Key Elements of a Project Issue Management System on SharePoint
I bet sometimes project management feels more like issue management. You spend all your time running around putting out fires instead of driving toward milestones and deliverables.
But if you use a collaborative tool, like SharePoint for project management, you can implement an issue management system to increase visibility and ensure problems are addressed quickly.
Here we look at some key elements of a project issue management system on SharePoint.
Project Issue Management Best Practices
A risk is a problem that hasn’t happened yet. An issue is a risk that is now a reality!
It’s impossible to predict what challenges to expect on a project. One thing you can be sure of … something will go wrong.
To reduce the impact of issues, you’ll need to include an issue management process during project planning. This should cover key question such as:
- How will a team member recognize an issue?
- What tools will be used to raise, resolve, and track issues?
- Who will review issues?
- When should senior management become involved with an issue?
- How will issues be communicated within the team?
- When the resolution affects the budget or schedule, what will the update process be, and who will be responsible?
Once you have developed your issue management process, hold a team training session – before the project starts.
Don’t assume that your team is as comfortable with issue management. Understand their current experience and walk the team through your proposed approach.
With a process in place, it’s time to look at issue management with SharePoint. I’ll show you how to add and configure the Issue Tracking app to your project site.
If you want a quicker solution, download and install our free SharePoint project management template – complete with issue tracking out-of-the-box!
Implementing Project Issue Management in SharePoint
1. Add the Issue List
Depending on the BrightWork template in use, you may need to add the ‘Issues Tracking’ web part to your project site. This list will allow you to add issues and assign owners.
Navigate to ‘Add Apps’ and search issues to find the app. Click to open the dialogue box, add a name, and hit create.
2. The Issue Form
Find ‘Issues Update’ on the quick launch menu and open the report. Click ‘add a new issue’ to open an issue form to capture key information about the issue.
If needed, update the form to reflect your agreed issue management process.
3. Set up alerts
It is easy to create an alert for this list in SharePoint. For example, if a new issue is logged, send a notification to the relevant person so they can take the necessary action and follow up.
Navigate to ‘List’ and select ‘Alert Me’.
Complete the form as needed.
You can also add alerts to individual items using a similar process.
4. Add reporting
You’ll likely want to report on issues! If needed, install the ‘Project Issues’ app in your site, or navigate to the ‘Issue Reports’ in the Quick Launch. The report has numerous views, including Open Issues, Overdue Iusses, and Closed Issues.
The ‘Top Open Issues’ list is also displayed on the project homepage for at-a-glance updates.
Project issues will arise so be proactive and have the right management system in place before the project starts. Try these best-practice tips:
- Use a standardized form to capture information about the issue.
- Leverage the alert system built into SharePoint to alert the appropriate people when a new issue is entered.
- Use reporting options so everyone can easily track issues.
- Not everything can be handled in SharePoint so you will need to talk to your team. Use meetings as needed to discuss a specific issue, and what you are going to do about it.
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in November 2014 and has been updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.
Billy is a graduate of the Villanova School of Business and holds a Master’s degree from National University of Ireland, Galway. Outside of BrightWork, he enjoys reading, trying to golf, and walking his pug named Nova.