Sometimes things go wrong. That’s why successful project managers don’t just bet on the best-case scenario—they also plan for the worst. Because when you have a plan for every potential setback, you can act quickly and solve issues before they derail your project.
A risk register template helps you stay prepared for every new initiative. Learn how to set up your template in order to spot potential risks—then plan how to solve them.
A risk register template is a reusable guide that helps you track and address potential risks within a project. It outlines key information you should document in order to track each risk—like its priority and the likelihood of it happening. In addition, your template lays out each step you should take to address potential setbacks before they become larger issues.
Thanks to your template, you can quickly create a risk register for every project. Instead of creating your risk log from scratch each time, you can just copy the template, fill in the required information, and start working.
It doesn’t work to just document potential risks and forget about them. Instead, you need to continuously track and address risks throughout the project lifecycle. And while Excel project management templates and static trackers quickly become outdated as circumstances change, a digital risk register template updates in real-time as you complete tasks, adjust priorities, and change deadlines.
Plus, creating your risk register template with project management software means it lives in the same place work happens. So instead of switching back and forth between different tools, you and your stakeholders can track all project information in one central location.
With a digital risk register template, you can:
Document and address project risks before they become blockers.
Track project risks as they move through the steps of your risk management plan—from analyzing identified risks to completing your mitigation plan.
Easily share information about project risks with stakeholders.
Add new risks to your template whenever project team members identify potential problems.
Attach relevant documents, screenshots, and videos to provide contextual information about each risk.
Assign owners and due dates to each risk to make sure it’s addressed within a specific time frame.
See a bird’s-eye view of all project risks, including real-time information about how your team is analyzing and addressing each one.
At its most basic, your project risk register template should include a list of risks—plus columns to identify and track each potential issue. Here’s the key information to include:
Risk description: A brief description of the risk—like “unexpected production costs” or “quality issues.”
Risk identification date: The date when your team spotted the risk.
Risk owner: The person responsible for developing and executing a risk response plan.
Due date: The timeline for when your team should complete each risk mitigation plan.
Risk category: The project area most impacted by the risk—like “budget,” “schedule,” or “quality.”
Risk likelihood: The probability that the risk will actually happen. Risk probability can be as simple as “not likely,” “likely,” and “very likely.”
Potential impact: Also called a risk assessment or risk analysis, this documents the extent to which the risk could disrupt your project. Most teams opt for a five-point scale to document risk impact, ranging from one (very low) to five (very high).
Risk priority: The relative importance of each risk. This accounts for the likelihood that the issue will occur, plus its potential impact.
Along with documenting the above information for each risk, it’s also helpful to track the progress your team is making toward addressing each potential issue. You can do this by creating sections in the risk register template for different stages in your risk management plan—like “not started,” “analyzing,” “planning,” and “plan complete.” As your team completes work, they can just drag and drop each risk into its respective section.
List View. List View is a grid-style view that makes it easy to see all of your project’s information at a glance. Like a to-do list or a spreadsheet, List View displays all of your tasks at once so you can not only see task titles and due dates, but also view any relevant custom fields like Priority, Status, or more. Unlock effortless collaboration by giving your entire team visibility into who’s doing what by when.
Board View. Board View is a Kanban board-style view that displays your project’s information in columns. Columns are typically organized by work status (like To Do, Doing, and Done) but you can adjust column titles depending on your project needs. Within each column, tasks are displayed as cards, with a variety of associated information including task title, due date, and custom fields. Track work as it moves through stages and get at-a-glance insight into where your project stands.
Custom fields. Custom fields are the best way to tag, sort, and filter work. Create unique custom fields for any information you need to track—from priority and status to email or phone number. Use custom fields to sort and schedule your to-dos so you know what to work on first. Plus, share custom fields across tasks and projects to ensure consistency across your organization.
Automation. Automate manual work so your team spends less time on the busy work and more time on the tasks you hired them for. Rules in Asana function on a basis of triggers and actions—essentially “when X happens, do Y.” Use Rules to automatically assign work, adjust due dates, set custom fields, notify stakeholders, and more. From ad hoc automations to entire workflows, Rules gives your team time back for skilled and strategic work.
Google Workplace. Attach files directly to tasks in Asana with the Google Workplace file chooser, which is built into the Asana task pane. Easily attach any My Drive file with just a few clicks.
Microsoft Teams. With the Microsoft Teams + Asana integration, you can search for and share the information you need without leaving Teams. Easily connect your Teams conversations to actionable items in Asana. Plus, create, assign, and view tasks during a Teams Meeting without needing to switch to your browser.
Salesforce. Remove bottlenecks by enabling sales, customer success, and service teams to communicate directly with their support teams in Asana. Share attachments and create actionable, trackable tasks for pre-sales needs. With Service Cloud, connect your implementation and service teams with supporting teams in Asana to deliver amazing customer experiences.
Jira. Create interactive, connected workflows between technical and business teams to increase visibility around the product development process in real-time—all without leaving Asana. Streamline project collaboration and hand offs. Quickly create Jira issues from within Asana so that work passes seamlessly between business and technical teams at the right time.
Every project has its share of possible risks. A risk is something that could impact the quality or timeline of your project—or even lead to project failure. Some common project risks to be aware of include data security risks, communication issues, scheduling delays, unplanned work, and theft of materials.
If you regularly manage projects, a risk register template is a great way to keep work on track even when unexpected issues occur. By proactively identifying risks in advance, you can come up with an action plan to alleviate impacts before they can derail your projects. No project ever goes perfectly, and creating a contingency plan can save you a lot of time and effort later on.
Plus, creating a template makes it easy for everyone on your team to make and use a risk register. As a result, they’re more likely to proactively identify project risks for each new initiative.
To get the most out of your template, create it during the planning stages of a project before work actually kicks off. That way, you can use your template to document and address risks throughout the lifecycle of the initiative.
A risk register template functions best as part of a larger risk management process. To prevent risks during project planning and execution, check out our risk management plan template along with tips on how to implement a risk mitigation strategy, common project risks to look out for, advice on creating a risk management process, and how to track risks with a risk matrix template.
Standardize your project process with a waterfall project management template. Break your project into sequential phases that map to your end goal.
Learn how to create a customizable template in Asana with a free Premium trial today.