It would be nice to think that everything always goes to plan on construction projects, but that isn’t the case! You will hit problems. When you do, it’s best to be prepared. Here are our top 5 tips for managing project issues effectively.
Tip 1: Record the issue
Log the issue on your issue register. You’ll want to record the date that it was identified, the person who raised it and a brief description of the problem. At this point you can also add an estimate of how serious you think the issue might be, but you’ll do a full impact analysis later. If the issue is serious, this is a good time to talk to your project sponsor and explain that you’ll be producing a full action plan to address the problem.
Tip 2: Allocate an owner
As the project manager, you can’t manage everything, so it’s important to be able to delegate tasks to your team members. Managing issues is no exception. Choose someone who has the skills to help resolve the problem and ask them to be the issue owner. This means that they will have to follow up progress on resolving the issue, track the actions and provide you with status updates. It doesn’t mean that they have to fix the problem by themselves, so they should get others involved if they need to. Often it’s easier to brainstorm potential solutions as a team.
Tip 3: Establish the impact
Project issues range from small things that can be resolved in a day or so to big problems that could have the potential to stop your project completely. Most project issues fall somewhere in between these two extremes. Issues can affect one area or many, and have an impact on the project schedule, budget, quality or scope. This is the point in the process where you establish what elements of the project have been affected. Carry out an impact analysis to assess the scale of the problem. Think about the areas of the project or the stakeholders that are affected and how long the problem will take to resolve.
Tip 4: Produce an action plan
Now that you know more about the problem, you can prepare an action plan to resolve it, or at least to minimize the impact on project progress. Using the task management capabilities of ProjectManager.com, list all the tasks required to make sure that the issue is addressed effectively. Then you (or the person who is owning the issue) can easily track the status of progress.
Tip 5: Monitor progress
Monitoring progress is the final stage in managing a project issue as effectively as possible. After all, all the analysis in the world won’t help if you don’t actually take steps to fix the problem. Use your task list and project schedule to monitor progress towards resolving the issue. As the project manager, follow up with the issue owner on a regular basis so that you can be reassured that the work is progressing to plan and that the team is doing everything they can to minimize the impact of the problem on the project’s objectives.
When each action has been completed successfully, you can mark the task as complete on the task list and update the issue log with the latest progress.