Wednesday 21 April 2021

How to Address Risks during Change


This post's podcast episode is available at SounderApple PodcastsGoogle PodcastsStitcher and Spotify.

When you are short of time, here is the one action that will give you 80 percent results in 20 percent of the time.


Imagine the things that could go wrong and assess the potential impacts and likelihood for each.


–        Identify what could go wrong for each part of the plan (delays, increased costs, etc.).

–        Assign “high” or “low” ratings for the level of impact and probability for each risk.

–        Plot the risks on a simple four-box chart.

All plans include risks because they’re based on assumptions about the future. Knowing what could go wrong removes the surprise factor and potential knee-jerk reactions. The proactive assessment of risks also demonstrates that you’ve thought through your plan and identified potential blind spots that could jeopardize your success.

The quickest and most effective way to assess risks is to create a chart outlining the impact and likelihood of each risk. It provides a visual way of comparing and prioritizing threats to success.

Think through the project activities, noting everything that could go wrong. Even better, ask a group of project team members to brainstorm risks and identify their impacts. Then, ask them to assign a “high” or “low” rating to both impacts and likelihood.

Create a contingency plan that outlines how to address the risks—the high impact, high likelihood ones at the least—if they occur.


RISK ASSESSMENT TOOL: What could go wrong with my plan?


Familiarizing leaders and the project team with the risks reduces the likelihood of those risks occurring and increases the speed of action if they do.

The Change on the Run: 44 Ways to Survive Workplace Uncertainty book is now available. Go to or your favourite bookseller for more details.

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