How DesignRisk Works:

After you log in, the Project Details page will open, which also includes a Search function.

Search Projects: Projects are stored in the order they are created or modified, so if you haven't opened a project recently, it will be down on the list and may not be visible. Just enter some part of the Project Name, and select whether it is active or inactive, and click on the Search button. You will get a list of projects that have your search name in the title. Click on the one you want, and it will open to the Risk Matrix window.

Create New Project: Click on the New Project button in the header, which will open a blank template for the Project Details. Complete the information requested, and select the applicable Risk Scenario (Architect is the only scenario available in the first release). When you have finished, click the Save Project button.

Share Project: If you wish to let others have access to the Risk Analysis, click the Manage button at the bottom, which will open a page where you can enter names of others who need to see the results. Note that other users will need to register to see the project, and that total number of registrants can't exceed the license subscription you've purchased. You can add others to the share list later if you prefer.

Risk Matrix: Next, click the Risk Matrix button, which takes you to the page where you select the options to produce a Risk Report. Complete the Selection form by selecting the most applicable option from 2-5 choices for each of Risk Probability and Risk Severity, in as many of the Risk Categories as apply to the project.

You can use the Next and Previous buttons to navigate through the 48 possible risk categories for the scenario you've chosen. You can use the Omit button to exclude any non-applicable categories. You can also use the Select button to display a list of all categories, and view any of them by clicking on the Selector line. This process takes about 15-20 minutes depending on the number of Categories selected.

Risk Report: When you click the Report button, the web-based Risk Engine assigns risk indices for the options selected, and compares the interactions of options selected to nearly 600 possible risk combinations. Depending on web activity and how many others are accessing the web server, this will take a few minutes to generate.

Risk values are not visible to the user until the Report is generated, this prevents a user from selecting an inappropriate response just to keep scores low.

Risk Score: DesignRisk calculates a Risk Score by multiplying the selected Probability value by the selected Severity value. Risk scores can vary from 1 - 25 (1x1 to 5x5). Risk Scores 1-2 are considered minimal, 3-6 are low risk, 8-12 are medium risk, 15-16 are high risk, and 20-25 are very high risk.

Minimal and low risks are identified by a green-light icon, medium risks by a yellow-light icon, and high and very high risks by a red-light icon.

Go-NoGo Decision: If your Risk Report returns a third or more yellow lights, the project is fairly risky, and you need to implement mitigation strategies to bring about half the yellow lights to green. 3-5 red lights is probably a NoGo, unless you can implement mitigation strategies to bring most of them to yellow or green. 6 or more red lights – this is a very risky project, and if you go for it, be very wary. Implement as many mitigation strategies as you can.

Risk Report: A Risk Report is generated and returned that suggests Risk Profiles and Mitigation Measures for each of the selected Risk Categories. The Report includes links to additional Information pertinent to the Risk Category.

Export: The user exports the Risk Report as an Excel file or PDF file. Excel exports are not formatted, and can be formatted and amended as required to suit the particulars of the project. PDF exports are formatted and ready to distribute, but are not easily amended or updated – you probably want both, for different uses. For guidance on setting up an Export report, go to and open 8.50 DR50 DesignRisk Exports (near the bottom of the list).

Using the Report: The Report can be used internally as generated, or (in Excel) amended as a Project Risk Plan to be shared across the project team. To get a clear picture of the main risks, sort the spreadsheet on the Risk Quotient value, so that high-risk issues are at the top.

Some risk categories are not appropriate for wider team distribution (for example, those dealing with client's propensity for litigation). Accordingly, you might delete some categories for a Report to be shared with the client or across the project team.

Users wanting a concise Risk Management Plan can delete all risk categories with a low risk score (1- 6), although doing that doesn't give the user the options for further lowering risk in those categories.

Report Updates: Importantly, users need to update the Status section of the Report as the project moves forward. Once a risk has passed (for example, all underground utilities have been identified) the Probability Index should be changed to zero: this will move the Category to the bottom of the list it sorted by Risk Score.

System updates: If an updated version of DesignRisk is issued, previous reports will not be updated (unless the user creates a new Project Report).

Feedback: We are committed to a program of continual improvement of DesignRisk, and will take all suggestions into account in the release of updates. To suggest improvements of any kind, email

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