How to analyze a project issue

Project issue analysis

In any project, there are certain factors or elements that bring about change to a project creating an issue or a scenario of project unrest. These issues have to be resolved from time to time in a systematic manner. Issues may arise from different departments involved in the project or from any of the stakeholders. They may also be simple or complex. Issue Management and Analysis is an ongoing process during the entire life cycle of the project.

This guide aims at understanding the steps involved in project issue analysis.


Step 1

Age Analysis

Analysis of this kind gives details of how long an issue has been in existence or how long it is since a resolution has been found pending. For example, if an unforeseen change to the current plan occurred on 1 April 2010 and no action has been taken to effect the change till the current date, say, 10 June 2010, it means that the unresolved issue is 71 days old.

Step 2

Sensitivity Analysis

This is just a graphical representation of the issue at hand. It is done by using histograms of the unresolved issue which shows how complex the issue is. Sometimes, there might be an acute shortage of funds due to an unforeseen activity in a project which hampers the progress of the project. At times, it might be a simple case of waiting for a stakeholder’s approval which might delay the project schedule. Understanding the complexity of the issue will go a long way in finding an apt resolution for that issue.

Step 3

Domain Analysis

In this Analysis, again, histograms are made use of. Histograms of the unresolved issue are based on classification such as Technical, Engineering, Human Resources, etc. A systematic classification of issue types will help the different departments claim responsibility for resolutions and also pinpoint the source of issues.

Step 4

Source Analysis

This is a histogram of the unresolved issue which shows the source of the issue or how the issue first began. It gets to the root cause of the issue. It may also be similar to Source Analysis in pinpointing the department responsible for resolving the issue, since it originates from there.

Step 5

Analysis for the rate of resolving issues

Analysis of this kind give historical details of various issues such as — how often , how quick or how efficiently each issue was handled and resolved. It can act as a fall-back for similar issues that may crop up in subsequent projects.

Step 6

Influence Analysis

Influence Analysis uses histograms as media for data collection and presentation. It demonstrates an issue’s connection or link with the internal and external sphere of influence in a project. For example, how an issue might be influenced by one or more stakeholders or by the limitation of funds in a project.

Things Needed
• Teamwork
• Knowledge of histograms
• Communication
• Thorough understanding of the scope of the project

Tips & Warnings
• Helps to pinpoint the unresolved issue
• Helps to understand the nature of issues
• Helps to force resolutions


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