Risk Identification Methods

Method Description
Preliminary Hazard Analysis

The preliminary hazard analysis (PHA) is a semi-quantitative risk analysis methods that is used to identify potential hazards and the corresponding top events (risks). The PHA sheet identifies as well the required measures and follow-up actions to control the hazard sources. The PHA should consider hazardous components, facilities, safety-related equipment, and environmental constraints.

Failure Mode and Effects Analysis

The Failure Mode and Effects Analysis is a cross-industry established method to identify and eliminate potential failures, problems, errors and risks of a system, design or process before adverse consequences reach the internal/external customers. The basic idea of the FMEA is thus the preventive risk identification and error prevention instead of a subsequent correction. 

Delphi Method

The Delphi method was developed in order to identify possible targets in the USA during the Cold War. The Delphi method was gradually applied in civilian areas and is now frequently used for political and social questions and issues, for the development of science and technology and in the business environment (e.g. marketing, R&D). The Delphi method is a structured group communication process with the aim of answering questions or finding a consensus on facts about which uncertain and incomplete knowledge naturally exists.



Checklists are a very simple way to identify risks. As a rule, checklists consist of standardized questionnaires that help to systematically record risks. They can contain open or closed questions, whereby closed questions are better suited for the identification of risk potentials, since the evaluation of the answers is simpler and thus leads faster to concrete results. The questions mostly arise with creative techniques. Workshops, brainstorming, etc. are most commonly used in the creation process.

SWOT Analysis

The SWOT analysis is an instrument of strategic corporate management with which strengths and weaknesses of the company or its supply chain, as well as the opportunities and threats in the environment, can be uncovered. The resulting findings can be used to identify risks by comparing the requirements of the market with the potential of the company or supply chain. Finally, identified weaknesses are to be regarded as risks, whereby these can be both strategic and operational in nature.