Issue Management Methodology for Tracking Project Issues

Written by Grant Murray

Continued from page 1

3.3.1 Issue Status

A decision is made aboutrepparttar next state ofrepparttar 119431 issue. (The previous state was "new".) The next status ofrepparttar 119432 issue reflectsrepparttar 119433 nature and timing ofrepparttar 119434 action to addressrepparttar 119435 issue. It is one ofrepparttar 119436 following:

  • open: immediate action will be taken to addressrepparttar 119437 issue
  • deferred: action will be deferred until some future time
  • referred: action will be taken by some other group, probably becauserepparttar 119438 issue is beyondrepparttar 119439 current scope
  • cancelled: no action will be taken now or inrepparttar 119440 future

3.3.2 Categorizerepparttar 119441 issue

A first attempt at categorizingrepparttar 119442 issue was made when it was first recorded. But, now duringrepparttar 119443 initial reviewrepparttar 119444 category can be refined.

The proper issue category is helpful when prioritizingrepparttar 119445 resources required to address issues. It is especially useful for reporting purposes.

Action item: Discuss withrepparttar 119446 team how best to categorizerepparttar 119447 issues you expect to get, and documentrepparttar 119448 categories that will be used.

3.3.3 Rankrepparttar 119449 issue severity

The severity reflectsrepparttar 119450 importance of gettingrepparttar 119451 issue resolved. Obviously, you want to direct resources atrepparttar 119452 most important issues beforerepparttar 119453 lesser ones.

Action item: Choose a small set of severity codes that have a clear ranking. For example: Trivial, Standard, Important, Critical. Some people prefer: Low, Medium, High, Very High.

3.3.4 Assignment

Fromrepparttar 119454 start,repparttar 119455 next person to take action onrepparttar 119456 issue must be assigned torepparttar 119457 issue and notified. Issue Tracker[] will automatically notifyrepparttar 119458 person assigned torepparttar 119459 issue via email.

Ifrepparttar 119460 issue description is incomplete,repparttar 119461 issue can be assigned torepparttar 119462 appropriate party to gatherrepparttar 119463 information necessary to makerepparttar 119464 issue description clear.

Assign a person and not a group. Experience has shown that assigning issues to individuals leads to greater accountability than assigning issues to groups. An individual can be confronted about lack of progress, it is much harder to confront a group of people. A group can be represented by a group leader, so you can assign an issue torepparttar 119465 group leader who will take action to reassignrepparttar 119466 issue to correct group member who will actually addressrepparttar 119467 issue.

3.3.5 Ownership

It should be possible to decide which stakeholder isrepparttar 119468 owner ofrepparttar 119469 issue. Having an issue owner is a way of recording who is accountable forrepparttar 119470 issue's resolution.

Owners must reviewrepparttar 119471 issues they own for progress to resolution. Ifrepparttar 119472 progress is not sufficientrepparttar 119473 issue manager should be told so thatrepparttar 119474 situation can be remedied.

3.4 Taking Action

The process to address an issue iterates overrepparttar 119475 following sub-steps untilrepparttar 119476 issue is resolved.

  • The person assigned torepparttar 119477 issue, takes action to addressrepparttar 119478 issue.
  • The person assigned torepparttar 119479 issue, documentsrepparttar 119480 action taken as an issue event inrepparttar 119481 central repository. An issue event hasrepparttar 119482 person's name,repparttar 119483 date and a description ofrepparttar 119484 action taken.
  • Some issue processes require an approval step before further action can be taken. This approval should takerepparttar 119485 form of signing off on a proposal. While paper based signatures are acceptable, an automated system is better. Issue events in Issue Tracker[] can by used to sign off, since a user is required to log in to identify themselves, this is as good as a paper signature.
  • If there is documentation to supportrepparttar 119486 action taken, like a cost-benefit analysis of a proposed system change,repparttar 119487 supporting files are attached torepparttar 119488 issue.
  • The process of finding a solution may help refinerepparttar 119489 issue description. This refinement should be reflected in updates torepparttar 119490 issue description and title, as well as attaching further supporting files. It may also require thatrepparttar 119491 issue be re-categorized.
  • Ifrepparttar 119492 next iteration isrepparttar 119493 responsibility of another personrepparttar 119494 issue is reassigned.
  • Ifrepparttar 119495 issue is resolved in this iteration,repparttar 119496 status is updated to reflectrepparttar 119497 fact thatrepparttar 119498 issue is inactive.

