Project Management

Four Steps to Managing Project Issues--and Your Sanity

Joe Pena

Issues crop up in any project. How you deal with them and what you learn from them is what really matters. These steps are a practical approach to managing issues that has proven effective in numerous real-world projects with critical business implications.

Step One – IDENTIFY
Ideally, you will be on a constant lookout for issues . . .or matters that could potentially become an issue. This is the trait of an effective project manager. However, in many cases, you will become informed of an issue by a number of means...in a meeting, hallway conversation, unrelated discussions or phone calls. The keys to identifying these issues are: 

  1. Understand the issue.   
  2. Verify your understanding to guard against expending effort climbing a ladder leaning against the wrong wall.   
  3. Record the issue to keep from letting it drop because this could spell doom to your project.

We're only into Step 1, and already I’ve used terms like "wrong wall," "guard against" and "doom." I'm not looking to strike fear into new project managers, but when you work in projects, these things come with the territory.

Step Two - ASSIGN
You determine a PRIORITY for the issue based on a Critical, High, Medium or Low scale. However, a numerical scale can be used as well. Different factors contribute to this determination, and those factors may differ from …


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Very funny, Scotty. Now beam down my clothes.