Identifying and understanding risk for major projects can be challenging. The complexity and scale of what is being delivered result in a complex and interrelated set of risks that need to be managed. Using the risk bowtie method, you can systematically approach and assess risks, their causes, and their potential consequences.

Benefits of using the Risk Bowtie method

  • Comprehensive Analysis: It helps identify and understand a wide range of risks associated with the project and how they’re interrelated.
  • Visual Representation: The bowtie diagram visually depicts the relationships between risks, controls, and consequences, facilitating communication and understanding. Senior executives love diagrams that help them understand complex issues quickly.
  • Risk Control Planning: Assists in selecting effective measures to prevent or mitigate risks.

  • Focus on Critical or Strategic Risks: This helps you prioritise risks based on their potential impact on project objectives.

  • Enhanced Decision-Making: Enables informed decision-making based on a thorough understanding of risks and their controls.

Components of the Risk Bowtie

The basic components of a risk bowtie are:

  • Causes: Causes refer to the underlying factors or conditions that contribute to the occurrence of a particular event or problem. They are the reasons or sources that lead to the manifestation of a risk.

  • Risk Event: A risk event refers to a specific incident or occurrence that has the potential to impact the objectives or outcomes of a project or activity. It represents a specific risk that may or may not happen in the future.

  • Impacts: Impacts are the outcomes or results that occur because of a risk event. They can be positive or negative and may have varying degrees of impact on the project, organisation, or individuals involved.

  • Controls: Controls are measures or actions implemented to manage or mitigate risks. They are put in place to prevent, reduce, or respond to the occurrence or impact of a risk event. Controls aim to minimise the likelihood of risks materialising or the severity of their consequences if they do occur.

The following example provides a detailed look at a risk bowtie and all the interrelated causes, impacts, and controls.

Download PDF

We invite you to reach out to our team for advice or an initial consultation. We’re always happy to discuss your unique challenges and explore how our expertise can assist you in streamlining your project delivery capability. With a team of professionals who bring a unique blend of strategic thinking, strong communication skills, and a commitment to excellence, we’re well-equipped to guide you on this journey.

Reach out to us today to take the next step towards mastery in managing complex projects.

Get in touch