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Blog > A Step-by-step Guide for Implementing A Robust Risk Management Strategy: With Examples

A Step-by-step Guide for Implementing A Robust Risk Management Strategy: With Examples

Devi Narayanan
February 27, 2024
5 minutes

Every robust risk management strategy starts with meticulous and focused risk identification. This step ensures you have a comprehensive awareness of potential risks, which leads to informed decision-making and proactive risk mitigation.

Risk management is a systematic process of identifying, assessing, and addressing potential risks that could impact the objectives, operations, or reputation of a business or organization.

The process involves analyzing risks to determine their likelihood and potential impact, and then implementing strategies to mitigate or manage them effectively. Potential risk management strategies may include avoidance, transfer, acceptance, and reduction of risks,

Agencies like the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) recommend that you assess risks individually and select the most appropriate risk management strategy based on the nature of the hazard and your organization’s ability to support the strategy.

While it may seem that studying an example of a risk management strategy can help you formulate your own, it’s in your organization’s best interest to dive a little deeper. We will share details of each step of this process in this article, along with an example of each risk management strategy.

In this guide, we will help you understand and implement a step-by-step approach to identifying, assessing, managing, and reporting risks.

Step 1: Risk Identification

Every robust risk management strategy starts with meticulous and focused risk identification. This step ensures you have a comprehensive awareness of potential risks, which leads to informed decision-making and proactive risk mitigation.

By recognizing risks early, your organization can preemptively mitigate any risk before it becomes a substantial threat.

Techniques for Effective Risk Identification

  1. Risk Profiles: This technique involved designing organized approaches to identify, estimate, and prioritize risks based on their likelihood, impact, and appropriate responses.
  2. Risk Workshops: This technique prioritizes conducting team sessions to foster open discussions about potential risks, share industry best practices, and brainstorm risk mitigation strategies.
  3. Risk Analysis Tools: This technique prioritizes utilizing frameworks such as Factor Analysis of Information Risk (FAIR) and other industry standards for efficient risk identification.

After having successfully identified the risks for your organization using one of the techniques mentioned above, the next step is to assess and prioritize the risk.

Step 2: Risk Assessment and Prioritization

Risk assessment and prioritization focuses on identifying, evaluating, and ranking potential risks to an organization.

Risk assessment can be done via various techniques like brainstorming, scenario analysis, and historical data reviews. This is followed by prioritizing risks based on their likelihood and potential impact. 

Implementing this step diligently can help your organization manage the most significant risks first, ensuring that limited resources are allocated effectively to address them.

Here are some methods to carry out an effective risk assessment and prioritization:

  1. Risk Assessment Matrix: A risk matrix visually represents the likelihood and impact of risks on a grid, typically with high, medium, and low categories. Risks are plotted on the matrix based on their assessed likelihood and impact, helping prioritize them for further action.
  2. Risk Register: A risk register is a structured document that captures information about identified risks, including their description, likelihood, impact, mitigation measures, and responsible parties. It provides a centralized repository for managing and tracking risks throughout a project or organization.
  3. Failure Mode and Effects Analysis (FMEA): FMEA is a systematic method for identifying potential failure modes in a process, product, or system, evaluating their potential effects, and prioritizing them based on severity, occurrence, and detection. It helps prioritize actions to reduce the likelihood or impact of failures.
  4. Bowtie Analysis: Bowtie analysis is a risk assessment technique that visualizes the relationship between potential hazards, their causes, and the consequences of their occurrence. It helps identify preventive and mitigative barriers and prioritize them based on their effectiveness and criticality.
  5. Decision Trees: Decision trees are graphical models that represent decisions and their potential outcomes in a branching structure. They can be used to assess risks by considering various decision pathways and their associated probabilities and consequences, helping prioritize actions based on their expected value.
  6. Hazard and Operability Study (HAZOP): HAZOP is a systematic method for identifying and evaluating potential hazards in a process or system by systematically examining deviations from design intent. It helps prioritize risks by assessing their severity and likelihood of occurrence.
  7. Monte Carlo Simulation: Monte Carlo simulation is a probabilistic technique that uses random sampling to model the impact of uncertainty and variability in risk assessment. It can help prioritize risks by simulating multiple scenarios and estimating their likelihood and potential impact on project outcomes.

An Example of a Risk Assessment Strategy Using Risk Assessment Matrix

Assessing and prioritizing risk

Suppose a software development company is assessing the risks associated with a new project. They can use a risk matrix to classify risks by their potential impact (Low, Medium, High) and likelihood of occurrence (Low, Medium, High). Each cell in the matrix represents an individual risk, with a categorized value for both dimensions.

