almost always inevitable), you’re increasing confidence. It is better to show your stakeholders that you are proactively managing risk, rather than reacting after the fact.
Improved collaboration
There are few things that improve collaboration better than having plans for everything, including risk. We’ve all been in situations with people who are flying by the seat of their pants, dealing with the various problems as they come up, rather than having a plan for things.
Conducting a risk assessment will help you better collaborate to manage those moments where you encounter an identified risk, so everyone can get back to work faster.

How to do a risk assessment in 5 steps using this free template
Running a risk assessment can be quick if you know the steps and have the right risk assessment tools.
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Step 1: Define projects and a timeline
Start with the page on the risk assessment template to define your organization’s goals and dates for when you are planning to achieve them. Fill out the Projects and Description section in the table and the risks associated with your project in this table will be automatically filled in after you complete Step 2.
Below the table, you can see a visual timeline of the projects: . You can see the Start date, End date, and Duration of the project which will allow for increased visibility for your entire team to see the practical timeline of projects.
Project table that has columns for name and description, risk column that auto-populates from risk table, and project start and end dates.
Step 2: Identify the risks
The next step of using the risk assessment template is identifying on this page. As defined above, risks are anything that could potentially impact the outcome of a project. Capture everything that could happen regardless of how far-fetched the risk might seem – the more risks identified, the better prepared you’ll be.
Click the Add risk button, to add risks and then identify their Related Projects in the table based on the projects identified in Step 1.
Step 3: Determine the likelihood of the risk happening, and assess the risk
Once you’ve identified the hazards and potential risks within a project, rank the risk based on how likely it is to happen and rank the potential impact of the risk. For each risk you identify, think about the impact on your business, customers, and stakeholders.
For each risk added in the table, add a Description about the Risk, its Probability (from a scale of 0-100%), and the Impact this risk may have on your project.
Risk register table grouped by projects. Includes columns for risks, a description, probability, impact, and a button to add actions.
Step 4: Come up with a plan
For risk mitigation to be effective, you need a plan. Rather than flying by the seat of your pants, you can come up with a risk management plan for each risk identified in Steps 2 and 3.
In the table, use the Add Action button for each risk to add a potential action that can reduce or completely eliminate the risks’ impact.
All actions are grouped by the risk they are associated with in the table. In this table, team members are also allowed to Vote on action ideas they like, and give Feedback on action ideas to increase collaboration and transparency.
Actions table that pulls in risks from risks table and has columns for action, voting, who added it, and feedback.
Step 5: Document everything
As always, the more you document, the better off you’ll be. This doesn’t just mean taking notes during the previous steps. The goal of a risk assessment template is to almost create a record, or manual, for how to handle each kind of risk you may encounter during a project. Your teammates can reference what has worked, what didn’t work, and whether or not your assessment was accurate.
In the final step of the risk assessment template, the page allows all team members of the organization to see once they have been marked as Addressed in the Risk register table, or once they have been marked as Executed in the Actions table.
Archived risks and executed actions table for record-keeping. Rows in these tables will populate if they were marked as archived or executed in the relevant risk register or actions table.
Start with:
Risk assessment template FAQs
How do you evaluate risk?
To evaluate risk, you first need to identify your risk tolerance, determine which risks are important to manage, and establish what is going to trigger the risk. Use this to help evaluate risk.
Are risks always bad?
No. Risk can be both good and bad. While the definition of risk tends to have a negative connotation, some risks can be beneficial for businesses because they can provide new opportunities or even yield higher returns in some situations. Learn more about risks in this doc on
What is the difference between risk assessment vs. risk analysis?
Risk assessment is a process of broadly identifying risk and assessing factors like what the impact of the risk could be and what the likelihood it’ll happen. is a deeper dive into specific risks after you’ve assessed the various risks.

👉 Get started with this risk assessment template.
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Looking for a risk assessment template to get you started? You can easily copy this template and customize it to your heart’s desire to suit your business, stakeholders, and specific needs.
Learn more about . Other risk assessment matrix templates include this and this
If you’re interested in more Coda templates:
Coda is an all-in-one doc for your team’s unique processes — the rituals that help you succeed. Teams that use Coda get rid of hundreds of documents, spreadsheets, and even bespoke apps, to work quickly and clearly in one place. This template is a Coda doc. Click around to explore.
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