Ever thought about how project managers deal with the tricky part of the projects? In the dynamic business world, unexpected challenges like sudden pandemics can pose significant risks. Risk Breakdown Structure enables project managers to assess, prioritize and develop effective strategies for managing these disruptions. For emerging startups, taking advantage of risk breakdown structure proves instrumental in navigating the complexities of the business world.

Read on to learn why Risk Breakdown Structure is a must for guiding projects through the tough parts of risk and uncertainties.

risk breakdown structure

What is Risk Breakdown Structure in Project Management?


The Risk Breakdown Structure is a super tool kit for dealing with potential problems in project management. RBS is like a chart that organizes project risk from severe to less severe risk. It helps to identify the risk within the project. It breaks down risks into smaller manageable components, making it easier to analyze and address them.

Like the Work Breakdown Structure, the RBS equips a framework for ranking the risk with the given projects.

RBS organizes the project into four categories: Technical, Internal, External, and Project management.

risk breakdown structure

1. Technical Risks:

It involves challenges related to technology, tools or processes.

2. External Risks:

Arise from factors outside the project team’s control like market conditions or regulatory changes.

3. Internal Risks:

Risk that happens inside the organization, include a lack of resources, cash delays or mistakes in the arrangement.

4. Project management Risks:

Encompass uncertainties tied to planning, execution, and control of the project.

Risk Scoring: Risk Breakdown Structure in Project Management

The Project Management Institute PMI recommends a risk-scoring method P_I risk. Where (P) means probability and (I) means impact, by using specific formulas and rankings with P_I methods the risk is calculated.

1. Probability (p) of risk occurrence:

  • High probability (80% <   x < 100%)
  • Medium-high probability ( 60% <  x
  • Medium-low probability( 30% <
  • Low probability(0%

2. Risk Impact

  • High: Catastrophic(rating A-100)
  • Medium: critical(rating B-50)
  • Low: marginal(rating C-10)

Benefits of Risk Breakdown Structure

The Risk Breakdown Structure (RBS) in project management offers several benefits through its active role in identifying, categorizing, and managing risks. Here’s a breakdown.

risk break down structure

1. Identification:

The RBS facilitates a systematic approach to pinpointing potential risks. Ex. In a software development project, the RBS helps identify coding challenges, ensuring they are not overlooked.

2. Categorization:

It organizes risks into categories aiding in better understanding and communication eg. In a construction project, the Risk Breakdown Structure categorizes risks like weather-related delays separately from budget concerns.

3. Analysis:

Enables a more in-depth analysis of each risk and its potential impact on the project example In a marketing campaign, the RBS helps analyse the risk of shifting consumer trends and its effects on the campaign’s success.

4. Efficient resource allocation:

Assists in allocating resources effectively to address identified risks eg, in a manufacturing project, the RBS ensures that resources are allocated to handle supply chain disruptions, minimizing production delays.

5. Proactive risk management:

Supports proactive planning to mitigate risks before they escalate. For example, In an event planning project, the RBS allows for early identification of logistical challenges, ensuring timely solutions to avoid disruptions.

6. Better decision-making:

 Equips project managers with valuable insights for informed decision-making example: In a financial project, the RBS helps assess market risks, guiding decision-makers in adjusting investment strategies based on market uncertainties.

Why is risk assessment Important?

risk breakdown structure

None of the projects are 100% free from the risk. It is important to assess risk efficiently. The Risk breakdown structure is an essential ingredient for project managers to assess the risk in the project. RBS makes it much easier to pinpoint and evaluate risk in the project. The project managers notice that the projects need more attention with the help of RBS. The managers can analyze the possible losses and trace the risk management. The managers can assign resources suitably and even plan for the positive effects of the identified risk. It also helps to align the all-inclusive goals and plans of the organization.

In addition, it offers a fast visual reference regarding the allocation of workload, resources and assignments.

How to create a risk breakdown structure template?

risk breakdown structure

Creating a RBS template in project management is a strategic step towards identifying and managing potential risks. Follow these simple steps to develop your own RBS template:

First, figure out the highest level of risk and outline broad categories containing various types of risks relevant to your project, like technical, financial, organizational, and external.

The next step is breaking down the categories from level one to level two to ensure risk can be adequately managed.

As soon as the risks have been successfully broken down they need to be scored to determine which risk can have the highest effect on the project. Arranging risk will assist you in knowing which risk needs immediate attention by calculating the probability and impact of the risk.


We can finally conclude that Risk Breakdown Structure is an important part of project management. It helps the project manager identify and evaluate the risk effectively. RBS helps the stakeholders to make decisions based on the risk and plan measures if it occurs. Taking up this course will assist you in gaining the necessary skills required by a project manager to solve the risk.

If you wish to kickstart your career in the field of Project management master the skills by doing PMP certification from Henry Harvin

Join Henry Harvins PMP certification course and experience an exciting journey mastering the skill set with ease.

Join the Discussion

Interested in Henry Harvin Blog?
Get Course Membership Worth Rs 6000/-
For Free

Our Career Advisor will give you a call shortly

Someone from India

Just purchased a course

1 minutes ago
Henry Harvin Student's Reviews
Henry Harvin Reviews on Trustpilot | Henry Harvin Reviews on Ambitionbox |
Henry Harvin Reviews on Glassdoor| Henry Harvin Reviews on Coursereport