Based on the risk matrix, the company identifies a series of risks, such as defects in the final product and data breaches during development. They prioritize these risks according to their potential impact and likelihood of occurrence.

The next step for the company would be to come up with a plan for how to respond to the most significant risks. This leads us to the next step…

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Step 3: Risk Management Strategies: Appropriate Responses to Risks

After identifying, assessing, and prioritizing risks facing an organization, it is vital to come up with a strategy to manage the risk, should it actually occur.

Here are the four main approaches to risk management:

  1. Risk Acceptance: An organization may choose to accept the risk without taking any actions to mitigate it. This would be appropriate when the cost of managing the risk exceeds the potential consequences.

    An Example of a Risk Management Strategy – Acceptance:
    Let’s say a software development company identifies a potential risk of project delays due to unexpected changes in client requirements. After assessing the likelihood and impact of this risk, the company may decide that the cost and effort required to implement additional measures to mitigate this risk outweigh the potential benefits. As a result, they may choose to accept the risk and proceed with the project without making any changes to their processes or procedures.
  2. Risk Transference: An organization may decide that the best course of action is shifting the risk to another party, such as a contractor or insurer. This strategy is usually implemented when the organization’s resources cannot address the risk, or when mitigating the risk would be impractical.

    An Example of a Risk Management Strategy – Transference:
    A construction company working on a project in an area prone to natural disasters might decide they don’t want to take on the risk of property damage or project delays due to these events. The construction company can then transfer this risk to an insurance company by purchasing a comprehensive insurance policy that covers damages from natural disasters.
  3. Risk Avoidance: An organization may take actions to eliminate the risk or to prevent it from occurring at all. This strategy is usually adopted when the risk is manageable, and the associated cost of mitigation is recoverable.

    An Example of a Risk Management Strategy – Avoidance:
    A pharmaceutical company that is debating entering a new market may realize that there is a high risk of regulatory compliance issues due to stringent regulations and complex legal requirements. Based on their analysis, this could pose a serious risk to the company. So instead of risking potential fines or legal consequences, the company may decide to avoid this risk entirely by choosing not to enter that market.
  4. Risk Reduction: An organization can choose to reduce the likelihood or impact of a potential risk to an acceptable level. This strategy is appropriate when the risk has the potential to negatively impact an organization’s goals, but the cost of mitigation is manageable.

    An Example of a Risk Management Strategy – Avoidance:
    A manufacturing company may have identified a risk of equipment failure leading to production downtime. To minimize this risk, the company may implement a preventive maintenance program to identify potential issues before they escalate, and schedule repairs or replacements as needed. Additionally, the company may also invest in backup systems or equipment to ensure continuity of operations in case of failure.

To formulate a plan of action for dealing with risks, an organization may use one or all of these risk management strategies based on business objectives and available resources.

However, managing risks is not a passive process that ends with forming a strategy. It is of crucial importance to monitor and report risks as well.

Step 4: Risk Monitoring and Reporting – A Crucial Component of Risk Management

risk monitoring and reporting 

This step is aimed at continuously assessing, tracking, and communicating information about identified risks throughout the lifecycle of a project or organization

Maintaining a constant eye on risk exposures and monitoring progress in mitigation strategies is essential for every organization. This involves continuous observation of identified risks to evaluate their status, assess any changes in their likelihood or impact, and identify emerging risks.

A robust risk monitoring system helps stakeholders stay informed about the current risk landscape and enables timely decision-making to address evolving threats.

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Best Practices for Risk Monitoring and Reporting

  • Use a risk monitoring software that can assist organizations in the visualization and tracking of risks across the enterprise.
  • Implement automated and streamlined workflows, minimizing manual effort while expediting response times.
  • Share updates regularly, making use of clear and concise language, while communicating actionable steps.
  • Include a variety of risk types in the report, including financial, legal, operational, and environmental risks.

Innovative Tools for Risk Monitoring and Reporting

  • Adopt robust risk monitoring software to assist in the visualization and tracking of risks across the enterprise.
  • Enable automation and streamlined workflows, minimizing manual effort while expediting response times.

By monitoring and reporting risks on a regular basis, organizations can put in place actionable strategies before significant harm is inflicted.


By following this 4-step process, your organization can formulate a risk management strategy that is optimized for business outcomes and availability of resources. This can be crucial in maintaining your organization’s stability amidst the current uncertain business landscape.

At VComply, we have developed an exceptional platform that can assist your organization in identifying and managing risks effectively. We provide risk management tools that can customize risk management strategies in alignment with your organization’s needs.

We welcome you to experience the VComply’s risk management platform by booking a free demo.