Risk Management Working Group (RMWG)

Risk and Opportunity Management: Integral to All Processes

Working Group Purpose & Mission


The purpose of the INCOSE Risk Management Working Group (RMWG) is to advance knowledge, common understanding, and quality of practice of risk and opportunity management in the systems engineering community worldwide.

Our mission is to develop value-added technical products and participative activities which help INCOSE members effectively and efficiently implement risk and opportunity management.

Next Meeting:
Tues Nov 7, 2023
2:00 - 3:00 PM EST
"Supporting the INCOSE Heuristics Initiative"
INCOSE Fellows Dorothy McKinney and Scott Jackson

TechOps Domain:

Process Enablers

Number of Members:


Established in:



Jack Stein and Bob Parro


The RMWG scope includes Risk and Opportunity Management process, methods and tools as they relate to Risk Management within the context of Systems Engineering (SE) throughout the lifecycle.

This framing definition excludes Opportunity Management that would apply to business enterprise or service activities pursued outside the context of Risk Management, and Risk and Opportunity Management outside the context of Systems Engineering (SE)


The goals and initiatives of the RMWG are to:
  • Provide a forum for INCOSE risk management practitioners to present research and analysis results, discuss problems, and put forth improvement ideas.
  • Establish a system to form liaisons with other WGs interested in integrating risk (and opportunity) management with other SE processes. This goal supports (a) Clause 7 in the new edition of ISO/IEC/IEEE 16085, "Systems and software engineering — Life cycle processes — Risk management,"    which is an elaboration standard for ISO/IEC/IEEE 15288, "Systems and software engineering — System life cycle processes,"  and (b) the revised Risk Management Process section of the 5th Edition of the INCOSE Systems Engineering Handbook, which was recently published in the summer of 2023.
  • To head off expected increased activity, implement a process for recruiting and engaging INCOSE members to volunteer to help with the Risk Management WG.
  • Establish and maintain a process for collecting and consolidating input to be used for updating the INCOSE Handbook risk and opportunity management sections.
  • Generate specific work products for consideration as input to the INCOSE Handbook, SEBoK, International Standards, and others.
  • Develop and maintain a presentation explaining the benefits of risk and opportunity management, which can be used by members for promoting the application of risk and opportunity management practices.

RMWG Volunteer Openings

The INCOSE Risk Management Working Group (RMWG) has openings in the following areas:  

  • Writers/Authors - The RMWG is involved with the development of a number publications, and is continually producing written material. If you enjoy writing and have an interest in risk (and/or opportunity) management please contact us.
  • Presenters/Speakers - The RMWG is often asked to provide speakers and presenters for meetings and events, and has its own platform for putting on webinars, meetings, and workshops. If interested, please contact us. 
  • Technical Program Development - The RMWG is embarking on a new initiative to reach out and build relationships within INCOSE and to organizations, groups, and individuals outside INCOSE. We are in need of individuals to plan, lead and help with this activity. Please contact us if interested.
  • WG Management and Operations - Running the RMWG requires significant volunteer time and effort. We have openings in leadership team positions, and in areas such as communications, membership engagement, web/IT support, meeting hosting, and more. If interested in "making the working group work," please contact us.

IW2023 - Our Focus at the International Workshop

In recent years, a number of international and industry standards, guidelines, and handbooks that directly and indirectly impact systems engineering have introduced new and revised sets of principles and practices aimed at accomplishing transformational change and improvement through risk (and opportunity) management. These principles and practices include, for example, the design and implementation of management systems and frameworks for creating a culture and organization-wide mindset of "risk-based thinking," as well as structures for "integrating risk and opportunity management with all organizational processes." The INCOSE Risk Management WG participated in both the development of ISO/IEC/IEEE 16085:2021, "Systems and software engineering — Life cycle processes — Risk management,"  and the corresponding updates to the 5th Edition of the INCOSE Systems Engineering Handbook, which elaborate on the new principles and practices in the context of systems engineering. In the interest of creating awareness and supporting the implementation of these new principles and practices, the Risk Management WG has decided to focus on the following at IW2023:

  • PRIMARY GOAL: Identify and initiate relationships with 3-5 additional WGs interested in establishing a relationship with the Risk Management WG for the purpose of integrating risk (and opportunity) management with the SE process(es) they are associated with. EXAMPLE: An example of risk management "integration," specifically "risk-based thinking," being applied as part of an SE process is illustrated in "Triple Your Chances of Project Success: Risk and Requirements," by Lou Wheatcraft, Co-chair, INCOSE Requirements Working Group. NOTE: This paper was presented in the Risk Management session of the 21st Annual INCOSE International Symposium, Denver, CO, USA, June 2011.
  • Representatives of the Risk Management WG will attend sessions held by other WGs, to identify WGs and Initiatives to form additional relationships with.
  • On the last day of the IW, if time and scheduling permits, the Risk Management WG will hold a meeting to summarize the results, and discuss potential relationships with interested representatives of other WGs and Initiatives.

Outcomes at IW2023:

With respect to the above described focus and goals for the IS2023, the follow outcomes were achieved:

  • During the IW the Risk Management WG had significant and very helpful interaction with the Requirements WG. The Risk Management WG plans on continuing and strengthening the relationship with this WG.
  • Six additional WGs were identified for pursuing liaison relationships with over the coming year: (1) those already associated through the "loss driven engineering" activities, i.e., the System Safety, System Security, CIPR and Resilient Systems WGs, and (2) the PM-SE Integration and SE Quality Management WGs.
  • Unexpected Additional (Positive) Outcome: Upon a suggestion made in an unplanned discussion, the Risk Management WG will join in with the existing "WG Integration" effort. It is believed that this will be mutually beneficial.

Planned Activities

  • Continued support of the SEH 5th Edition project.
  • Education and awareness presentations on the new publication ISO/IEC/IEEE 16085:2021 "Systems and software engineering - Life cycle processes - Risk management," an elaboration standard augmenting 15288.
  • Coordination with the Requirements (and Needs) WG on topics related to "cross-cutting" (integration) of risk management and requirements/needs definition across all SE life cycle processes and key relevant key INCOSE WGs.
  • Support the INCOSE Systems Engineering Heuristics Team in the development of risk management related heuristics.
  • Support the Infrastructure WG in developing risk management related content for the updated edition of the "Systems Engineering for Infrastructure Projects" publication.
  • Production of one or more professionally produced videos about Risk Management in SE and the activities and benefits of the Risk Management WG.

Planned Work Products

  • Content for the SEH 5th Edition Risk Management Process and related sections.
  • A Risk Management Guide paralleling the Needs and Requirements Manual currently under development has been proposed.
  • One or professionally produced (short) informational videos about Risk Management for SE and the Risk Management WG.
  • Regular "Featured Presentations" at Risk Management WG bi-monthly meetings with 1-2 going on for consideration as internationally promoted INCOSE Webinars


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