A Short Guide to Facilitating Risk Management: Engaging People to Identify, Own and Manage Risk, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

A Short Guide to Facilitating Risk Management

Engaging People to Identify, Own and Manage Risk, 1st Edition

By Penny Pullan, Ruth Murray-Webster


168 pages

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pub: 2011-07-28
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Many organisations have spent small fortunes to set up risk processes and supporting tools which then fail to deliver the expected value. This is because rational processes don't work well when trying to get groups of people to agree what is risky, why and what to do about it.

If you need to make sound decisions in important but risky situations; work with groups to identify, prioritise and respond to risks, deliver value and, along the way, ensure the credibility of the process and the resilience of your organisation, A Short Guide to Facilitating Risk Management is for you. It sets out a very practical approach to how the risk management process can deliver value through effective facilitation. It brings together Ruth Murray-Webster's expertise in the human aspects of risk and risk attitude and Penny Pullan's wide experience of the facilitation of project workshops to cover five main areas:

  • avoiding pitfalls - how to makesure you are better prepared, better able to use your knowledge with groups and better able to avoid unsupported or skewed results;
  • an understanding of risk management - to refresh your own knowledge and provide the basis for knowledge and ideas you can share with your group(s);
  • understanding your role - whether you are a full-time facilitator or a line manager with the need to improve risk management, you'll learn the skills you need and gain an understanding of how best to develop them;
  • tried and tested tips for each step of the risk management process - proven practices showing how you can use the right mix of workshops, small groups and individual work to keep people engaged and get results;
  • running risk workshops - the whole area of making workshops work.

This book is illustrated with practical examples from the authors' experience and their findings from interviews and surveys to help you get the best from your groups when they're working together, both face-to-face and virtually.


'Risk meetings don’t have to be boring: A Short Guide to Facilitating Risk Management is the book that risk managers have been waiting for. It provides practical guidance on facilitating risk workshops, and making risk management happen outside of the workshop setting as well. Dotted throughout with cartoons, the emphasis is on practical guidance for getting things done without suffocating those poor souls who have to attend risk reviews. The book provides a clear introduction to tackling risk (including opportunities) in a fun, professional way, with the aim of gaining consensus. It’s pragmatic and practical, with real-life examples to show how risk management can become ingrained in the day-to-day management of initiatives in your organisation.' - Elizabeth Harrin, author of Project Management in the Real World and Head of IT Programme Delivery, Spire Healthcare

'The book makes a compelling case for the role of a risk management facilitator, to ease the operation of risk management processes by enthusing and engaging people, and by maintaining continued ownership and accountability until the risks have been closed.' John Greenwood

'There are a number of useful tools and techniques in the book and the accompanying website which could really benefit workshop facilitators…I found the "tried and tested tips" section to be the most useful, where the writers share their extensive knowledge and experience with the reader. Overall, the book was really thought-provoking, particularly the argument for keeping the assessment of risk impact separate from the assessment of probability.’ Mark Braham, MCQI CQP, Quality Assurance Manager, the AA

'…The authors draw on their considerable experience of running risk workshops, and offer some really good advice, especially in the section dealing with pitfalls…The book is written in a breezy, chatty and conversational style…’ Health and Safety at Work Magazine

Table of Contents




What is risk management?

The risk facilitator

Facilitating the risk management process

Risk workshops

Potential pitfalls and how to overcome them

Ten golden guidelines for the risk facilitator


About the Authors

Dr Penny Pullan is Director of Making Projects Work. Penny is a highly-qualified project manager, facilitator and trainer, with a broad experience both inside multinational companies and as an external consultant. Penny is experienced in facilitating risk workshops and equipping others to do so. See www.makingprojectswork.co.uk

Ruth Murray-Webster is Director of Lucidus Consulting Limited. Ruth is a highly-qualified and respected business consultant, with broad experience in managing organisational change in a cross-cultural context and across a wide range of sectors, and a particular interest in the human aspects of effective change management. She is co-author of two earlier Gower books, Understanding and Managing Risk Attitude and Managing Group Risk Attitude. See www.lucidusconsulting.com

About the Series

Short Guides to Business Risk

Risk is a far more complex and demanding issue than it was ten years ago. Risk managers may have expertise in the general aspects of risk management and in the specifics that relate directly to their business, but they are much less likely to understand other more specialist risks. Equally, Company Directors may find themselves falling down in their duty to manage risk because they don't have enough knowledge to be able to talk to their risk team, in a sensible way. The short guides to risk are not going to make either of these groups experts in the subject but will give them plenty to get started and in a format and an extent (circa 150 pages) that is readily digested.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Insurance / Risk Assessment & Management