Having a well-documented issue management process is crucial to communicating and enforcing the process to your team. If issues are not resolved, the negative consequences can include the following:
- Inability to meet project timelines, cost, and schedule
- Poor or unacceptable project quality
- Poor reputation among communities, donors, and others
- Post implementation disputes
Bear in mind that a perfect issue management system will be expensive, if not impossible to achieve. It is normal to accept a reasonable level of imperfection, based on calculations of the trade-offs between value versus cost, benefit, risk, and time.
Issue management through 4-steps:
- Issue Identification and Tracking: It is important to identify outstanding questions, decisions, and other problems before they adversely affect the project. As such, the issue identification and tracking process is closely related to the topic of risk management (which is explored in the module on the Monitoring, Evaluation, and Control phase). Thus, the Implementation phase and the Monitoring, Evaluation, and Control phase are tightly linked and normally work in parallel
- Issue Analysis: This process involves understanding the issue sufficiently and considering the future consequences of action plans designed to resolve the issue
- Issue Communication: It is vital to communicate issues to the correct level of the organization so that issues may be resolved. Furthermore, it is important to communicate when and how issues are resolved
- Issue Control: The project manager is responsible for establishing an environment where the project team and implementing partners can carry out actions to ensure issues are resolved in a timely and effective manner
I have observed that issues management is a kind of skill, which should be learned by social change leaders.