Variants include Project Issue Management and Project Log.
In the life cycle of any project, many things may arise along the way which can affect the project’s outcome and timeline. Things like material shortages and issues with suppliers may have a negative impact on your project and may result in failure to produce the project deliverables. One useful way is to create a log for your project, and this is what we are going to cover in this article.
A RAID Log is a project management tool that is used to store several project information in one place. It serves as a central repository for all Risks, Assumptions, Issues and Dependencies related to a project. It allows the project manager and the team members to keep track of the project, making it a useful document in regular project meetings and for audit purposes.
Logging your project details using a RAID log keeps your project organized and on track. It makes the information easier to store and retrieve rather than keeping everything on bits of paper or in your head. This gives confidence to all project stakeholders that the project is under control and that it is being constantly monitored. Upper management can also be engaged and asked for help where necessary to take actions to resolve project related risks and issues as they appear.
Four Key Areas
A RAID log focuses on four key project areas, which are Risks, Assumptions, Issues and Dependencies.
A Risk is something that will have a negative impact on the project if it happens. It refers to the combined likelihood that an event will occur and the impact on the project if it occurs. An example of a project risk is a possible shortage in staff that could delay completion of the project. A risk is often evaluated by its Risk Priority Numbers (RPN), which is the product of likelihood times impact.
Assumptions are events and circumstances which are expected to happen during project life cycle of the project. An example of a project assumption is that the project team will have access to needed systems and resources. Another example is that the staff in a particular department will be available for the project all the time. An assumption can turn into a risk if it negatively impacts the ability to deliver the project.
Project Issues are unanticipated incidents that cause the project to become out of alignment. They are risks that have already happened. They occur during the life cycle of the project and may affect the project set goals, cost or schedule. An example includes a security breach that resulted in an unauthorized access of data or loss of valuable data. Failure to manage project 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. They may arise during the project and need to be logged as soon as they are noticed. An example includes installing the software before training people on how to use it.
The ‘D’ in the RAID acronym may also refer to the Decisions that should be made throughout the project in order to achieve the project goals.
Active management of the RAID log elements is one of the key roles that the project manager is expected to do. It should drive to take the necessary actions in order to ensure successful execution of the project. 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.
The following is an example of a RAID log which summarizes the details of a supply chain project.
A RAID Log can be created simply using a spreadsheet with one tab for each of the four areas. One of the simplest ways to track your project details is to use this RAID log template.
Using a RAID log keeps your project organized and helps tracking everything happening in your project. This can ensure that you stay on schedule, achieve your objectives, and that you don’t have any unexpected surprises on your way.
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