PM Earth

Identifying Issues in Project Management

08 July 2007

Project Management Issues

An issue is a concern or problem that is already recognized and needs to be addressed. It is essential to document the issue in an Issues List and track it. If an issue is not resolved, then failure to address it becomes a risk that could become a barrier to success for the PMO. The PMO Manager should review all prior documents, including the business case and its supporting documentation, to identify any project issues visible at this time. Then each issue should be assigned to a person for management and resolution. That person might be the PMO manager, the PMO sponsor, or, once the steering committee is created, a member of the steering committee.

Examples of common issues include:

  • "Two divisions within the organization already have different project management software tools. Each is happy with the product and is unlikely to agree to change. But the organization needs one standard project management software package."
  • "The information technology division is committed to developing its own project management system and is quite far along the path to maturity certification. They see the PMO as redundant and unnecessary to their division."
  • "The value of purchasing an integrated, web-based project management tool is clear, but several executives cited a past system which failed, and are concerned about the feasibility of training and implementation."

The PMO manager assembles the issues into an issues list.


In the charter, it is sufficient to name issues that are already recognized and assign each to a single person. The ongoing monitor and control of these issues will take place later in planning and execution phases of  the project management life cycle.


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