Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : April 30th 2013 Contents Technical -- Relating to a tech-
nological problem in the project.
Business process -- Relating to
the project s design.
Change management -- Relating
to business, customer, or environ-
Resource -- Relating to equip-
ment, material, or people prob-
Third party -- Relating to issues
with vendors, suppliers, or another
Identifier - Record who discov-
ered the issue.
Timing -- Indicate when the
issue was identified.
Description -- Provide details
about what happened, and the
potential impact. If the issue
remains unresolved, identify which
parts of the project will be affect-
ed.Priority -- Assign a priority rating
to the issue. Here s an example:
High priority -- A critical issue
that will have a high impact on
project success, and has the poten-
tial to stop the project complete-
ly.Medium priority -- An issue that
will have a noticeable impact, but
won t stop the project from pro-
Low priority -- An issue that
doesn t affect activities on the crit-
ical path, and probably won t have
much impact if it s resolved at
Assignment/owner -- Determine
who is responsible for resolving
the issue. This person may or may
not actually implement a solution.
However, he or she is responsible
for tracking it, and ensuring that
it s dealt with according to its pri-
Target resolution date -- Deter-
mine the deadline for resolving the
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Tuesday, April 30, 2013
In the life cycle of any project, there
will almost always be unexpected prob-
lems and questions that crop up. When
these issues arise, you have to be ready
to deal with them; or they can poten-
tially affect the project s outcome.
Since most issues are, by their nature,
unexpected, how do you make sure
you ll be able to deal with them quickly
Ideally, you need an issue resolution
process in place before you start your
project---to make sure that you stay on
schedule, and meet your objectives.
Issue management is the process of
identifying and resolving issues. Prob-
lems with staff or suppliers, technical
failures, material shortages---these might
all have a negative impact on your proj-
ect. If the issue goes unresolved, you
risk creating unnecessary conflicts,
delays, or even failure to produce your
Issues versus Risks
Issues and risks are not quite the
same thing. However, the exact nature
of both is largely unknown before you
begin. With risks, you usually have a
general idea in advance that there s a
cause for concern.
An issue tends to be less predictable;
it can arise with no warning. For exam-
ple, being unable to find qualified staff
is an identifiable risk. However, when
one of your staff is in a car accident,
and hospitalised for three weeks, that
becomes an issue!
It s important to identify risks before
the project begins. A risk/impact prob-
ability chart provides a useful frame-
work to help you prioritise your risks.
You can then develop a plan to manage
those risks proactivelywith solutions
that you ve already thought through
However, when it comes to issues,
you have to deal with them as they
happen. Issue management, therefore,
is a planned process for dealing with
an unexpected issue---whatever that
issue may be---if and when one aris-
Issues---otherwise known as prob-
lems, gaps, inconsistencies, or con-
flicts---need to be recorded when they
happen. When you create an issues log,
you provide a tool for reporting and
communicating what s happening with
the project. This makes sure that issues
are indeed raised, and then investigated
and resolved quickly and effectively.
Without a defined process, you risk
ignoring issues, or not taking them
seriously enough;-- until it s too late to
deal with them successfully.
An issues log allows you to do the
• Have a safe and reliable method
for the team to raise issues.
• Track and assign responsibility to
specific people for each issue.
• Analyse and prioritise issues more
• Record issue resolution for future
reference and project learning.
• Monitor overall project health and
You can create an issues log by hand,
build your own spreadsheet or database,
or buy issue management software from
a wide variety of vendors.
You can include following informa-
tion in an issues log:
Issue type -- Define the categories
of issues that you re likely to encounter.
This helps you track issues and assign
the right people to resolve them. You
could have broad descriptions like these:
Project issue management
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