Options for Issue Log

Table of contents:

Best Practices

The work of project issue management is straightforward. However, there are several techniques that are proven to be effective and will help you avoid the common mistakes in this aspect of project control.

  • Assign Unique ID Make sure to assign a unique number to each logged issue. This will simplify thie ongoing communication and tracking process.
  • Assign one person responsible As with other work tasks, assign a specific person responsible for any follow-up action items and for complete resolution to the issue.
  • Facilitate resolution to complex issues There are times when issues do not have a clear owner or will need the collaboration of several parties to resolve. As the project manager, you must either assign someone to facilitate this process or take ownership of the facilitation process yourself.
  • Resolve issues at the lowest level Always attempt to deal with problems at their lowest level. You can resolve issues faster and at less cost. More importantly, you will earn the confidence of upper management by protecting their time and only engaging them when it is warranted. Again, make sure to establish the escalation triggers with your senior management stakeholders during planning, so you are clear about their expectations.
  • Go after "root cause" A common error in dealing with issues is not to deal with the actual source of the problem (root cause). Sometimes, political reasons may hamper your efforts to deal with the root cause, but whenever possible, do the proper analysis to get to the real problem, and address it. If you do not, the issue will likely return for another visit.
  • Get buy-in on due date and ownership Apply the same approach to assigning issues, as you do (or should) with assigning scheduled work tasks. For better issue management, make sure to spend the time with the person designated to take action on the issue and get their agreement on when they can have the action completed and that they are the right person to do it.


    As with all aspects of project management, always be looking for ways to improve your processes to better fit the needs of your current project and future projects.

  • Adapt process and data points Even if your organization has a standard approach or methodology for issue management, don't be afraid to adapt the workflow process or the tracked data points to better fit the needs of the project.
  • Review issues frequently At a minimum, review any outstanding issues during each status review meeting (this should be included in your Communications Plan). As a good practice, follow up on outstanding issues every day and make sure the necessary steps/actions are occurring to get to resolution.


    Due to strong relationship and natural links between them, some organizations use a common log for all project issues, action items, risks, defects, and change requests. Just add a data point called Item Type.

    This approach can make logging and tracking simpler, especially if one person is responsible for maintaining the log in each of these areas. However, you will need to know how to properly use your tool to best report information from this central log.

  • Train project team on process and tools This is not as important for projects where the issue log is more a management tool just for the project manager (you). However, in any situation where collaboration tools are being utilized or multiple people are involved in the process, make sure the project team is properly prepared to leverage the system.

Part i. Project Management Jumpstart

Project Management Overview

The Project Manager

Essential Elements for any Successful Project

Part ii. Project Planning

Defining a Project

Planning a Project

Developing the Work Breakdown Structure

Estimating the Work

Developing the Project Schedule

Determining the Project Budget

Part iii. Project Control

Controlling a Project

Managing Project Changes

Managing Project Deliverables

Managing Project Issues

Managing Project Risks

Managing Project Quality

Part iv. Project Execution

Leading a Project

Managing Project Communications

Managing Expectations

Keys to Better Project Team Performance

Managing Differences

Managing Vendors

Ending a Project

Absolute Beginner[ap]s Guide to Project Management
Absolute Beginner[ap]s Guide to Project Management
ISBN: 078973821X
Year: 2006
Pages: 169

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