Risk management is a key element of any project’s success. With knowledge and understanding of risk management strategies, you can avoid unforeseen problems and increase the chance of overall project completion.

Project risk management strategies – table of contents:

  1. Introduction
  2. Risk management strategies
  3. Proactive approach
  4. Reactive approach
  5. Disaster. What is it and how to deal with it?
  6. Summary


Risk management is an integral part of any project and one of the key tasks of a Project Manager. According to the Project Management Institute, good risk management helps to increase the accuracy of forecasts and improve the quality of decisions made during a project. To achieve success in their projects, Project Managers should understand and implement effective risk management strategies.

Risk management strategies

Project managers embarking on a new project should prepare to take risks and realize they’re inherent in any project. Let’s look at two approaches to dealing with risk, proactive and reactive.

Proactive approach

A proactive approach means that the Project Manager proactively identifies and analyzes potential risks to take appropriate countermeasures. It involves early identification and understanding of pitfalls to control or avoid them. To respond effectively, the Project Manager should also regularly assess the situation and update the action plan if necessary.

Reactive approach

A reactive approach means that the Project Manager reacts to risks once they arise. This is the simplest stance, acting on the principle that “maybe it will work this time.” Unfortunately, it is not the best. By relying on intuition and luck, the Project Manager loses the ability to control risks. This can lead to serious repercussions, such as wasting time or other resources that could have been allocated otherwise to prevent the situation from happening in the first place.

risk management strategies

Disaster. What is it and how to deal with it?

Even a proactive approach fails when a project encounters a disaster. A catastrophe is a sudden and unexpected, almost impossible-to-predict occurrence of risk that can seriously affect a project, even cause its termination.

To minimize the risk of disaster, Project Managers should pay special attention to meticulous preparation of:

  • Risk analyses – conduct thorough and detailed risk analyses before the project begins to identify possible hazards.
  • Risk factor register – together with the team, think about and put down possible threats and their consequences,
  • Create a contingency plan – provide a blueprint with countermeasures for a quick response to tackle the emerging obstacles.
  • Regularly monitor the project to detect and manage risks as early as possible.

When a disaster strikes a project, you and the team have to react immediately. That’s why you must identify those team members who are responsible for responding to specific types of hazards and have contingency plans ready.

Once the immediate danger gets averted, it is up to the Project Manager to implement appropriate countermeasures, such as changing the action plan or allocating additional resources to minimize the impact the disaster may have on the project.


All in all, a proactive approach to risk and acknowledgment of its occurrence in the early stages of planning can significantly increase the chances of project success. Nonetheless, Project Managers should harness their prioritization skills and focus on the most significant risks that directly affect the achievement of project goals and objectives. Additionally, they ought to balance out the project goal realization and the associated levels of risks, as well as the value and accompanying hazards. Finally, in the long run, what also matters is the risk management culture that comes out as the result of the risk management strategy adopted by Project Managers and the team.

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Project risk management strategies | #45 Getting started with project management caroline becker avatar 1background

Author: Caroline Becker

As a Project Manager, Caroline is an expert in finding new methods to design the best workflows and optimize processes. Her organizational skills and ability to work under time pressure make her the best person to turn complicated projects into reality.

The most important questions

  1. What are the key benefits of understanding and implementing effective project risk management strategies?

    Understanding and implementing effective project risk management strategies can increase the accuracy of forecasts and improve the quality of decisions, which is one of their major advantages. In addition, sound risk management can help to avoid unforeseen difficulties and increases the chance of overall project success.

  2. Is there any approach that is considered the best for managing risk in a project?

    There is no clear answer to this question, as it all depends on the situation and needs of the specific project. The proactive approach, which involves identifying and analyzing risks in advance, is considered better in most situations.

Getting started with project management:

  1. What is a project?
  2. What is project management?
  3. How to manage projects?
  4. Project management methods
  5. Types of projects
  6. 4 examples of projects
  7. Prioritization of projects
  8. Areas of project activity
  9. Definition of success in project management
  10. Why use project management software?
  11. How to choose the best project management software?
  12. Overview of project management software
  13. Project life cycle
  14. What is the project vision for?
  15. Project goal. What is it and how to define it well?
  16. Project initiation phase - what to pay attention to?
  17. The domain of planning in project management
  18. What is a project schedule and what is it for?
  19. How to use milestones in a project?
  20. Project execution
  21. How to prepare a successful project contingency plan?
  22. Importance of project closure
  23. Project failure. 5 reasons why projects fail
  24. 4Ps of management: project, product, program and portfolio
  25. Most important tasks and responsibilities of the Project Manager
  26. Most useful project manager skills
  27. How to become a project manager?
  28. 5 books every project manager should read
  29. How to set up a project team?
  30. Work breakdown structure - how to delegate work in a project?
  31. How to lead a team during hybrid work?
  32. Challenges project managers face when working with a team
  33. Types of project meetings
  34. Project monitoring. What parameters to watch?
  35. How to write a compelling
  36. How to define the scope of a project and avoid scope creep?
  37. Feasibility study – can we implement this project?
  38. Risk analysis in projects and tools to facilitate it
  39. How to create a project charter?
  40. What is a stakeholder register?
  41. Gantt chart in project management planning
  42. How to create a project budget?
  43. Time management in project
  44. How to create a project risk register?
  45. Project risk management strategies
  46. Project marketing
  47. Sources and areas of change in the project
  48. Project management change models
  49. What's after Agile? Methods in project management