4.0 Manage Issues


Issues are more than just common problems. They are problems that meet specific criteria. An issue is a formally-defined problem that will impede the progress of the project and cannot be totally resolved by the project manager and project team without outside help. Let’s look at that definition again.


  • A formally defined problem. You must be able to document a problem if you hope to resolve it. While the problem is formless and vague it cannot be solved. In addition, you need to be able to communicate the nature of issues, and this requires that they be documented as well.

  • Impede the progress of the project. There are many problems that that do not have an impact on your project. Likewise there are also problems that arise on your project that are not significant enough to impact your progress. Issues do have an impact on the project. They must be resolved since they are impeding the progress of your project.

  • Cannot be totally resolved without outside help. This is also a key point. If the project team can resolve a problem it does not rise to the level of an issue. An issue cannot be totally resolved by the project team. The project team may have some influence on resolving an issue, but the resolution is not totally in their control.   

High-level process flow

Many projects have to resolve issues. They cannot be ignored and they cannot be deferred to some later time. Issues must be resolved quickly and effectively.

4.1 Manage Issues / Process

4.2 Manage Issues / Techniques

4.3 Manage Issues / Quick Reference

Manage Issues / Example

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