Track project issues as they arise with this Excel template. Define priority of each issue, assign to key people on the team and check off when complete. Issues are problems and with this issue tracking template you have the means to solve those problems.
Why You Need Better Issue Tracking
When you’re talking about an issue in project management, you really mean a problem, but specifically a problem that is related to a project. This problem may be about to happen or is currently happening, but it must be resolved as quickly as possible or else risk the whole project.
An issue, however, is different from a risk in a project. A risk basically is something that hasn’t occurred but may disrupt the project. An issue is imminent or occurring. It’s a somewhat subtle distinction, but one that demands attention. That’s why our free Excel issue tracking template is a great start to corralling and correcting issues as they arise in a project.
Related: Project Reporting Tools
Once you download and create your own issue tracking template you can collect those issues. First you have to identify them, of course, and the template is where they go. Only after having identified them can you begin to create some plan of action. Use your project team to brainstorm ideas. Collaboration is a great tool for tackling a problem as it gives you many different perspectives and comes from experience and skills you may not have.
How you address the issue is as open-ended as how many issues may arise in a project, which is more reason you need a place to collect these ideas. The issue tracking template makes sure that everything you do is clearly documented.
How that action is going to resolve the issue could be a change of scope or requirements, but whatever that may be you’ll need to define it, negotiate it and have it approved. Then you can add it to your template.
You’ll want to implement that action quickly, and the risk tracking template allows you to do so systematically and clearly. The template is great, too, for multiple issues and keeping them all straight. You’re likely to have more than one issue in a project, so you need a document to keep track of one and all.
How to Use ProjectManager.com’s Issue Tracking Template
Once you’ve got your free Excel template and have downloaded it, you’ll want to create one to suit whatever issues you’re having on your project. The first step is filling in the blank fields with the pertinent information.
Describe Issue and Determine Status
This is where you list your issues, so you’ll want to number them first to keep them from getting confused. Then there’s a column in which you can note the status of the issue. Is is done, in progress, open, blocked, etc.? Of course, you’ll need to describe the issue, and be precise but not wordy.
What’s the Category, Priority and Who’s the Issue Assigned to?
Depending on the issue, the category is going to be different from issue to issue. For example, the issue may be with a vendor or a website build. Whatever it is, here’s the place to put it. Then you’re going to need to prioritize. Is it high, medium or low priority? Note that. Then, assign the issue to someone to oversee its path towards being resolved. If you don’t, the issue will undoubtedly be lost in the shuffle.
Who Raised It, When Was It Opened/Closed and Comments
It’s good to note who raised the issue. That may help resolve it. There a good person to go back to, even if they’re not the one who will own the issue. That’s why you want to write it down here. The date the issues is opened and closed is also helpful when tracking, so there are columns for both. Finally, you’ll have a column in which to add comments that don’t fall under any of the already assigned columns.
Issue tracking works best when it’s part of the whole project management solution. By pulling in team members to not only raised the issue, but will lead the task to resolve them, you’re making it more likely that the issue will not fall through the cracks. When this part of your project tracking solution is part of a larger project management software tool, then you’re managing issues, rather than have the issues drive your management of the project.
How to Import an Issue Tracking Template
To import your issues template into ProjectManager.com go to the Gantt View of a project, which features seamless import and export with MS Project, Excel, and CSV format.
- Simply click the import button in the ribbon menu above the Gantt chart
- Add the file you wish to import and click “Import”.
- Map the columns you want to import on the Import Tasks mapping popup.
- Remember to exclude the header row if you have one by selecting Yes or No to the question at the bottom.
- Click “Import” to import your tasks into a project.
How to Use Issue Tracking Templates in ProjectManager.com
Tag and Track Issues
Individual tasks can have a tag to help provide more context. For example, people can tag a task with a marker label like “Issue.” This gives managers and teams more flexibility when controlling issues as they arise. Since you can filter by tags, as well, it also supports the ability to let teams define issues and filter all tasks with the tag issues to see just those.
Make Issues a Separate Project
If you’d prefer to pull out the issues as a separate project, you can do that by keeping the imported template as its own project. Now you can view the issues distinct from the larger project, which makes it easier to track and resolve them. They can be viewed as a kanban board, with each task its own card, or in the Gantt or list view.
Assign Issues and Track Progress
Issues must be assigned to someone on the team who owns them, which means they’re tasked to resolve them. A priority level for each issue can be created, along with a deadline. Then, track their progress on the issue with our project dashboard, which collects data in real time. The dashboard also gives you the functionality to filter data to see only what you need.
Issues are problems, but that’s merely a quick and easy why to describe them. There’s much more about managing and tracking issues, and if you want to take a deep dive into the topic, then there’s no better place than the ProjectManager.com blog. To get you started, we’ve selected the top three articles and tutorial videos on the subject, which are listed below.
Now that you’ve downloaded your free Excel issue template, you’ve created one to use for your project and you’ve seen how these documents are critical pieces of project management, are you ready to take the next step? A standalone, static template is helpful, but it can be so much more useful, efficient and productive when part of a suite of project management software tools.
ProjectManager.com is a cloud-based, online software that offers project managers and their teams the tools they need to work together and get the project completed faster, better and cheaper. Not only does it have features to track issues, but there’s so much more. From planning, monitoring and reporting on the project, ProjectManager.com sees you through every phase in the project’s lifecycle.
Our award-winning software has been rated #1 by Gartner’s GetApp in its project management app category, which is collected by actual users of the software. Why not see for yourself what ProjectManager.com can do for you and your team by taking this free 30-day trial.