Notice thatrepparttar 119499 action taken may involve reassigningrepparttar 119500 issue, changing status, refiningrepparttar 119501 issue description, changingrepparttar 119502 category ofrepparttar 119503 issue. All of these changes should be recorded inrepparttar 119504 central repository. Changing of status, category and severity are automatically logged for you in an automated system like Issue Tracker[].

3.5 Ongoing Oversight

Consistent and continuous evaluation of issues byrepparttar 119505 issue manager andrepparttar 119506 team must take place to bringrepparttar 119507 issues to resolution. This can take place through a periodic review of all active issues inrepparttar 119508 central repository withrepparttar 119509 team and a separate review withrepparttar 119510 stakeholders.

Escalate issues as needed by re-assigning or by changing issue ownership.

Report and communicate progress on all issues to upper management and torepparttar 119511 team, subscriptions can be used by upper management andrepparttar 119512 team to follow progress on individual issues. This reporting can be integrated into project status reporting.

Analyze issue progress and adapt actions. The central repository should be able to provide feedback on how efficientlyrepparttar 119513 issues are proceeding from creation to resolution. If it is taking too long to resolve important issues, thenrepparttar 119514 issue manager must find ways to improverepparttar 119515 turn-around time.

4. Finally

The following are a few further action items

Action item: Distribute copies of this issue management methodology to team members and stakeholders so that everyone knows how and why issues are managed.

Action item: Adapt and scale this issue management methodology to suit you project's scale and quirks.

Action item: Create your central repository, and get started today.

This issue management methodology has evolved over many years. It evolved from experience on projects with budgets from $500,000 to $50,000,000 which had a total number of issues ranging from a few hundred issues to many thousands. In halfrepparttar 119516 casesrepparttar 119517 project team was physically dispersed in several countries.

Grant Murray is project manager and enterprise application architect specializing in technical project leadership strategy. Email [] for questions or comments regarding this article, or if you require project management consulting. Issue Tracker

The Ten Pillars of Leadership and Business Development

Written by Bea Fields

Continued from page 1

(7) Leaders must be willing to show their employees that they love and care for them.

There is one truth in life that I firmly believe: Withrepparttar showing of love and concern, people begin to feel wonderful and more worthy, and their productivity will triple in an environment that is loving. The book “Love isrepparttar 119430 Killer App” by Tim Sanders focuses on what it takes to create a true “Love Biz” byrepparttar 119431 giving and showing of compassion, resources, and knowledge withoutrepparttar 119432 expectation of anything in return. People will do business with people they like, and this “Love Cat” way of doing business often strikes an uncomfortable chord with leaders who are insecure about their own abilities or who view a show of love, empathy, and compassion as a sign of weakness. People have to know on a very deep level that their leaders care about them, their future, and their growth. With this loving approach to leading,repparttar 119433 talent in organizations will grow, and a sense of self confidence and commitment will inspire individuals at every level ofrepparttar 119434 company.

(8) Leaders must be willing to listen torepparttar 119435 grapevine and then build a sense of community based on what he/she hears inrepparttar 119436 grapevine.

One of my favorite leaders in my local community is Dan Landis,repparttar 119437 Director of Sales and Marketing for St. Joseph ofrepparttar 119438 Pines, a life care community in North Carolina. He is one leader who I see as truly being bold…he actively places himself every day inrepparttar 119439 middle ofrepparttar 119440 firing line. He spends much of his day talking to residents, sitting down and eating lunch with them, and stopping them inrepparttar 119441 hall to simply ask “How are you…What can I do for you today? What arerepparttar 119442 problems you are having? How can I help? ” He does not stop withrepparttar 119443 residents. He goes on to exercise this same approach with employees of St. Joseph ofrepparttar 119444 Pines. Dan is a leader who is developing a very deep understanding ofrepparttar 119445 collective issues and desires ofrepparttar 119446 customers of St. Joseph ofrepparttar 119447 Pines…bothrepparttar 119448 employees andrepparttar 119449 residents. He is building a sense of community based on shared values, and he is taking people to places they have never been before. Not only does he listen…he acts, bringing quick solutions torepparttar 119450 problems he hears andrepparttar 119451 desires he knows are inrepparttar 119452 hearts ofrepparttar 119453 people he leads.

