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Risk Matrix: Basics You Should Know

01 Aug 2023

Every business involves some risks – and most of which are related to product and process quality.

Addressing these risks appropriately and timely can save your business from more considerable consequences, including compliance actions.

Managing risks can get challenging if you do not understand the different types of risks that could arise, their occurrence’s likeliness, and their impact on the continuous functions. Only then will you be able to prepare a strategic plan to address those risks efficiently and effectively.

So, what is the best way to evaluate and categorize risks?

Risk Assessment Matrix is the best approach for it.

It was developed to analyze risk. It generally utilizes data to analyze, identify, and prioritize risks. It also helps to estimate the probability of risk occurrence.

What is a Risk Assessment Matrix?

A Risk Matrix, also known as Probability Matrix or Impact Matrix, assists in evaluating risks by focusing on probable risks.

Using a risk assessment matrix, you can quickly calculate project risk. It identifies the possibilities for failure and weighs the damage to estimates the potential threats. Prioritizing issues becomes more accessible with this. But there will undoubtedly be action required to keep a project running and safe.

Managing potential risks is the key to avoiding risk events. It may sound challenging to manage uncertainty, but there are now several risk calculations tools that can help and reduces your effort. It would be best if you utilize your risk assessment matrix as often as you like.

Related Article: Risk Assessment Vs Risk Management: How Are they Different?

Why Use Risk Assessment Matrix?

Generally, organizations of all sizes use a risk assessment matrix for three reasons:

  • To determine the extent and size of the risk
  • Assessing their capability to reduce risk
  • To create a list of risks and prioritize them using a legible matrix that is easy to understand

Risk assessment matrixes can help organizations identify risks at different levels, including enterprise-level, business process, or individual process.

What are the benefits of creating a risk matrix?

Making a risk matrix can offer you the following benefits:

  • The severity level will help you to prioritize risks.
  • You can manage risks in a simplified manner.
  • It helps you discover threats quickly and efficiently.
  • Maintains and audits records.
  • Demonstrates an organization’s ability to manage risks.
  • It neutralizes any adverse effects.

How does Risk Matrix work?

Using a risk matrix, you can:

  • Focus on the most significant risks

By identifying and prioritizing your company’s most severe risks through a risk assessment matrix, you can reduce the actual risk. In the absence of such an analysis, you may not see clearly what factors may affect your operations and what risks you are facing.

  • Implement a plan to manage identified risks

You will be better able to respond to threats when you identify the most significant threats. In the context of cybersecurity, each risk is unique. It is, therefore, more valuable to focus your efforts on specific risks instead of simply assuming that all risks have the same impact.

  • Make sure you are constantly monitoring your risk environment.
  • When you know how to handle emergent and recurring risks, it is easier to address them. It will also help you identify the type of risk, its severity, and its probability.

Maintaining real-time assessment of risks and how they are likely to change allows you to anticipate future requirements.

How to Create A Risk Assessment Matrix?

Using a risk assessment matrix, you can experience a simplified means for assessing and addressing your company’s risks. The assessment matrix compares levels and impacts of risk based on your initial risk assessment forms. Your organization’s risk management plan typically begins with the risk assessment matrix.

Bringing together risk data, calculating probabilities, and assessing impact levels in the first step is the easy part. The second step emphasizes how you present your findings to make sense to the decision-makers.

Following are the steps involved in creating a risk assessment matrix.

A. Analyzing the Likelihood of the Risk Occurring

You can estimate the probability of occurrence of each risk through the risk data. This information will help you categorize the risk.

Companies assess risk by categorizing it into the following five categories:

1. Very likely
Your chances of experiencing this risk are very high. Therefore, risk factors with an 80% or higher probability of occurring should be categorized here.

2. Likely
Systematic risks need regular attention. According to estimates, 60 to 80% of these will negatively impact your business.

3. Possible
If it comes to probability, a potential risk is similar to a coin toss. Therefore, such threats will likely occur, and they will require specific attention.

4. Unlikely
There is a low probability that these risks will occur (less than 50%).

5. Very Unlikely
The chances of these risks are often lower than 10%.

B. Evaluating the Consequences

It would be best to determine the impact of each risk within the probability groups you’ve created after you have categorized and grouped your risks according to those categories.

Following the severity of the damage that might occur, you can rank the risks into one of five categories:

1. Insignificant
Insignificant risks are unlikely to harm your business (or a specific project). Negligible risk will likely lead to too little to no data loss, while the data is likely to be openly available.

2. Minor
Although a minimal risk may cause damage, it will not significantly affect your operations.

3. Moderate
Risks of moderate severity may cause noticeable damage but will not significantly impact your operations.

4. Critical
You risk significant losses and possible business disruptions when you face the critical risk.

5. Disastrous/Catastrophic
If there is a catastrophic event, your company will be unable to operate.

C. Categorizing Risks Appropriately

Then, you can compare the likelihood and impact of each risk and place the risk in a logical orientation.

Within the matrix, there are the following groups of “zones”:

1. Extreme
In the red zone of your matrix (i.e., top right corner), you’ll find extreme risks that need attention right away.

2. High Risk
In addition to extreme risks, there are still risks of high importance you should handle promptly. As a result, they tend to fall between the extremes of the matrix.

3. Medium
There are medium risks near the bottom left of the matrix – and they may require risk management strategies to prevent any potential damage.

4. Low Risk
As part of your operations, it is possible to overlook or pay minimal attention to most of these risks.

Following all these steps can be challenging and time-consuming if you employ the traditional tools and methodologies to prepare a risk matrix.

It would be best to implement an advanced CAPA management software like Qualityze to analyze, access, and address quality risks more efficiently than ever.

Qualityze CAPA Management enables organizations to develop a risk-based, compliance-driven process for addressing systemic issues to prevent a recurrence. It guides the user with a comprehensive approach to mitigate quality issues while meeting compliance and fostering a culture of continuous improvements.

In addition to streamlining your CAPA process, it also allows you to perform risk assessment using the in-built risk matrix to determine the visibility of the risk and assist in developing the appropriate action plans. 

If you want to know more about Qualityze CAPA Management Software and its capabilities, please contact our customer success team directly at +1-877-207-8616 or email us at info@qualityze.com, and we will be there for you.

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