Risk response strategy is a very scoring topic from PMP® exam point.

The PMBOK® Guide Fifth Edition  defines project risk as

Project risk is an uncertain event or condition that, if it occurs, has a positive or negative effect on one or more project objectives such as scope, schedule, cost, and quality.

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 four Positive risk Response strategies to amplify the chances of the Positive risks:

  • Exploit
  • Share
  • Enhance
  • Accept


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


“The enhance strategy is used to increase the probability and/or the positive impacts of an opportunity. “- PMBOK® Guide Fifth 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 Fifth 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 is being willing to take advantage of the opportunity if it arises, but not actively pursuing it.” – PMBOK® Guide Fifth 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

  • Exploit: Explore the new technology and team invests it into the project.
  • Enhance: Set up a team to work parallel with project team to identify how the later can reap benefits of it.
  • Share: Collaborate with other team, create a joint team to explore this further.
  • 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: