How Network Rail incorporated 52 risk register spreadsheets into Active Risk Manager which lead to more effective decision making


United Kingdom


The Background & Challenge

Network Rail operates, maintains and enhances Britain’s railway system and associated tracks, signalling system, rail bridges, tunnels, viaducts, level crossings and major stations.

Prior to the implementation of Project Risk Manager, spreadsheets and a legacy bespoke system were used to manage risk across projects on the rail network. There are now in the order of 20,000 risks held in Project Risk Manager ranging across the project, operational and corporate risks areas.

Now risk is viewed with one press of a button to better manage and respond to risk at project, operational and corporate level through the deployment of enterprise risk management software Project Risk Manager.

Operational and Corporate Risk

At Network Rail both Operational and Corporate risk is also managed using Riskonnect’s Active Risk Manager. Operational risks are regarded as the day to day risks involved in running the railway within a defined geographical area, for example, the Thames Valley. These operational risks from across the company are then rolled up to a bigger picture at the corporate level.

At the Corporate level there are risk registers for all the major functions such as finance, engineering, etc – Active Risk Manager allows all the disciplines to combine to give the Board of Directors an amalgamated view. This has lead to the development of consistent processes being introduced across the whole organization again leading to greater visibility and accurate reports. The company won the 2006 Strategic Risk, European Risk Management Award for Enterprise-Wide Risk Management; Active Risk Manager was part of this implementation.

At one point there were more than 52 risk register spreadsheets coming together for Board reporting as part of the integrated risk management process. All of these have been incorporated into Active Risk Manager. This has lead to more effective decision making as the overall view of risk is clearer and allows the consequence of a risk at the project level to be seen right the way up to the Corporate level.

Why was Project Risk Manager Chosen?

At the same time as deploying Active Risk Manager, Network Rail undertook a major implementation of a number of project management systems including Oracle Projects, P3e and Pertmaster for risk analysis. Active Risk Manager was selected as it was seen as a complete risk management package capable of integrating with other systems. Just over 2000 PRM licenses have been purchased and so far over 1600 of these have been allocated at Project and Corporate level.

The implementation of Active Risk Manager has given Network Rail a consistent and more visible view of risk across the organization at Project, Operational and Corporate levels. The whole system is taken as live at every moment and senior people can now see what the risk is at the press of a button which leads to informed and improved decision making.

Charles Longridge, Director of Business Development at Riskonnect, “Through extensive use of Active Risk Manager across the organization, Network Rail has managed to create much greater awareness and visibility of risks and the response to them. We look forward to working with Network Rail to extend its reporting capabilities and to continue to see further savings through effective risk management using Active Risk Manager”.