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When risks become issues – a process to deal with them

Firefighters facing a wall of flames

We’ve all been there… We’re working away happily on the project and a risk we’d logged and forgotten about suddenly rears its ugly head. Or something we didn’t even think about comes up and causes problems.

So how do you deal with such sudden issues on your project – without losing your head or focus? That’s where a strong issues management process comes into its own. Here’s how to follow one:

  1. Check the risk register and see if anything has been logged. If it has, review the information and mark it as an issue as well and copy it to the issues register
  2. If no risk exists in the register, then create one in the issues register. At this point, if you don’t have an issues register – create one!
  3. Assign an owner to the issue and log any actions that need to be taken. This is vital as you will often need a list of who has done what once things have calmed down
  4. Monitor progress
  5. If nothing is happening, or if the issue is outside of your tolerances, you’ll need to escalate it to your steering committee or programme manager for resolution
  6. Once there is a resolution available, make sure it’s approved before it’s implemented. The last thing you need after the fact is someone coming along and denying they ever gave approval for something
  7. Make sure that once the issue is resolved, it’s closed out. There’s no point having something cluttering the register if it’s already been and gone

This process is in no way fool proof, but it will certainly help bring order to the chaos when in the midst of an issue.

If you’re looking for a tool that lets you manage issues in an easy, user friendly way then check out Psoda’s issues management tool. Sign up for a free 30-day trial now.

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