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Forum Home > Project Management Professional (PMP) > Explain the relationship & differences between the "Risks" & "Issues"

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Posts: 57

First of all, let's look at the high level difference between "ISSUES" & Risks":


- Present focused

- Always negative

- Documented in "issue register"

- Response will be "Issue Workaround"


- Future focused

- Can be positive (or) negative

- Documented in "risk register"

- Response will be done based on "risk response planning"

Now let's see how risks & issues plays an integral role in a project:

In general, if a project manager identifies all the possible negative risks and their respective response plans within the project then the possibility of issues can be drastically reduced. (i.e. prevention is better than cure).

However, there could be certain un-foreseen situations may still arises which turns to be issues. It could be certain potential risks which were un-identified in the past (or) already identified risks where the risk response plans are in-adequate and those events turned to be issues and impact the project. Now, its clear if a project manager pays less attention in risk management means there is a greater possibility where the project managers ends up in spending their valuable time & efforts later in managing issues....!!!

Now, when it comes to issue management the project manager documents the issues in "issue register" and performs the issues analysis to identify the possible "workarounds" to fix the issue.

For example: When we talk about issue & workaround it will be like there is an occurrence of FIRE in the room and we need to put it off by using fire extinguisher. Since issues are present focused, there will be a very limited time constraint imposed on identifying the workarounds to fix the issue.

Once when the work-arounds are identified, it’s also equally important such issues should not get repeated in future / possible re-occurrence in a different form in order to bring it to a permanent closure. In case, there is a possibility of re-occurrence then such events will be treated as "risks" because risks are future focused and documented in "risk register" and then a sufficient risk response plans are identified to cover those possible future risks.

-- Once when you are clear about the above mentioned information you can answer most of the risks / issues related difficult questions with ease :-)

February 3, 2015 at 3:08 AM Flag Quote & Reply

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