The Differences Between Risk Management Planning and Risk Response Planning

Because the PMBOK itself is not consistent when describing the contents of a risk management plan (see the note after Table 5.3), and because many project managers have used risk management methodologies that differ from the one described by PMI, some project managers are initially confused by the distinction that PMI makes between risk management planning and risk response planning. Table 5.3 summarizes the key differences between these two risk management processes to ensure this is not an issue for you on the exam.

Table 5.3. Key Differences Between Risk Management Planning and Risk Response Planning


Risk Management Planning

Risk Response Planning

Step number in PMI risk management process




To plan the risk management process

To plan the responses to the identified and analyzed risks

Budget impact

For the risk management activity

As part of the response strategy for each applicable risk

Key output

Risk management plan

Risk response plan


Be aware that the PMBOK is not consistent in its description of a risk management plan. On page 45 of the PMBOK, where the elements of a project plan are described, the risk management plan is described as including key risks, constraints, and planned responses. However, in Section 11.1.3, page 130, the risk management plan is explicitly described as not including identified risks and their responses.

The latter description is regarded as the official one. It appears the description on page 45 may have not been edited out from the 1996 edition of the PMBOK. The 2000 edition of the PMBOK included a complete "rewrite" of the risk management section.


The risk management plan and the risk response plan are not the same thing.


Due to the wide variations in risk management methodologies, you will want to memorize the PMBOK risk management process and definitions.

PMP Exam Cram 2. Project Management Professional
PMP Exam Cram 2. Project Management Professional
Year: 2003
Pages: 169 © 2008-2017.
If you may any questions please contact us: