CHAPTER 19How to Plan and Run a Risk Management Workshop



Principal, Robert Quail Consulting



The guidelines and advice in this chapter are based on the author's experience facilitating more than 250 risk workshops of various forms, with the number of participants ranging from 8 to 800. It is not intended to be a comprehensive guide to facilitation techniques, but assumes the reader has some basic understanding of how to facilitate a management meeting.


A risk workshop is a structured, large-group conversation about future uncertainties.

  • The workshop is structured to yield specific results. Therefore, there is a set agenda and a facilitator, whose responsibility is to ensure that the conversation takes a specific form aligned with the workshop's objectives. Depending on the ultimate purpose of the workshop, these desired results may include some mixture of learning, decision making, and commitment to action.
  • The workshop involves a large group. Large, in this sense, means more than seven or eight participants—more people than could normally have a satisfactory, efficient conversation about a complex topic on their own in a single pass and achieve an effective outcome or result, without structured facilitation. On the other hand, groups of more than 25 participants can be unwieldy and difficult to manage. Therefore, it is best to keep an upper limit on the number of participants at about 25.
  • The workshop is a conversation ...

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