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Updated: Oct 22, 2018

No projects are bound to be issue-free. But, as undesirable as it may sound, issues do tend to materialise, and their presence needs to be acknowledged immediately by everyone who is involved in managing the project. Acceptance and openness to dealing with issues goes a long way in inspiring confidence and resolving a project according to objectives. After all, if projects were not meant to be meet with hiccups and issues, the projects would basically self-managed. The leadership quality is tested at times of an issue- in determining how an issue is acknowledged, discussed, and resolved by the team.

Reluctance to acknowledge issues might lead to more serious complications such as blind spots in a project. A condition where you or your team members never saw coming until its too late.

Thus, if a project does not log any Issue in its Issue tracking list, this itself is an issue that must be addressed.

Some project team members have adopted a habit of discussing issues only during the periodic status meetings, and this could prove to be very unproductive. There are considerably two possible results of bringing issue during the status meeting. First, the team might get surprised or taken aback and tried to spend most of the meeting time to resolve the issue on the spot. Secondly, the issue owner will take it lightly and say that he will deal with it later to avoid any uncomfortable circumstances because he brought up the issue.

Both reactions are undesirable action to resolve the issue. Trying to resolve issues on the spot during periodic meeting tends to result in rush solution or workaround, and spend unnecessary time for something that is probably not important which ends up exhausting everyone. While the latter, creates possibility that the issue owner might procrastinate and delay the issue resolution. The issue could transform into a much bigger problem than what it initially was when it was first detected. This would eventually cause a delay in the project deadline or hinder project objective.

Another practise that hinders project success is ineffective escalation process for issue log. There are incidences where ineffective escalation process resulted in decision makers and project managers having gotten involved too late to resolve issues. Solving problems is all about timing. Project Manager must encourage the team to quickly escalate any issues to decision makers so that possible solutions is discussed and and agreed upon for a timely resolution.

It would be a wise step to log the issues and track them digitally with ease. Tool that provide such capabilities e is the Project Management Information System, in short PMIS. PMIS enables all team members to be notified prior the meeting. That way, there are ample of time for the team members to produce proposed solutions or workaround and update them during the meeting. Having the issues logged in will benefit the issue owner and Project Manager as they can track the status of the issue till it is resolved in agreed timeline.

Issue that needs to be escalated can be marked and informed to decision maker with necessary workflow. It will go to their dashboard, making the escalated issues easily identified and investigated.

PMIS can also stipulate report summary that’s shows project’s health. The basic summary metrics is as listed:

  • How many issues are still open?

  • How many issues have been escalated to top management?

  • How many issues have been resolved overall in percentage (%)?

  • How many late-high priority issues?

The possibly metrics is endless. Notably point is, all the metrics gives insight and helps Project Manager and Team members to manage the issues efficiently.

So…Having issue in hand? No issue!

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