Possibly the best risk assessment template

While working on the project in the Middle East recently the RISK-ACADEMY team came up with what looks like the best risk identification template I’ve seen in a long time. This is what a good risk register should look like, if there was ever a need for one. By the way, there isn’t a need for a risk register, but’s a separate article.

Using this template is only recommended for people who understand corporate finance and probability theory. It is assumed that you understand financial models, assumptions, simulations and are able to apply Monte-Carlo.

Here are the reasons what makes this template awesome:

  • it forces to look for assumptions
  • it maps the risks against each assumption
  • it adds volatility to the actual assumptions, no risk ratings, risks are represented by the volatility of the assumptions
  • it maps mitigation actions against assumptions
  • it allows for validation and feedback from the decision makers



Here is an explanation of each column:

  • Cell reference – reference to the cell in the model where the assumption is stored
  • Assumption name – self explanatory
  • Default value – default static value currently used in the model
  • Risks – risks identified by the deal team (decision makers), risk team, due diligence or other sources mapped against each assumption
  • Initial range – a range of values and a distribution shape to replace the static default assumption value based on the risk identification
  • Proposed mitigations – mitigation actions proposed by the decision makers or legal terms agreed that will help to mitigate the risks and hence reduce the uncertainty
  • Updated range – updated range and distribution shape based on the mitigations and the validation with the decision makers. It may or may not be updated.

As you probably guessed the ranges then go into a simulation. We usually run 2 simulations, before and after mitigations to test whether the decision makers plan is going to work and does in fact reduce the uncertainty significantly. By the way, Archer Insight does this automatically.

Alternative risk assessment template (xlsx)


RISK-ACADEMY offers online courses


Informed Risk Taking

Learn 15 practical steps on integrating risk management into decision making, business processes, organizational culture and other activities!


ISO31000 Integrating Risk Management

Alex Sidorenko, known for his risk management blog http://www.riskacademy.blog, has created a 25-step program to integrate risk management into decision making, core business processes and the overall culture of the organization.


Advanced Risk Governance

This course gives guidance, motivation, critical information, and practical case studies to move beyond traditional risk governance, helping ensure risk management is not a stand-alone process but a change driver for business.


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