Issue management is the process of identifying and resolving project issues and is designed to minimize the negative effects of issues on project performance.
How to Manage Project Issues
Eventually, a project risk is going to materialize… and you will have an issue to deal with. It’s the project manager’s responsibility to deal with issues. And to find a suitable resolution.
Fire-fighters are well-drilled and know exactly what they’re doing.
Resolving project issues is not about reacting to events. It’s about a measured response. We often, incorrectly, use the term “fire-fighting” to describe the lack of planning and poor response to an unexpected event. In truth, fire-fighters are well-drilled and know exactly what they’re doing when dealing with an emergency. This too is how project managers should behave when confronting an issue.
Issue resolution is the process for recording and handling any event or problem which has happened and threatens the success of your project. Sometimes, events may represent an opportunity to be exploited and should also be dealt with using the project issue resolution process.
However, I’m going to focus on the times when things go wrong.
Since many project issues are likely to arise at the beginning of the project when stakeholders seek clarification on the topics they are concerned with, it is an excellent idea to discuss issues during project initiation. For instance, project issues are likely to be aired during the risk workshop and are best captured at that time on a flip chart.
When recording project issues, make sure you keep to the facts (not opinions) and concentrate on the topic—don’t get embroiled in unnecessary debate during a workshop! Only later, record all the issues in the issue log.