Using the issue log to capture decisions

The issue log is the document that will be used to manage the project issues. It is a document managed by the Project Manager to show the issues on the project and how they progress through to resolution. A classic example of an issue log is shown below:

Note how all the open issues have an Agreed Owner and a Date for completion — these are used by the Project Manager to manage the issue through to completion.

As issues are resolved, they are regarded as closed. They should be greyed out to make it clear they are no longer to be considered but still readable to show the full history.

As the project progresses, decisions will be made in different forums; they can be made during conversations or in formal meetings. These decisions can be recorded in exactly the same way as a resolved issue.

Important factors to note in using this technique are:

• Decide which are the important decisions to record this way.

• It may be sensible to get decisions ratified by the Projects Governance Board to ensure wide agreement.

• It is unwise to use this technique for politicking reasons; treating an unfounded decision in this way is clumsy and unprofessional.

Capturing decisions on the issue log will provide a single location for the issues and decisions on the project. This shows the evolution through to decision-making in a structured manner.

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