Risk and Opportunity Register [+Free Template]
Published: February 23rd, 2021
Author: Matthew Quinn
Categories: Risk Management
A Risk and Opportunity Register is a helpful tool for firms of every size. It can be used to tie your risk management tasks to wider corporate goals. The most mature firms do not manage risk apart from the rest of their activities. But rather, embed their risk management procedures into everything they do.
As discussed is some of our other articles (inc: ISO 27001 & the Risk Management Process) risk management is often seen in very negative terms. As an additional burden that, in an ideal world, would not be necessary.
But effective risk management can also be a positive. Helping you to realize and hit other business targets. This is where a risk and opportunity register can come in handy.
For those new to the topic, a free risk and opportunity register template is provided below.
What is a risk register?
A number of our articles have looked at different kinds of risk registers. But for those new to the topic, the best place to start would be with: What is a Risk Register?
But to briefly recap – a risk register is a a tool you can use to record information about your firm’s risks. This includes, but is not limited to:
-A description of the risk
-Potential consequences if the risk was realized.
-Likelihood of the risk occur
-The impact (on your firm) if the risk occurred.
-An overall risk score (often calculated by combining the Impact and Likelihood scores)
-An action plan – i.e what you are going to do to address the risk.
Risk registers can come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Including excel spreadsheets (like the one available below)
How do “opportunities” fit in?
You will most often see risk and opportunity discussed together in ISO 9001. Though the concept could be applied more broadly.
An opportunity is not necessarily a “good” thing. Nor is it the “positive” counterpart of risk. Rather, it can be understood as a set of circumstances that allow you to take a certain course of action.
Whether or not you choose to take a given opportunity, will result in different levels of risk. This is why it is critical to formally record “opportunities”. If you do so, then you start to see the options open to you and your business.
You may decide, for example, that the risk associated with launching a new product is worth it. That the potential gain (new customers, market share) outweighs the potential cost.
In this way, your risk register starts to become more than just a list of things ‘to avoid’. Instead, it can help you plot a path to a better business.