It goes without saying that risk identification is vital for effective risk management. In order to manage your risks effectively, you have to know what they are. The really important thing during risk identification is not to miss any risks out. You can decide to ignore some of them at a later stage, after you have assessed them, but they all be included at this stage.
There are a number of different techniques that can be used. The ideal is probably to use a combination, and work with outsiders as well as people who are involved in the business and know it well. That way you can make good use of people’s expertise while reaping the benefits of a fresh viewpoint. Useful techniques include various brainstorming methods as well as systematic inspections and process analysis.
Whatever technique (or techniques) you use, it is important to provide an audit trail so that you can be sure of what happened and that no risks were omitted.