Classifying threat responses


David Cartwright is Brook Bicycles’ European Sales Manager. He has a meeting arranged in Amsterdam with a potential large client. He really wants to make a good impression. David's flight is booked but he has heard that there is a risk of an Air Traffic Control dispute, which will ground all flights.

Activity 1

There are a number of things that David could do in response to this risk, four of which are listed below. There is one example of each type of response (Avoid, Transfer, Reduce and Accept).

Click here to download an interactive word file where you can note your thoughts. Don't dwell on these too long. It is possible to interpret an action in more than one way. Allocate the types of action to the examples that seem to be the best fit.

Then you can click here to get a model answer.



Arrange for the client to visit Britain


Arrange for Spoke's Dutch Sales Manager to attend the meeting as well


Do nothing


Travel by rail



Each way of responding to a threat differently affects the probability of it occurring and the impact it will have if it does occur.

Activity 2

The table below is available as an interactive word file. It will allow you to indicate how you think the four types of threat response affect impact and probability. Click here to download the file where you can also note why you have given your chosen answers.

Then you can click here to get a model answer.









What next?

Opportunity respones

A similar exercise dealing with opportunities rather than threats.


Further reading

Problems with probability

Risk practitioners and project teams alike experience repeated difficulty in assessing the probability that a given risk might occur.

The human side of risk management

Suitable responses were planned and risk budgets calculated – which then became part of the budget in the approved business case. But of course, not all risks actually occur.



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