A RAID Log is a project management tool used to store several project information in one place. It serves as a central repository for all risks, assumptions, issues and dependencies that is happening in a project. It allows keeping track of everything happening in your project making it a useful document in regular project meetings and for audit purposes. RAID stands for Risks, Assumptions, Issues and Dependencies.
Using a RAID log keeps your project organized and on track. It makes the information easier to store and retrieve rather than keeping everything in your head. It gives confidence to all project stakeholders that the project is under control and is being closely monitored. It allows to engage with upper managementand ask their help where necessary to mitigatea risk or resolve an issue.
A Risk is something that will have a negative impact on the project if it happens, and can lead to quality, delay or cost problems. It refers to the combined likelihood that the event will occur and the impact on the project if it occurs. Risks are often ranked by their Risk Priority Numbers (RPNs) in order to highlight the highest priority risks. A plan should then be developed to mitigate risks with high RPNs.
Assumptions are those factors that are taken for granted but cannot be guaranteed and may impact the result of the project (e.g. staff availability). Project Issues are incidents that cause the project to become out of alignment. They are risks that have already happened. Failure to manage issues may result in a poor delivery of the project or even failure. Dependencies are those activities which need to start or be completed in order for the project to proceed successfully.
Active management of the RAID log elements is one of the key roles that the project manager is expected to do. A good practice is to create a RAID log at the beginning of each project, then regularly review and update it as necessary through regular project meetings. In the end, the log should drive to take the necessary actions in order to ensure successful implementation of the project.
There are many tools that can help you to manage and track the log. The simplest way is to use a spreadsheet with a dashboard to summarize all the logging. The following is an example of a RAID dashboard that allows the project manager to review all relevant information related to a project at a glance.