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How to Create an Issue Management Plan?

written by: Sidharth Thakur • edited by: Ginny Edwards • updated: 1/30/2011

Are there issues that can hamper your project's progress? If there are, then you must prepare an issue management plan, and that’s where this article can help by providing you with a free sample issue management plan.

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    Uncertainties are a part of every project, that’s what makes risk management and issue management an indispensable aspect of project management. This article focuses on issue management – its relevance and how to set up an issue management plan. But before we move further, you a can download a free sample issue management plan from Bright Hub’s media gallery, as you can use it to create an issue management plan for your project.

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    Why is an Issue Management Plan Needed?

    There are three prime reasons for creating an issue management plan:

    1. To identify and understand the issues that can lead to problems in a project and assign them over to people on the team;
    2. To analyze the risk and the impact of the issues and to seek ways to resolve the issues; and
    3. To document and communicate the issues and the resolution measures and efforts to all concerned people on the project team.
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    How to Create an Issue Management Plan?

    The sample issue management plan available from the above link is extremely simple to use. Here are some details on the Sample of an Issue Management Plan columns contained in the sample.

    Issue Code No: Every issue that has been identified and is to be redressed through the issue management plan can be assigned a unique code for all future references.

    Issue Description: A detailed description of each issue focusing on the main problems associated with each of these issues.

    Identified By: Name of the person who has identified the issue.

    Identified On: The date on which the issue was first recognized.

    Assigned To: Name of the person who is responsible for carrying out the prevention or correction measures to deal with the issue.

    Action Required: A descriptive list of all the countermeasures identified for preventing or combating the issue.

    Priority: Each issue must be assigned a priority, based on how important it is and how detrimental it can be for the project. In the sample issue management plan we have four degrees of priority – Critical, High, Medium and Low.

    Due date: The date by which the issue must be completely resolved to prevent it from affecting the project.

    Current Status: The status depicts whether or not the issue has been resolved. In the sample there are four types of statuses that the issues can be assigned, these are:

    • Open – issues for which no action has been taken
    • Planned – issues for which planning has been done, but implementation is still not underway
    • Under Implementation: as the name is indicative, if an issue is being worked on it can be assigned this status
    • Closed – issues that have been completely resolved.

    Date Closed: This is required only for issues that have been successfully resolved.

    Closing Remarks: Any additional remarks the person responsible for resolving the issue may want to leave, especially if the issue has not been resolved and it is past its due date.

    Developing an issue management plan is a proactive approach to identifying and managing issues that may crop up in the future and may disrupt the project, well in advance of the issues actually cropping up. And, this free sample will go a long way in helping you create an issue management plan for your project.

    Screenshot By: Sidharth Thakur