Defining the Set of Criteria

for Establishing and Evaluating a Project Risk Register



By Juris Uzulāns

Riga, Latvia




The project risk register is an important part of project management and one of the risk management documents. Among the project risk registers used in practice, there are ones of various size and content. Procedures for the establishment of registers and criteria for the evaluation of registers in project management theory does not have well-established or logically correct criteria for establishing or evaluation risk registers. The most commonly used criteria represent maturity, practical application and compliance with a group of criteria chosen by owners. However, the author cannot conclude that these criteria are sufficient.

The author has used the results of his previous studies to create a set of the criteria and to analyse the definitions of ‘risk’ and similar concepts and the process of project risk management. The results of both studies and the results of studies on specific projects have served as the basis for defining a set of criteria for establishing and evaluating the project risk register.

A set of criteria can then ensure a better quality of risk registers and their evaluation in the management process.

Key words: project, risk, risk register, set of criteria.

JEL code: M00, M10, M190


The aim of the study is to develop criteria for establishing and evaluating the project risk register. In the previous studies on the criteria for risk register evaluation the author concluded that the criteria chosen as a result of the studies were not sufficient to assess project risk registers. In order to establish a more complete set of criteria the author used the results of the previous analysis of the ‘risk’ concept and project risk management process.

Purpose and limitations of the study

In order to achieve the aim of the study, the author did not select the criteria of one type or origin, but rather combined several types and origins in the set of criteria, selected according to the same principles for the purpose of evaluation or use for development. In a set of criteria, the criteria may be of equal or different weights or otherwise ranked or in relationship.

The risk register is a project risk management document. The size and structure of the risk register may vary from small to large. The number of risk register columns selected in the study is from 5 to 40.

The amount of information in the risk register columns may vary from a few words up to several paragraphs of text for one kind of risk, the register may contain one risk register table and several other tables, information may be organized in a table or tables and a table structure grouping or merging columns or rows in a table.

The author breaks the information on the risk register into 2 groups: the content of the risk register, such as the content of columns, and the size of the risk register, such as the number of columns. This study will not analyse the structure of risk records or the content of documents with a risk register as part of annex, neither will it deal with the relevance of risk records to the project for which the relevant risk register.

To create the set of criteria, the author chose the notion ‘risk’ decisive concept ‘event’ and project risk management process.


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Second Editions are previously published papers that have continued relevance in today’s project management world, or which were originally published in conference proceedings or in a language other than English.  Original publication acknowledged; authors retain copyright.  This paper was originally presented at the 9th Scientific Conference on Project Management in the Baltic States at the University of Latvia in April 2020 and published in the journal “Project Management Development – Practice and Perspectives”, ISSN 2256-0513.  It is republished here with the permission of the author and conference organizers

How to cite this paper: Uzulans J. (2020); Defining the Set of Criteria for Establishing and Evaluating a Project Risk Register; presented at the 9th Scientific Conference on Project Management in the Baltic States, University of Latvia, April; republished in the PM World Journal, Vol. IX, Issue IX, September.  Available online at https://pmworldlibrary.net/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/pmwj97-Sep2020-Uzulans-criteria-for-establishing-and-evaluating-risk-registers.pdf



About the Author

Juris Uzulāns

Riga, Latvia



Juris Uzulāns possesses more than 20 years of experience in theoretical and practical project management and more than 10 years of experience in theoretical and practical risk management. It includes managing projects in the state governance, health care system, institutions of higher education and IBM Latvia. The author has designed and delivered courses in project management in BA School of Business and Finance, Latvia School of Public Administration, Baltic Computer Academy as well as commercial firms specialized in training. In science the author focuses on risk management, analysis of project processes and documentation. Juris is author of 4 books on project management and 28 scientific publications.

Juris can be contacted at jouris@lanet.lv.