Friday 22 February 2019

Project Issue Management Plan | Free template

An Issue Management Process is a method by which issues which are currently affecting the ability of the project to produce the required deliverables are formally managed. The process entails completing a variety of review techniques to assess the level of impact that the issue is having on the project and then undertaking a range of actions to resolve or reduce the issue as appropriate.

Describe the purpose of project issue management plan.  Provide an overview of the general process for the management of issues within the project. This article will contain a diagrammatic representation of the processes and procedures to be followed in order to initiate, evaluate, review, and resolve issues within the project. 


Issue Type

Describe the type of issue described in the document.  Common types are procedural problems, system problems, scope disputes or requests for information.

Date Resolution Needed

Indicate the date by which issue should be resolved to prevent negative impacts to the project.

Proposed Assignee

The issue author should indicate the name of the resource nominated to lead issue resolution effort.


List attachments to the issue document, if any.

Issue Description

Insert a description of the issue including necessary background information for reviewer and other readers. 

Initial Recommendation

The reviewer should include a preliminary recommendation on the proposed course of action and solutions identified to date. 

Impact if not resolved

Describe what is likely to occur if the issue is not resolved or is not resolved in a timely manner.

Issue management goals and approach

A goal of this project is to identify issues as soon as they arise and to resolve them expeditiously.  All team members are enjoined to be vigilant, particularly in their areas of expertise, but also to raise issues outside of their areas of specific responsibility when they become aware of them.

The issue management goals and approach for this project include:

  • Informal monitoring for the identification of issues via team meetings
  • Informal documentation of low and medium impact issues via periodic status reports to project stakeholders
  • Formal documentation of high impact issues using the attached issue management log

Project Issue management categories and rules

Priority CategoriesEscalation Rules

  • Low impact (no project delay but needs resolution) – document in monthly status report, assign to project manager for resolution
  • Medium impact (some project delay, but progress can continue) – document in monthly status report, assign to project manager for resolution
  • High impact (significant project delay or show-stopper) – document and track in issue log, report immediately to project sponsors, consult on appropriate assignment for resolution responsibility and target date for resolution

Any high impact issue with missed resolution target date will be escalated to project sponsor for further action.

Monitoring Frequency

Low and medium impact issues will be monitored and reported in monthly status reports.  High impact issues will be monitored weekly and reported at biweekly team meetings and biweekly sponsor meetings.

How to define Roles and responsibilities for Project? 

The project manager is assigned the role of issue manager.  The issue manager is responsible to 

  • assess and record any identified issue
  • assign a priority to the issue
  • assign a resolution due date for the issue and the person responsible to resolve it
  • monitor the status of issue resolution
  • escalate issues as required by the escalation rules
  • communicate issues to the project team and others
  • report issue management activity according to communications plan
  • manage the issue tracking log

The project sponsors are assigned the role of issue escalation decision makers.  The issue escalation decision makers are responsible to

•    resolve or to provide guidance to resolve issues escalated to them

The issue management process

issue management process diagram template

For each issue identified during project execution:

  1. Identification:  Any identified issue will be communicated to the issue manager at the earliest opportunity.
  2. Prioritization:  The issue manager will apply prioritization rules to the issue.
  3. Tracking:  The issue manager will record and track low and medium impact issues in the monthly status report and high impact issues in the issue log.
  4. Escalation when required:  If escalation rules are satisfied, the issue manager will escalate the issue immediately.
  5. Assignment of issue for resolution:  The project manager is responsible for resolution of all low and medium impact issues.  For high impact issues, the issue manager will consult with relevant experts and stakeholders, assign a due date for resolution and a specific person responsible for resolving the issue.
  6. Monitor resolution status and evaluate for escalation:  The issue manager will track the status of issues and escalate issues when escalation rules are satisfied.
  7. Communication:  Issue statuses of high impact issues will be reviewed in biweekly sponsor meetings and biweekly team meetings.  Escalation decision makers will be notified at the earliest opportunity when an escalation occurs.  An issue summary, including any issues resolved in the period since the last report, will be published to stakeholders and customers with the monthly project status report.
  8. Close resolved issues:  The issue manager will record the action taken to resolve the issue when closing a resolved issue.

Review Comments

Describe results of review, including whether issue is valid and should move forward for resolution.  Indicate whether more detailed cost and impact analysis is required as well as an estimate of additional resource requirements and associated cost estimates.  Include the name of the review and the date the review occurred.


Document the final issue resolution.  Include details on follow-on actions, including resource assignments, timelines, costs, etc.  Include attachments as appropriate.


The project manager should indicate endorsement of, or concerns about the proposed resolution.  Include the project managers name and date of review.

Executive Action

Indicate whether project executives accept the proposed resolution, defer the decision until some future point, require additional information prior to making a decision or reject the proposed resolution. 


Include comments from project executives such as reasons for deferment, additional information needed to make a decision or reason for rejection of proposed resolution.


Insert signature block indicating acceptance of issue resolution and/or decision.

Project Issue Management Plan template

Project Issue Management Plan template


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