Risk Management 101: How to Get Started

Understanding the basics of risk management can help you both avoid as well as prepare for risks your business or campus may encounter, potentially saving you time and money. However, risk management can also have other important benefits such as enabling project success, improving communication, and benefiting the organizational culture. Below you will find some background on the basics of risk management as well as some free resources to help you get started. 

What is Risk Management?

Risk is defined as an action or activity that has the potential to go wrong. Risk management is the process of identifying, assessing, and controlling these threats to an organization’s capital and earnings. 

Although many complex processes can be implemented to aid in the risk management process, mitigating risk is one of the most natural things we can do. Below are six basic questions that you can ask to help you begin managing risk effectively; 

  1. What am I trying to achieve? (understanding scope)
  2. What might affect me? (risk identification, uncertainties, future events)
  3. Which from Q2 answers are most important? (risk assessment, likelihood/impact)
  4. What should we do about answers to Q3? (mitigation, prevention, avoid/reduce/transfer/accept)
  5. Did Q4 answers work? (confirm effectiveness)
  6. What has changed? (adapting to changes in the enterprise)

Free Universal Risk Management Resources

Managing risk is an ongoing process that your organization will need to continue to work at and improve constantly in order to be as effective as possible. There are a number of resources that your organization can utilize that are industry-specific, however, the resources below are more universal and an overall great starting point. 



ClearRisk is a great place to start, as they have a wide range of resources such as case studies, testimonials, eBooks, and whitepapers that can all be accessed for free. However, their most useful resource is probably their risk management blog. Their most popular articles include: The 5 Step Risk Management Process,12 Challenges of Data Analytics and How to Fix Them, 6 Ways to Manage and more. 

ERM Insights by Carolhttps://www.erminsightsbycarol.com/

Carol began working as a risk manager in a large insurance company in mid-2010, when they implemented an ERM framework. She became so passionate about the concept that she began her own consulting firm in 2016 and now creates blogs and other free resources to help organizations begin and consistently apply enterprise risk management.

Risk Management Monitorhttps://www.riskmanagementmonitor.com/

The Risk Management Monitor is the official blog of Risk Management Magazine, run by the Risk and Insurance Management Society (RIMS). They post several times a week about timely issues, such as natural disasters or crises in the news, as well as featuring suggestions, reports, and interviews that are relevant to the risk community.

Webinars Institute of Risk Management – https://www.theirm.org/events/webinars/

The Institute of Risk Management hosts regular webinars run by expert trainers, which are free to attend for both members and non-members. You register for new and upcoming webinars through their platform. Additionally, they also have a pretty big selection of archived webinar videos. 

Risk Academy – https://riskacademy.blog

Risk Academy is another great resource for free webinars,  they also have “Risk Awareness Week” coming up October 12-16, 2020 which is an online conference with 30+ speakers on various risk management topics. 

Useful Tools & Techniques

Risk Identification tools and techniques: https://www.greycampus.com/opencampus/certified-associate-in-project-management/risk-identification-tools-and-techniques-in-capm

Risk Management Techniques: https://www.irmi.com/term/insurance-definitions/risk-management-techniques

Remember that you do not need to have the newest software in order to begin managing the risk. Beginning a critical thinking process is oftentimes one of the best and most effective ways to begin to mitigate risks as well as one of the most important things you can do for your organization. 


  1. https://searchcompliance.techtarget.com/definition/risk-management
  2. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BLAEuVSAlVM
  3. https://www.greycampus.com/opencampus/certified-associate-in-project-management/risk-identification-tools-and-techniques-in-capm
  4. https://www.irmi.com/term/insurance-definitions/risk-management-techniques
  5. https://www.greycampus.com/opencampus/certified-associate-in-project-management/risk-identification-tools-and-techniques-in-capm
  6. https://riskacademy.blog/event/risk-awareness-week-2020/
  7. https://www.theirm.org/events/webinars/
  8. https://www.riskmanagementmonitor.com/
  9. https://www.clearrisk.com/
  10. https://www.clearrisk.com/risk-management-blog/risk-management-matters-for-all-employees-0-0

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