How to Manage Project Risk and Issue


This article will briefly explain the following steps:

  • What is the difference between risk and issue

  • What is a project risk?

  • What is a project issues

?- How to manage a project risk and issue

Things You'll Need

  • Spread sheet
  • Patience

Understand the difference between a project Risk and Issue: in my definition, risk is an issue that might happen in the future; a risk needs to be mitigated, have a plan to deal with the risk prior to it becoming an issue. An issue is a problem that is causing a project problem now. An issue needs an action plan to be resolved.

Understand a project Risk is a future project issue. Risks have mitigation plans that need to be written and explained to the team members to ensure that if a risk becomes an issue then an action plan is on hand to resolve the issue.

Understand a project issue; A project issue is a problem that needs immediate attention as it stops or slows the progress of a project. This issue can be anything within the project: timeline delay, financial, resource, etc. The objective is to identify, find a solution, track and close out issues quickly so that your project is moving forward and not harmed by issues.

Now that we understand the difference and definition for both a risk and an issue, now we can manage them. A project risk is managed via tracking the potential risk and describing a mitigation plan. I track this using a spread sheet with the following columns: risk name, risk type (timeline, finance, resource, etc.) and mitigation tasks. If your mitigation plan does not work then your risk turns into an issue.

Using the same spread sheet I track issues on a separate tab; tracking issues are a little more detailed I recommend tracking the following: issue name, type (financial, timeline, resource, etc.) date found, did it come from a risk, detailed task to resolve the issue and date resolved. Other project managers gather further information such as; who found the issue, who resolved the issue, accountable and responsible information. These details will depend on the size and needs of your team.

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