As per PMBOK® Guide Sixh Edition project risk exists at two levels within every project:

An individual project risk is an uncertain event or condition that, if it occurs, has a positive or negative effect on one or more project objectives.

Overall project risk is the effect of uncertainty on the project as a whole, arising from all sources of uncertainty including individual risks, representing the exposure of stakeholders to the implications of variations in project outcome, both positive and negative.


Let’s learn and discuss the Positive Risk Response Strategies. Positive risks are generally referred to as opportunities. Positive risks or opportunities are uncertain, but favorable events if they occur have positively impact on the project objectives. These favorable opportunities tend to save cost and other resources of the project. Unlike Negative Risks, here your aim is to make this uncertain event happen.

Here are the five Positive risk Response strategies to amplify the chances of the Positive risks:

  • Escalate
  • Exploit
  • Share
  • Enhance
  • Accept
  • Escalate

    This risk response strategy is appropriate when the project team or the project sponsor agrees that an opportunity is outside the scope of the project or that the proposed response would exceed the project manager’s authority. “– PMBOK® Guide Sixth Edition

    • Project team invests the resources to realize the opportunity.
    • These opportunities are not monitored further by the project team after escalation.
    • These are recorded in risk Register.


    “This strategy seeks to eliminate the uncertainty associated with a particular upside risk by ensuring the opportunity definitely happens. “– PMBOK® Guide Sixth Edition

    • Project team invests the resources to realize the opportunity.
    • This is exactly opposite of what Avoid strategy is in Negative Risks, here, the probability is increased to one instead of zero.
    • The exploited opportunities once put to use are removed from Risk Register since they are no more uncertain.
    • Employed to opportunities that may have a huge impact on the project objectives. For example, experimenting of new technology may result in sparing 50% of the development time.
    • Project team tries to exploit as many critical positive risks as possible.
    • Enhance

      “The enhance strategy is used to increase the probability and/or the positive impacts of an opportunity. “- PMBOK® Guide Sixth Edition

      • Project team invests efforts towards enhancing the probability of the opportunity.
      • This is precisely opposite of Mitigate in Negative risks, here we enhance the probability or impact.
      • A proactive approach to enhance positive risk exposure, employ actions in advance to realize the positive risks even to a greater extent.
      • Project team applies the enhance strategy if Critical positive risks go unexploited.


      “Sharing a positive risk involves allocating some or all of the ownership of the opportunity to a third party who is best able to capture the opportunity for the benefit of the project.”- PMBOK® Guide Sixth Edition

      • To bring in a collaborative team when it is not feasible to realize this opportunity all alone.
      • This strategy is put to use when you need a partner to work with you in parallel to realize the opportunities in full effect.
      • Involving partners implies that they will also reap benefits out of the risk event.
      • Examples of Share include forming risk-sharing partnerships, teams, or joint ventures.
      • When it becomes difficult to Exploit or Enhance the positive risk alone, project team opts for Share strategy.


      “Accepting an opportunity acknowledges its existence but no proactive action is taken. This strategy may be appropriate for low-priority opportunities, and it may also be adopted where it is not possible or cost-effective to address an opportunity in any other way.” – PMBOK® Guide Sixth Edition

      You are not required to pursue it head on instead keep this in the Risk Register to monitor the triggers and gauze when to realize this opportunity.

      Opportunity: The adaption of new technology may result in cost saving.

      Risk Response Strategies

      • Escalate: Do nothing; it is managed at the program level, portfolio level, or other relevant part of the organization, and not on the project level.
      • Exploit: Explore the new technology and team invests it into the project.
      • Share: Collaborate with other team; create a joint team to explore this further.
      • Enhance: Set up a team to work parallel with project team to identify how the later can reap benefits of it.
      • Accept: Do not do anything as of now, just keep it in risk register and review it periodically.

      I’m sure I have answered all your questions on the Positive Risk Response Strategies.
      You can join the discussion on the same in our Discussion Forum. You can also log into our YouTube channel watch the video on the related topics. You may also like to watch a video presentation on the strategies for enhancing the probability of Positive risks:

      You may also like to watch a video presentation on the strategies for enhancing the probability of Positive risks:

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