What is an Issue Log?
Issues are problems, gaps, inconsistencies, or conflicts that occur unexpectedly in the lifecycle of a project. Issues can include problems with the staff or suppliers, technical failures, material shortages, or any other problem which might have a negative impact on the project. If issues remain unresolved , the project manager might face unnecessary conflicts, delays or failures in producing the deliverables. Issues can also have an impact on the stakeholder expectations in the project.
What is the difference between an issue and a risk?
While managing risks or issues, a project manager follows similar processes in which he identifies the potential or actual problem and determines their impact on the project . He also determines clear ownership and sets goals with specific objectives and dates. However, there are some fundamental differences between an issue and a risk.
What is an issue log?
An issue log is an important tool which is used to manage these issues. It helps the project team to record issues that require resolution. Along with each issue , the person or people responsible for resolving the issue is also documented.
A project manager can successfully manage his issues if he is able to focus on the type of information that is tracked rather than the issue tracking mechanism used in the project.
- Issue Name : The name of the issue can be recorded .
- Issue Type : By defining the categories of the issues that are likely to be encountered in the project, a project manager can track issues and assign them to the right people to resolve them. A few categories that can be included in this column are as follows:
Resource : These are issues related with human resources , equipment or materials in the project.
Third Party : These are issues related with vendors , suppliers or any outside third party .
- Raised By : The name of the person who raised the issue can be recorded in this column.
- Date Raised : The date when the issue was raised can be recorded in this column.
- Description : The issue can be sufficiently described in this column. The description of the issue can include the impact that the issue may have in the project and the project objectives which may be affected by these issues.
- Priority : A priority rating can be assigned to each issue in this column. Priority ratings can be high , medium or low, based on the impact the issue may have on the project.
- Assigned To: The name of the person who is responsible for the issue can be included in this column .This person may or may not be responsible for resolving the issue. However, he or she is responsible for tracking the issue and ensuring that the issue is handled based on its priority.
- Target Resolution Date: The deadline for resolving this issue can be included in this column.
- Status: The progress in the resolution of the issue can be tracked in this column. The progress can be indicated through labels like open, implementing or resolved.
- Final Solution : A brief description of the solution that was implemented to resolve the issue , can be included in this column.
Sample template of an Issue Log The following table illustrates a sample template of an issue log:
Thus, an issue log is an effective tool which helps a project manager record, track, and managing issues in a project.
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