How Often Should You Review Your Risk Management Plan?


A risk management plan helps managers and teams minimize risk and be prepared for any scenario that may occur at any part of their process or execution. Using successful risk management strategies is the best way to create a solid risk management plan, but even the most comprehensive schemes need to be reviewed and updated once in a while. 

Companies should review their risk management plans every couple of months for specific projects, and annually for organization-wide plans. These evaluations should also be performed whenever there are major changes in legislation, business tasks, and team dynamics, or any time the plan has become inadequate. 

At the same time, managers should also actively find ways to continually improve risk management skills to ensure that they lead the charge in risk assessment and inspire a risk-aware culture among their departments.

How to Review a Risk Management Plan

When reviewing a risk management plan, it’s important to ask questions like: “What risks can we anticipate?”, “How do we minimize risks while effectively achieving our goals?” and “What are risk management policies we can apply to our strategies?” Here are some methods that you can use to answer some of these key points:

Analyze Problems

When assessing your risk management plan, collate and review all the problems that you have encountered before, including any near misses or accidents. Explore other issues that may stem from these as well. Once you’ve identified these danger points, make the necessary changes to fix them and prevent them from putting you at risk again.

Match Outcomes with Objectives

Look at risks and solutions in a way in which you can still steer them towards achieving your goals (or at least avoid sabotaging them). Think of what you want to achieve on a project or within your organization, and make sure that your risk management plan aligns with your goals.

Understand the Environment

Every task, field, and industry comes with a set of unique risks, and you must understand what you’re up against in your specific project or organization. Keep up to date with what’s happening in your environment and watch how similar players are dealing with problems they’re facing (as these can happen to you, too). Then, come up with risk management policies that you can apply based on available data and your own skills and experience.

When to Review a Risk Management Plan

A risk management plan for an organization should ideally be reviewed once every year; for projects, assessments should be carried out every couple of months, especially for short-term endeavors. That said, you may also review your strategies whenever there are changes in legislation, tasks, or team dynamics. Here’s a guide on when and how often you should review your risk management plan:

Annual Reviews

As a rule of thumb, it’s best to review the risk management plans of an organization once every year. This could be a scheduled calendar event that involves all stakeholders, in which the past year’s activities are reviewed and any changes are made based on insights and learnings taken from them.

Changes in Legislation

Risk management plans are closely related to legal matters, such as work safety, privacy, and global political and financial conditions. You must stay up to date when there are changes in legislation and make necessary adjustments to stay compliant with relevant laws.

Changes in Tasks

Workplaces are constantly evolving. Organizations occasionally pivot their goals and processes, both systematically and in day-to-day projects. When major changes occur, this necessitates an adjustment in your risk management plan to ensure that goals are still aligned.

Changes in Teams

Teams are also dynamic, with new additions and positions incorporated constantly. Changes in teams may require a review when there is an influx of reports and complaints and if staff report problems related to their safety.

Start With a Solid Risk Management Plan

A solid risk management plan is flexible and is created with an understanding that improvements can always be done and changes are inevitable. Reviews become much easier when you start with a well-founded risk management plan, which you can build with TradeReady’s guide on successful risk management strategies.

About the author

Author: FITT Team

The Forum for International Trade Training (FITT) is the standards, certification and training body dedicated to providing international business training, resources and professional certification to individuals and businesses. Created by business for business, FITT’s international business training solutions are the standard of excellence for global trade professionals around the world.

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