How to Find and Manage Risks in Microsoft Project

Microsoft Project is a widely used project management tool that helps users plan, track, and manage their projects. One crucial aspect of project management is risk management - the process of identifying, assessing, and controlling potential risks that can affect a project’s success. In this article, we’ll explore how to find and manage risks in Microsoft Project.

Understanding Risk Management in Microsoft Project

Before we dive into the details of finding and managing risks in Microsoft Project, let’s first understand what risk management is and why it’s important. Risk management is a process that involves identifying, assessing, and controlling potential risks that could impact a project. The goal of risk management is to minimize the negative effects of risks on a project’s success while maximizing its positive impacts.

In Microsoft Project, risk management involves identifying possible risks, analyzing their probability and impact, developing strategies to mitigate or avoid them, and monitoring their progress throughout the project. By effectively managing risks, project managers can improve their chances of delivering successful projects within scope, schedule, and budget constraints.

Finding Risks in Microsoft Project

The first step in managing risks in Microsoft Project is to identify them. There are several ways to find risks in Microsoft Project, including:

1. Brainstorming

One effective way to identify potential risks is through brainstorming sessions with project stakeholders. This could involve gathering a group of people involved in the project and discussing what could go wrong during the project’s lifecycle.

2. Using Templates

Another way to find risks is to use risk management templates available in Microsoft Project. These templates provide predefined lists of common risks based on industry standards and best practices. Project managers can customize these templates to suit their specific project needs.

3. Reviewing Project Data

Project data such as historical information, lessons learned, and performance metrics from previous projects can also help identify potential risks. Project managers can review this data to identify patterns and trends that could lead to risks in the current project.

Managing Risks in Microsoft Project

Once you’ve identified potential risks, the next step is to manage them effectively. Here are some strategies for managing risks in Microsoft Project:

1. Assessing Probability and Impact

Project managers should assess the probability and impact of each identified risk. Probability refers to the likelihood of a risk occurring, while impact refers to the severity of its effect on the project if it does occur. By assessing both factors, project managers can prioritize risks and focus their efforts on the most critical ones.

2. Developing Risk Response Strategies

Based on the assessed probability and impact, project managers should develop risk response strategies. These strategies could involve mitigating the risk by taking actions to reduce its likelihood or impact, avoiding the risk altogether by changing the project plan, transferring the risk to another party through insurance or contracts, or accepting the risk and planning contingencies to minimize its impact.

3. Monitoring and Controlling Risks

Risk management is an ongoing process that requires constant monitoring and controlling of identified risks. Project managers should regularly review the status of identified risks, implement risk response strategies, and track progress towards resolving them. This helps ensure that risks are effectively managed throughout the project lifecycle.

Using Tools for Risk Management in Microsoft Project

There are several tools available that can help project managers with risk management in Microsoft Project. Some popular options include:

  • Smartsheet
  • Clarizen
  • Wrike
  • ClickUp
  • GanttPRO

These tools offer features such as risk identification and assessment, risk response planning, and risk monitoring and reporting. Project managers can choose the tool that best suits their needs and integrates seamlessly with Microsoft Project.

“Risk comes from not knowing what you’re doing.” - Warren Buffett


Effective risk management is essential for project success, and Microsoft Project offers several features that can help project managers with this process. By identifying potential risks, assessing their probability and impact, developing response strategies, and monitoring their progress, project managers can minimize the negative impacts of risks on their projects. Using tools such as, Smartsheet or Wrike can further enhance risk management capabilities in Microsoft Project.In summary, managing risks in Microsoft Project is an ongoing process that requires constant attention and effort from project managers. By following the steps outlined in this article and utilizing available tools, project managers can effectively manage risks and increase their chances of delivering successful projects.