Issues Management Process
By Chuck Tryon
During the course of any project, it is common for numerous topics, events or concerns to occur that are of interest to the Project Organization. Issues Management provides the process to record, assign and track each of these issues to resolution.
The purpose of Issues Management is to insure that any concerns recognized during a project are addressed in a timely manner and do not go unresolved until they become major problems.
Issues Management should be used anytime someone in the Project Organization recognizes any subject matter that may be of interest to the project, something that could effect the project or may have an influence on some entity beyond project boundaries. These issues may include but are not limited to…
- New business directions
- A change in the scope of the project
- New technical directions
- A choice between one path over another
- A future decision that must be made
- An early alert to a potential problem
These issues may at times become linked to one or more Project Change Request.
- Document the Potential Project Issue – The Issues Management process begins with the recognition of a any topic, event or action that is of concern to the Project Organization.
The most common source of these issues is from the Status Reports of Project Team members. When an issue is recognized, the Project Manager should document a general description of the issue, the potential impact of the issues and any suggested resolution for the issue.
Assign Ownership of the Issue – Ownership of the issue should be assigned to the most likely individual who can effectively resolve this issue. Ownership may be to a team member who will investigate the issue or it may be given to a business executive to resolve.
If there is any confusion about the ownership of a specific issues, it should be assigned by the Project Owner. The date of assignment and any needed resolution date should also be identified.
Document Resolution – When the issue is resolved, a description of the resolution and date of closure should be documented.
Project Issues Log – A list of topics, events or concerns recognized by the Project Team during a project. This log is comprised of a description of the issue, a date the issue is first recognized, the possible impact of the issue on the project, the suggested action that will resolve the issue, who is assigned to resolve the issue and the date the issue is resolved.
Templates and Tools
A Project Issues Log Template has been attached for use (can be found at the end of the pdf file). A summary of these issues may also be captured by the Project Manager with links to each individual issues information.
Chuck Tryon is a nationally respected educator and popular symposium speaker. He founded Tryon and Associates in 1986 to provide seminar training and consulting that helps organizations and individuals develop predictable and repeatable approaches to modern project management, knowledge management and business requirements. The strategies presented in Mr. Tryon’s seminars are used by thousands of professionals in hundreds of organizations across the United States, Europe and Canada. His client list includes many top 100 companies.
Chuck has authored 10 multi-day seminars and is working on several new writing projects. He is a frequent speaker at Project Management Institute meetings symposiums across the country. Chuck also serves as the coordinator and moderator for the annual Knowledge and Project Management Symposium (www.kipanet.org) that is held each August in Tulsa.