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Stage 2: Initiate the Project


What it is How to Templates/
What it is: Develop a Risk Management Strategy


A risk management strategy defines a high-level plan for how project risks will be managed during the course of the project. Risks are possible events that may cause deviations from the planned outcomes of a project. Deviations can be positive (opportunities) or negative. Risk management is an iterative process that begins immediately and continues throughout the life of a project.

A general risk management strategy is all that is needed in the Initiate Stage. The more detailed risk management plan is completed in the Plan Stage and includes the details of how to manage risk.

A good risk management strategy addresses the following:

  • Risk management objectives
  • A preliminary, high-level assessment of the general areas of risk associated with the project
  • Risk areas with low tolerances or thresholds
  • A high-level process to manage risk
  • Risk management decision makers


Risk management starts early in a project. Developing your risk management strategy ensures risk is managed efficiently and effectively throughout the project.

Sound risk management aligns a project’s responses to realized risks with the organization’s goals and so increases the likelihood that, in the face of deviation, the project will nevertheless produce satisfactory results from the organization’s point of view. The project’s risk management strategy sets the project on a course for managing risk throughout the life of the project.

Who is involved

Project Manager
Project Team
Project Sponsor
Project Stakeholders


The results of developing a risk management strategy are included in a separate section of your project charter often referred to as:

  • Risk Management Strategy

If applicable, you may also update the following sections of your project charter:

  • High-level Roles
  • Change Management Strategy




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Updated March 1, 2007 - v2.1