Risk management is an extremely important in our modern and fast changing world. And risk techniques are important in many areas – finance, project management, healthcare, insurance, vendor management, trading and more. So I will try to provide a useful guide for risks theories and a list with affordable risk management software .
Risk management tools section provides information for best and free applications, online and offline systems, options for small business and large enterprises.
In this guide, you can find also risk engineering tips, a comparison, strategies, and many useful templates.
The main sections are:
- What is a risk?
- Risk assessments
- Risk management tools and software
- Tips and techniques
- Risk management courses and certification
What is a risk?
A risk is an uncertain known or unknown event in the future which can cause a negative or positive impact on your goals and tasks.
Most important risk attributes are future, probability, impact and response.
Event in future – so a risk is something that will not happen now. It is waiting for us somewhere in our future which can be predicted. This means that risks are applicable to any aspect of your personal or professional life.
And the professions which “look” in the future are very closely related to risks. Professionals in project management, insurance, finance, and analysis should always pay attention to possible risks. This is part of their day-to-day job and it is not a best practice to use the word “risk”.
Probability – Identify risks are uncertain and they may never occur. And the probability is the metrics that calculate the chance of occurring.
There are many risk management tools and techniques of calculating probability. Most important ones are quality and quantity methods which will be described in the next section.
Please bear in mind – you cannot have 100% correct probability. Future is unpredictable.
Impact – The impact is the consequence in case the risk occurs. It is a little bit easier to calculate the impact then probability but still calculations are uncertain. Usually, you can calculated impact as money – gained or lost.
Response – when we define a risk, its impact and probability, you need to prepare a response to this risk. Detailed information about risk responses – in the next section.
Before we start with risk management tools and software we need to have some basic risk theory.
Risk Identification – OK there are many ways to identify the risk. It can be identified from your previous experience, an interview with experts, via inspection or reading documents, benchmarking with competitors, internal or external changes, end etc. So there is no 100% defined strategy, just be observant and analytical and you will find risks.
Register risks – Please, first check your internal company procedure. Someone, somewhere, somehow needs to manage the risk. If not, just manage and share your own risks.
Second, update risk register with your risks. Most probably you will need to fill in some or most of following attributes:
- Risk ID
- Risk description
- Type – Financial, technical, legal, etc
- Responsible person
- Probability – empty in the moment
- Impact – empty in the moment
- Assessments – empty in the moment
- Response – empty in the moment
- Dependencies with other risks
Qualitative Risk Assesment – Mostly this is the assessments based on the impact and probability. Based on different techniques (group meetings, analytical techniques, SWOT analysis, etc) you need to calculate the impact and probability. After that, you can calculate the Assesment = Probability x Impact.
Quantitive Risk Analysis – After you have the Assessments, you can select the highest risks or the risks above some level and to continue with them. This is needed because usually the risk register is quite long. You can calculate the detailed risk impact based on pessimistic, realistic and optimistic scenarios, use modeling, what-if monetary analysis, Monte-Carlo scenarios, decision-making tools, and techniques, etc. Here you need to have some numbers /cost for example/ as outputs.
Risk prioritization – After you have a list of risk and their assessments, you can prioritize the risks.
Define Risk Responses – according to PMI there are following risk responses:
Negative Risk Responses:
- Avoid – completely eliminate the risk
- Mitigate – decrease the risk probability
- Transfer – transfer the risk to other units
- Accept – accept the risk and do nothing
Positive Risk Responses:
- Exploit – ensure that the opportunity will be 100% sure
- Share – share the opportunity with others
- Enhance – increase the chance of the opportunity to occur
- Accept – accept the possibility and do nothing
Obviously, you need to use one of the above options in your risk management process.
Risk Monitoring – after we have a risk register you should not archive it somewhere, but actively check it, monitor the risks in it and make corrective actions if needed.
Risk Management Tools and Software
Ok, you can track your risks in .doc or .xls file. It is fast and cheap. But if you work in a major enterprise or for a big project you will need some risk management tools and software power. So here is a list with some of the best of them plus short review:
One of the best risk management tools is the Analytica software, which shines in creating, analyzing and communicating quantitative risk and decision models
Analytica offers a wide-range of useful features as:
- Risk assessment and analytics
- Hierarchical influence diagrams – an excellent feature for visualization of models, risks, decisions, and their dependencies.
