Project Management

Escalating Issues

Kenneth has 14 years of healthcare experience in government and private industry. Over eight years of experience managing healthcare IT projects, operations, contracts, and personnel. His work experience includes project management, contracts and procurements, data analysis, claims adjudication, business writing, and business process modeling. Kenneth was certified in 2006 as a Project Management Professional.

Issues can derail a project. They appear at the most inopportune time and were never accounted for in the schedule no matter how much risk planning was performed. The project team can hopefully deal with the issue and work out the resolution, but there are some issues that cannot be handled by the project team. Perhaps the issue is unreasonable (or impossible) demands by a client, or technology that is not viable for the project’s solution.

Whatever the case, there are issues that will need to be escalated beyond the project team, and the project manager must be able to deal with the escalation in a way that does not further derail the project.

The Path
When escalating issues, the project manager must understand the path that the issue will take through an organization. Is there one point of contact that needs to be brought into the loop on the issue who can coordinate a response from the rest of the organization? Or is there a management team or steering committee that should handle issues that need to be escalated?

From that initial escalation, where is the issue going to go in order to be resolved? The project manager should have a firm grasp on what happens to the issue if the project team cannot resolve it alone. This path of the issue through the organization until it can be resolved should be discovered, documented and understood during the initiation of …

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