Every company has a grapevine, and it is not uncommon for companies to have a grapevine that spreads negative messages, complaints, and rumors. These messages and rumors can seriously underminerepparttar 119454 morale of any company. Leaders must be willing to do as Dan Landis does…listen torepparttar 119455 grapevine, and use it as a feedback mechanism to highlight key issues that customers and employees consider relevant enough to whisper about atrepparttar 119456 water fountain and inrepparttar 119457 community. Leaders can also userepparttar 119458 grapevine to monitor which employees and customers are more likely to pass information along, so thatrepparttar 119459 impact ofrepparttar 119460 grapevine can be reduced.

(9) Leaders must be devoted to continuous improvement.

Leadership development is mandatory for CEOs and Executive Team, but it is also a necessary part of training for every person inrepparttar 119461 organization. So many business leaders of today see leadership development as "fluff" and “soft” butrepparttar 119462 truth ofrepparttar 119463 matter is that leadership development can improve bottom line profits and productivity. By listening to an employee who is onrepparttar 119464 front line, and acknowledging her value, a leader can create loyal internal customers and can bring innovative ideas torepparttar 119465 table which can grow a company by leaps and bounds. By strengthening team communication, a leader can create a sense of purpose, loyalty, and long-term commitment torepparttar 119466 organization. One thing to know about leadership development is this: Leaders must not ask her followers to do what she is not willing to do. . Many leaders will hire training for their company and will then refuse to attendrepparttar 119467 training because they “don’t need it or think they are beyond it.” This is, in my opinion, completely out of integrity. The leader must first be a model of what is expected inrepparttar 119468 area of training, development, and improvement, and must be willing to fully participate in a training thatrepparttar 119469 front line is asked to attend. The leader must develop a culture that sendsrepparttar 119470 message that leadership development is not another undesirable task but a new and fresh way to go about work.

(10) Leaders must have a plan.

The late Christopher Reeve once said “If you don’t have a vision, nothing happens.” Strategic planning is aboutrepparttar 119471 future impact of decisions made today, and leaders must have a plan that examinesrepparttar 119472 necessities of today and tomorrow in light ofrepparttar 119473 organization’s vision, mission, values and goals. It is not uncommon to find organizations that either don’t have a strong strategic plan, or they have a plan that is sitting on a shelf collecting dust. This makes absolutely no sense to me. Leaders must realize that to fully implement change, to satisfy customers, and to promote teamwork fromrepparttar 119474 top torepparttar 119475 bottom ofrepparttar 119476 organization, strategic changes must be made that are driven by a clearly articulated vision, mission, and purpose. Oncerepparttar 119477 strategic plan is written, leaders can then takerepparttar 119478 steps necessary to insure that all stakeholders are in alignment withrepparttar 119479 strategic plan and that they are moving cohesively inrepparttar 119480 direction of fulfillingrepparttar 119481 vision and mission ofrepparttar 119482 company. Many organizations will buy a “canned strategic plan” written by an expensive consulting company, and they will try to fit their round peg inrepparttar 119483 square hole ofrepparttar 119484 canned plan. This is a BIG MISTAKE! Leaders need to understand thatrepparttar 119485 strategic plan is a collaborative process implemented by key stakeholders inrepparttar 119486 company, andrepparttar 119487 CEO or Business Owner must be involved in this process. With a strong commitment and an experienced strategic planning coach or facilitator, a company can create a solid plan which meetsrepparttar 119488 needs and demands of all stakeholders.

Bea Fields is a Leadership Coach and Trainer and the President of Five Star Leader Coaching and Training. She is the Visionary Leader for the Personal Environments Community for

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