- Intelligent multidimensional arrays – one very useful technique which provides reports based on a selection of multidimensional criteria.
- Uncertainty analysis – based on using either Latin hypercube or Monte Carlo sampling.
- Optimization – finding the most effective solution based on selecting linear or nonlinear solvers.
- Extremely fast risk management
- Powerful integration module.
More information on the official site of Analytica.
Active Risk Management
Active Risk Manager (ARM) is one of the top risk management software.
It not only offers standard risk management features but world class Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) software package.
ARM offers modular approach to its customers and has following modules:
- Core – basic module with all features for risk assessment and management
- Risk Express – provides summarized data “at-a-glance”
- Risk Performance Manager – additional dashboards, tables, charts, and matrices for strategic decisions.
- Apps – mobile application for additional access.
- Risk Connectivity – provides information about “hidden” connection between risk and gives options for decreasing Black-Swan events.
- Unplugged – module for snapshot reporting and a useful tool for summarized high-management reporting.
- Integrations – module for additional integration.
ARM Core is developed with Microsoft .NET Framework and run on both Oracle or Microsoft SQL databases.
More information on the ARM official site.
GRC Cloud is yet another good example of excellent enterprise software.
GRC Cloud offers excellent risk management features as:
- Risk templates and libraries which help customers to get started quickly
- Multiple perspectives on every risk, control, process, etc
- Flexible risk scores
- Alerts and triggers for every task
- ISO integrated framework
- Multiple levels of authorization
- Different screen views customized for each user
- Powerful reporting tool
But GRC Cloud is not only one of the best risk management tools. It offers a wide range of modules as Incident Management, Compliance Module, Issue Management, Internal Control, and etc. More
More information for this GRC Cloud on the official site.
Risk Management Studio
Risk Management Studio is one of the best risk management tools.
Thsi software offers a wide range of useful module as:
Risk Assessment Module – it provides a centralized system to identify risk, calculate their probability, evaluate their impact to organizational assets. The software links them to controls and managing their resolution.
Gap Analysis Module – Evaluate current status of risk controls, streamline the Risk Management process, mitigating controls, reduce complexity and cost.
Risk Treatment Module – presents a clear overview of combination between the Gap analysis and Risk Assessment.
Business Continuity Module – allows you to develop and integrate ways to respond rapidly to any business disruptions.
More information on the Risk Management Studio official site.
KMI EHS Software
KMI’s Risk Analysis software is an advanced risk management tool that lets users define and control risk, evaluate their probability and impacts and creating a full safety risk assessment — all with a simple, straightforward functionality.
This tools is very intuitive, provides tons of useful reports and have great dashboard screen.
KMI EHS is extremely powerful for evaluation of risks to quality, safety, health and the environment.
It has great risk controls and provides information for most risky tasks across the organizations.
The Risk module is integrated with other KMI modules as Incident Manager, Audit Module, Compliance software, and etc
More information you can find on the KMI official site.
JCAD Core is one of the best risk management tools around.
The software offers many useful features:
- Risk profiles in a structure ways
- Features for evaluating probability and impact
- Risk assessment and sharing the risks among involved parties
- Control measures with lots of capabilities
- Associated tasks with each risk
- Risk reviews
- Flexibility and customizable options
- High-security level
The company offers also an excellent Compliance and Audit modules. This software is affordable and reliable.
More information on the JCAD Code official website.
OMNITRACER is a business process platform which offers risk management module.
Risk Management tools features:
- Risk identification and categorization
- Risk assessment
- Define and manage control measures
- Create and manage action plans
- Define emergency responses
- Efficient workflows
- Effective monitoring and reporting
- Creation of documentation
- Security roles and permissions concept
This platform is accessible via Windows, browser, and mobile devices. It offers a wide-range of user interfaces, screens, reports.
OMNITRACKER offers a lot more than just Risk Management. The platform offers solutions for all type of operational and project management processes.
More information on the OMNITRACKER official site.
Enablon is one of the best risk management tools.
This software covers the entire risk management cycle and allows an implementation of “top-down” and “bottom-up” risk management processes.
