Categories: Global Summit
By: Kim Essendrup
Founding Partner, RAID Log
I had the amazing opportunity to speak about RAID logs at the 2022 PMI Global Summit. My talk was called, Show me your RAID Log, and provided some background on this “old-school” project management tool and highlighted how it is still very relevant for today’s project leaders.
There seems to be huge interest in RAID logs. To my surprise, even though we had a session late in the day on the last day of the conference, we had a full session – the line to get in went all the way down the hall!
Figure 1: Show Me Your RAID Log Session
As part of my talk, I asked participants to complete a quick survey about RAID logs to better understand their awareness and usage of RAID logs. The survey link was available to attendees prior to the session to help avoid any influence my talk may have had on responses. In this blog post, I’ll share the results of that survey and offer some commentary. At the end of the article, I will have a link for an infographic we made containing all the survey results.
Question 1: Have You Ever Used a RAID Log Before?
In speaking with Summit attendees during the conference, we found that about 25% of attendees were not immediately familiar with the term, “RAID Log” but were familiar with the concept of tracking risks and issues in a Risk Register or Issues Register. Our survey results found that over 70% of attendees have used a RAID log before – demonstrating that, at least among my session attendees, there is broad usage of this tool.
Question 2: Are You Using a RAID Log Currently for a Project You are Managing?
Knowing about a tool doesn’t mean you actually get use out of it, so next we asked how many attendees currently use a RAID log. We found that over 57% of our audience were currently using RAID logs. This represents over 80% of attendees who say they have ever used a RAID log, indicating that it is a high value tool for those who use them.
Question 3: What are the Top Benefits You Get from Using a RAID Log?
This was a fun question. Although as PMs we intuitively know there is value in using RAID logs to keep our projects on track, it was interesting to hear about the specific benefits that PMs get from this tool.
By far, the #1 answer was, Keeps me organized. In fact, 93% of all respondents who say they use a RAID log listed organization as a key benefit. When we talk about RAID logs, we talk a lot about the benefits of managing risks and issues, keeping projects out of trouble and of communicating with stakeholders and team members. But it’s interesting to see that our attendees felt the most common benefit of using a RAID log was to keep them organized as Project Managers. Even in a world of literally hundreds of tools for project management and personal organization, the simple RAID log seems to still provide strong value.
When coaching PMs, I actually see this quite often. RAID logs are the tool PMs use to manage the day-to-day operations of their projects. They are very flexible and extensible, making them a great tool for tracking and organizing the many things a PM has to stay on top of. This is particularly true when PMs manage have to manage multiple projects. Having a tool that orients you when “task switching” from one project to another is incredibly useful.
Question 4: What are the Greatest Challenges You Have Using a RAID Log Today?
The top answer to this question was not much of a surprise, as it is one that I think we all have struggled with: Self-discipline to keep it up to date. As great an organizational tool as it is, the discipline to keep it up is key to its success. In my session, I shared some techniques for keeping on-track and up to date with our RAID logs. But based on this survey, we will be developing more content and tools to make it easier for project leaders keep their RAID logs up to date.
Interestingly, nearly a quarter of respondents felt like they lacked enough knowledge about RAID logs to use them effectively. Although some of the components of a RAID log, such as a risk and issue register, are a core part of the PMI body of knowledge, RAID logs are more than their sum of their parts.
Though the scope of this survey was limited to PMI Global Summit attendees, there are still some useful take-aways we can gain from this survey:
- RAID Logs are a common and important tool: over 70% of our respondents having used them.
- RAID Logs are great organizational tools: over 93% of those who use RAID logs cite “keeps me organized” as a key benefit.
- The main challenge is keeping them up to date: something we all struggle with. Although we covered some tips for keeping them updated in our presentation and in our book, this is an area we will continue to explore and share best practices.
If you would like to download and share an infographic on our findings, you can find it here.
I had a great time presenting, and the full presentation will be on demand through 31 January 2023. Visit
Global Summit for more details.