Change the conversation from risk to uncertainty management

Present use of the term ‘risk’ is ambiguous. Best practice regards risk as encompassing both threat and opportunity, but guidance often speaks in terms of threat management, and in common parlance risk is more usually synonymous with threat.  An obvious first step towards uncertainty management is to remove this ambiguity by using the term ‘uncertainty’ in the everyday sense of‘ lack of certainty’ as a starting point.

Risk managementUncertainty management
a downside riska threat (giving rise to downside risk)
an upside riskan opportunity (giving rise to upside risk) a source of
uncertainty
a risk (upside or downside)a source of uncertainty
a (possible) source of risk a probleman issue
an impacta consequence/effect
a weaknessan issue
a poor allocation inadequatean inappropriate/unclear allocation Inappropriate
avoid riskresolve uncertainty
mitigatemodify
lack ofshortage or surplus of
major risksignificant uncertainty
absence ofavailability of