A project typically follows five stages: initiation, planning, execution, monitoring and controlling, and closing.
Project Planning establishes the total scope of the project, defines/refines the requirements, and develops the course of action to deliver the results.
Despite the importance of Project Planning, most of the Project Manager’s time is spent on executing, monitoring, and controlling the project.
Depending upon the project size and complexity, project teams typically spend 50-70% of their time in these areas of the project.
Project Execution focuses on completing the work defined in the project management plan to meet the project objectives. Those objectives are delivered by coordinating resources, managing stakeholder expectations, and integrating activities from various workstreams.
Project Monitoring involves collecting project performance data and converting that data into information. This information is used in project status reports, along with recommended actions for the project team.
Stakeholders take actions during Project Controlling. Recommended actions may be corrective or preventive, or defect repairs.
- Corrective action realigns current performance with the project plan. The goal is to prevent these issues from occurring again.
- Preventive action ensures future performance remains aligned to the plan. These actions are proactive, helping to avoid future issues.
- Defect repair refers to the repair of a faulty product or product component.
The Project/Organization’s Change Control Process governs these recommended actions.
The above paragraphs cover a lot of details to manage. We will provide templates for all those scenarios in separate articles. In this article, I’ll share a template for improving project execution, monitoring, controlling – the AIRSC report.
The AIRSC Report is a bare minimum tool that is necessary for a project manager to start Project Execution.
The AIRSC Report is not a standard project management term; I developed this report whilst working on particular reporting requirements for a client.
However, the concepts are standard in the project management universe.
What is The AIRSC Report?
The AIRSC report is a combined tracker for Actions, Issues, Risks, Status Reports, and Change Requests.
Some project teams also track assumptions, decisions, and dependencies, along with this report.
What’s in the report?
The AIRSC report includes:
- Action Item Tracker
- Issues Tracker
- Risks Tracker
- Status Reports Tracker
- Change Request Tracker.
Teams can use a separate tracker for decisions and dependencies as needed.
Action Item Tracker
An action item is work that is a follow-on activity and often results from a meeting where the project team discusses activities, issues, or dependencies.
The action is not core to accomplishing the objectives of the meeting, for example, an issue or activity can have a follow-up activity.
An Action Item Tracker helps the project team to organize these follow-on activities.
The issue Tracker helps the project manager to effectively track and manage issues, ensuring that they are investigated and resolved.
Throughout the project, the project manager will face problems, gaps, inconsistencies, or conflicts that occur unexpectedly, which must be addressed so they do not impact the project’s triple constraints or performance.
The Issue Tracker is a project document where all the issues are recorded and tracked.
Risk Tracker (or Risk Register or Risk Log)
All projects are risky since they are unique undertakings with varying degrees of complexity that aim to deliver benefits.
A risk is an uncertain event that, if it occurs, has a positive or negative impact on project triple constraints (scope, time, and cost).
Risk can be at two levels – an individual constraint level or the overall project level.
The Risk Tracker captures details of both levels of identified risks.
Once risks are identified, the tracker gets updated with results from qualitative and quantitative analysis. Later response strategies are updated on the same tracker.
Status Report Tracker
A weekly status report is a common project management activity.
A typical Status report contains:
- RAG (Red, Amber, Green) assessment covering delivery confidence
- % complete
- Overall Executive Summary Status
- Weekly Highlights and Weekly Lowlights.
- Next Actions.
Some teams summarize milestones, actions, issues, risks, and budgets, along with explanatory comments.
The Status Report Tracker contains all weekly status reports to show how the project is performing over time.
Change Request Log (Change Request Tracker)
A change is a modification to any formally controlled deliverable, project management plan component, or project document.
A change request is a formal proposal to modify a document, deliverable, or baseline.
The Change Request Tracker is a comprehensive list of changes submitted during the project and their current status.