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Source: Team Gantt
Published: August 2020

Risk Assessment Matrix

A risk assessment matrix helps calculate project risk by identifying everything that could go wrong and weighing potential damages. This project management tool makes it easy to prioritize issues and take action where it’s most needed. Categorizing risks relies on strong judgment — think the leadership principle Are Right, A Lot. To calculate risk impact, multiply a risk’s severity by its likelihood.

Example: launching a new mobile app.

Risk: Data security does not meet your company’s requirements.
Severity: 3
Likelihood: 2
Risk Impact (severity x likelihood): 6

Risk: App not accepted to Apple’s App Store.
Severity: 2
Likelihood: 2
Risk Impact (severity x likelihood): 4

Risk: The ‘Report a Bug’ feature fails unit testing.
Severity: 1
Likelihood: 3
Risk Impact (severity x likelihood): 3

Risk: Unable to find a bar-raising front-end software developer.
Severity: 2
Likelihood: 1
Risk Impact (severity x likelihood): 2

Scale of Severity
(3) Generally unacceptable: Extreme negative consequences that could cause the entire project to fail.
(2) Tolerable: This risk will hurt the project, but the project will recover.
(1) Acceptable: The project will hardly feel an impact if this risk occurs.

Scale of Likelihood
(3) Probable: Likely to occur often.
(2) Possible: Likely to occur infrequently.
(1) Not likely: Unlikely but possible to occur.

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