Number of Scale Levels


Risk assessment requires that you have an impact assessment scale for every significant objective in your project or program. How many scale levels should there be, and how is this determined?


Setting the Number of Scale Levels

The number of scale levels is determined by your risk matrix size. If you want 3 scale levels you must have a 3x3 matrix, a 5x5 matrix for 5 scale levels, and so on. Risk matrix size is set via the Datafile Setup form, and is normally done when the datafile is created. Alternatively, you can bring up this form at a later date via menu call Setup Menu/Datafile Setup.

Matrix size is set at 5x5 by default. Matrix size cannot be changed if any assessment scales exist.


How many scale levels should I have?

Mandrel can provide matrix sizes from 2x2 to 10x10, with corresponding impact scales having from 2 to 10 levels. The default value is 5x5, resulting in 5-level impact assessment scales. It is generally found that 5-level scales are a good compromise between too little information and too much, so if you have never used risk management before it is suggested that you accept the default size.


Data Compression Reports

Mandrel provides a facility for compressing data into a smaller matrix size for reporting purposes. For example, if you select a 5x5 matrix size, but your senior management wants reports in 3x3 matrix format, Mandrel provides a facility for doing this. However, there is no corresponding expansion facility, so if you select a 3x3 matrix size you cannot subsequently produce reports in 5x5 format.

It is recommended that you select your matrix to be the largest size that you will ever need to use.