Enablon has many useful features as:
- Risk identification
- Risk appetite definitions
- Risk assessment and mapping
- Treatment and monitoring
- Powerful reporting options
The software provides various purchasing options and you can buy it as SaaS, hosted or on-premises solution.
You can find more information on Enablon official site.
Logic Manager is one excellent Enterprise Risk Management system /ERM/.
It offers a powerful set of useful features:
- Risk research and identification
- Risk Assesment
- Mitigation, controls, procedures
- Monitoring & Tracking
- Risk Analysis
- Ad-hoc reports
- Document management
All these features turn LogicManager in one of the best risk management tools you can have. they need to develop successful Enterprise Risk Management, governance and compliance programs.
Your business will have all it needs to develop successful Enterprise Risk Management, governance, and compliance programs.
You can find more information on the Logic Manager official site.
RiskWare is a software that covers most fundamental business process.
It has Compliance module, Corporate Governance module, Incident Management, Environment Management, and much more useful tools.
From risk management perspective RiskWare offers a wide range of features as:
- Early identification of risks
- Risk management processes and methodologies – standardized or customizable.
- Improved sharing of risk information
- True picture of enterprise risk
- Support to risk aware corporate culture
- Information for key risk indicators
- Affordable price.
More information on the RiskWare official site.
STREAM by Acuity Risk Management is one of the top risk management tools.
The best uses of STREAM are cyber security management and enterprise risk management.
It offers great features as:
- Business continuity
- Supply chain
- Quality management
- Automated risk register
- Vulnerability management
- IT governance & assurance
- Operational risk treatment
- Project and program risk management
- Corporate social responsibility
You can buy this software as hosted or on premises, for one or for many users, module per module and this gives lots of flexibility.
More information you can find on the STREAM official site.
Risk Management tips
- Try to create risk management culture.
- Don’t hide from risks. They will find you.
- Don’t be afraid to search and define risks.
- Start early.
- Communicate the risks.
- Attack the risk or it will attack you.
- Keep it simple. Especially in small/medium enterprises or projects.
- Track the risk regularly.
- Always check the cost of your risk responses.
- Each risk should have an owner.
- Separate risks by their type – technical, legal, human resources, etc.
- Each risk should have cause and effect.
- Define controls and alerts
- Check the assumptions and constraints – their great source of risks.
- Align the risk responses with company’s strategy and road-map.
- Create a procedure for emergency risks.
- Make qualitative and quantitative analysis. Have some number.
- Have risk register and some diagrams – helps in meetings.
- Inform your manager/s and your sponsor.
- Define business risk appetite and tolerance.
- Check the regulators.
- Have some budget for unknown risks.
- Always check for opportunities.
- Use SWOT analysis
- Request feedback
- Learn your lessons
Risk Management courses and certification
Finally, I will pay attention to the options for risk management online courses and certification.
There are quite a number of options and among the best of them are:
Institute of Risk Management offers excellent courses and provides certificates as:
- International Certificate of Risk Management – the course provides basic principles, standards, key terms, best practices, and etc.
- International Diploma in Risk Management – the course provides in-depth techniques, detailed knowledge of tools and techniques, competencies, etc.
- Certificate of Risk Management in Financial services – in-depth information for banking and insurance sector and related risks.
More information on the IRM official site.
Risk Management Professional is one of the best risk management certification you can obtain.PMI is world most respected organization in the world of Project Management.
PMI is world most respected organization in the world of Project Management. So if you want to go deep in IT or construction business, PMI course and cert will fit you very well. And it is affordable.
Link to the official PMI site.
Certification in Risk Management Assurance is an excellent solution if you want to go deep into providing risk assurance, governance processes, quality assurance, or control self-assessment (CSA).
The course provides information about assurance on core business processes in risk management. It educates on risk and risk management concepts and teaches how to focus on strategic organizational risks.
Link to the official CRMA site.
Boston University Metropolitan College
Boston University offers an online high-quality risk management course.
It includes all important basics of risk management as preparedness planning, risk assessment and mitigation, responses, types of risks – human, technological, and logistical factors of crisis recovery, development of a robust continuity plan.
More information on the Boston University official site.
If you need fast education, you can try ALISON free online course Diploma in Risk Management.
It offers a fast online course, all basics risk management tools and techniques, in-depth tips, certification, and more.
Official site – of ALISON course.