Risks and Problems
As an alternative, consider the following circular definition of risk: A risk is a problem that has yet to occur, and a problem is a risk that has already materialized.
Before it happens, a risk is just an abstraction. It’s something that may affect your project, but it also may not. There is a possibility that ignoring it will not come back to bite you. Even so, you’re not innocent of management malpractice for not having considered the risk. In William Clifford’s words, you’re just—“not found out.”
Risk management is the process of thinking out corrective actions before a problem occurs, while it’s still an abstraction. The opposite of risk management is crisis management, trying to figure out what to do about the problem after it happens.