A risk is, according to PMBOK 5, “A Risk is an uncertain event or condition that if it occurs, has a positive or negative effect on a Project’s Objectives.”
Seems reasonable, and viewed from that light, there are lots and lots of risks. So many possible, that we often just jump into a project rather than considering all the possibilities. That can be good, as we start on a project, but can obviously be a disaster as the true scope of what we are trying to do becomes obvious.
Success is, too often, a gloss and polish on past events that then ‘look right’ from a certain angle. It’s really hard to get things to work right.
Failure is fascinating, from an intellectual perspective, but not at all satisfying from an emotional and/or monetary point of view. Successful Risk Management is planning before acting, limiting the scope of the project to something that can be done, and then chosing the tools which can then accomplish the project.
I’m certified as a Risk Management Professional by the Projection Management Institute.