The actual details of the issue management system are not complicated, and in most situations will share many similarities with your change control system and risk tracking system. While issue management systems will vary in complexity and sophistication depending on your organization and the needs of your project, there are key features that they should all possess.
• Clear Process Clearly define and communicate how issues are submitted, how they will be resolved, how and when outstanding issues will be reviewed, and what is needed to officially close an issue. Not complicated; generally very common sense stuff here.
• Escalation Procedures Part of the overall issue resolution process, but not always thought about in advance. Define the types of issue that warrant escalation to higher levels of management. Generally, there is a single escalation process for a project that is leveraged for anything impacting the critical success factors (issues, changes, risks).
• Issue Log The mechanism used to document and track project issues. Most common mechanism is a spreadsheet, but there are limitations to this method. Other options include database systems and collaboration tools. There are pros and cons to each choice. The important thing is to use a tool that matches the needs of your project. We'll discuss this in greater detail.
• Issue Log Administrator Someone needs to serve as the central control point for the issue log. Usually, this will be you, the project manager.
• Issue Data Points While the specific mechanism used for the Issue Log and the exact information needs will vary across projects, there are a core set of data points that should be considered for any issue logged. The recommended data points are listed in Table 13.1.
While the spreadsheet approach to an Issue Log has limitations, just the fact that you are documenting issues and actively managing them will put you light years ahead of many project environments.
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What you need to know about… Project Management Made Easy! Project management consists of more than just a large building project and can encompass small projects as well. No matter what the size of your project, you need to have some sort of project management. How you manage your project has everything to do with its outcome.