Risk Management

The Value of Issue Registers in Projects

When you have a project without an issue register, you might as well be attacking the Death Star without radar on. Okay, maybe that worked out alright for Luke Skywalker, but he had the Force. For those of us who lack the Force, a post from Project Management Insight’s Karen gets us up to speed on how proper use of issue registers keeps project alive.

Use the Register, Luke

Anyone within the project should be able to raise an issue, especially because an issue that arises for one team might have repercussions for other teams. Nipping an issue at the bud prevents it from blooming into a disaster later. As for how to prepare a risk register, Karen says a basic spreadsheet with pertinent info is often enough to do the job:

It doesn’t need to contain war and peace, or the whole story on what has gone wrong and how it is being addressed, but it should contain enough information and a very clear description, so that anyone or should I say more importantly ‘everyone’ in the project can know and understand what the issue is about.  [It’s no good when] the project manager [writes] the description of an issue that only they understand.  Interpretation causes error – best to be clear and succinct at the level that all will understand.

Someone who has the skills and vision required should be placed in charge of tracking issue resolution. Since issues can often run into defects and coding problems, an associated defect register should be implemented and presented to people who can fix the problem. But at project’s end, the register’s value can become even more apparent during the post-implementation review.

To learn more, you can read the full post here: http://www.projectmanagementinsight.com/2013/05/the-value-of-using-an-issue-or-issues-register-on-a-project/#.VAnAGGMXM5h

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