Process Risk Mapping: a How-To Guide | ComplianceBridge

Process Risk Mapping: a How-To Guide

Written by Risk Management Team on September 26, 2022

No business is without risk, but some risks are more easily mitigated than others. By identifying risks early on, you can take steps to minimize their impact on your business. Additionally, by understanding where risks lie in your processes, you can make changes to reduce the likelihood of them occurring. One important method for identifying risks is through process risk mapping.

Process maps also allow for easy identification of risks and gaps in knowledge. In this how-to guide, we’ll walk you through how to construct process maps for risk assessment so that you can visualize what could go wrong and easily identify risks in your current processes. With this tool in hand, you’ll be able to implement practical solutions so that your risks don’t stand in the way of reaching your goals!

What is Process Risk Mapping?

In business, risks are inherent in every process. By identifying risks early on, you can take steps to mitigate them before they cause significant problems. Understanding where risks lie will help you create more efficient processes and systems. In short, identifying risk is an essential part of doing business. But with so many variables, how do you know which ones are the most important? With a process map, it’s easy! 

Process maps visually represent your current workflow. They also provide insight into all possible risks that could occur at each step. If a particular area has multiple risks or is complicated by unknowns, this may be an area for concern. And don’t forget about the people factor! When performing your risk assessment, think about what your employees need in order to complete their tasks effectively.

How to Create a Process Risk Map:

Risk identification is an essential component of risk management, but it’s often the most challenging part. It requires not just a strong understanding of the project but also good communication skills and a willingness to make yourself vulnerable. Let’s look at the steps that go into process risk mapping.

Step 1: Identify the Process to Map

To create a process map, you first need to identify the process that you want to map out. This can be any process that you think could benefit from being made more visual. Once you have identified the process and defined the tasks involved, it is vital to begin by describing the process you want to map out. Include as many details as possible, such as the steps involved, who is responsible for each step, and what inputs and outputs are associated with each step. 

Step 2: Define the Tasks Involved

After you’ve identified the process, you’ll need to define all the tasks involved. This includes listing out each step, no matter how small. For example, if you’re mapping out a process for creating a new product, your tasks might include researching a new product idea, developing a prototype, and testing the product. Once you have all of your tasks defined, you can start mapping out how they fit together. Doing this will give you a step-by-step view of the process, allowing you to identify any weak points or bottlenecks that may exist.

Step 3: Create a Flowchart

Now that you have identified the process you want to map and have defined all the tasks involved, it’s time to begin creating your process map. While there are many different ways to create a process map, a flowchart is one of the best tools for process risk mapping. 

A flowchart is simply a diagram that shows the steps in a process, along with who is responsible for each step. To start your flowchart:

  1. Map out the main steps in the process and write them down in order.
  2. Draw arrows between the steps to show the order in which they occur.
  3. Add any additional information, such as who is responsible for each step or what inputs are needed.

This will be the basis for your process risk map going forward.

Step 4: Identify the Risks

Once you have your process flowchart, it’s time to identify the risks associated with each step. For each step, ask yourself what could go wrong. Here are some questions to get you started:

  • What could prevent this step from being completed?
  • What are the consequences of this step not being completed?
  • What could cause the process to deviate from the expected path?
  • Are there contingency plans in place for bottlenecks?

By answering these questions, you’ll be able to get an idea of what risks exist within the process. 

Step 5: Determine Risk Impact

Now that you’ve identified risks in your process, it’s time to assess their impact. To do this, you’ll need to consider the following factors:

  • How likely is it that the risk will occur?
  • What are the consequences of its occurrence?
  • What is your risk tolerance level?

The probability of occurrence and severity of consequence will help you determine how significant any given risk is and what steps need to be taken in order to mitigate it. For example, if there’s a high likelihood of occurrence but low consequences for not addressing it, then management may choose not to spend resources on mitigating it.

Step 6: Identify Controls

After identifying the risks in your process, it’s time to start thinking about controls. Controls are actions or conditions that can be put in place to mitigate risks. For each risk, ask yourself what can be done to reduce or eliminate it. Some common controls include segregating duties, audits, training, or even reworking your current process to improve them. It’s important to note that an effective control does not necessarily mean that it will prevent a problem; instead, it should make any future problems less likely or less severe when they occur.

ComplianceBridge Can Help Identify Risk

 An essential aspect of effective risk management is the identification of new risks and their potential impact on business. At ComplianceBridge, we believe identifying and managing your organization’s risk shouldn’t be difficult. The ComplianceBridge Risk platform provides you with the tools you need to gain valuable insights into your risk management strategy, from identifying risks to selecting the appropriate risk mitigation strategies. Build assessments quickly using a variety of question types, including multiple-choice, yes/no, fill-in-the-blank, and risk ratings. You can even weigh questions for more accuracy and create conditional follow-up questions.

Once you’ve created an assessment, quickly send it out to your subject matter experts, and follow results in real-time as they respond. Once you’ve gathered all of the information you need, easily create reports and export data for further analysis. 

We can’t remove threats from the business landscape, but ComplianceBridge Risk provides all the tools you need to navigate them effectively. Schedule a demo today to learn more about our risk management software!

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