Think about the last time you took part in a project. Did everything go as planned? More likely than not, the answer is a definite “no.” From stretched resources and missed deadlines to scope creep, all projects face risks and roadblocks—even with perfect planning.
That might sound stressful, but it doesn’t have to be. By implementing risk management strategies, you can help ensure your team is ready for any project risks that might come up.
Enter RAID log templates.
A RAID log is a tool used to organize and mitigate project risks by documenting any potential risks that could occur at the start of a project, and then tracking issues that pop up after kicking off the project.
RAID is an acronym that stands for risks, assumptions, issues, and dependencies. Depending on how your team sets up the RAID log, it might also refer to risks, actions, issues, and decisions.
To learn more about what RAID logs track—and why they're helpful—check out our article: Everything you need to know about creating a RAID log.
If all of that sounds overwhelming, don’t worry. A RAID log template can streamline your RAID analysis and log creation, so you can focus on tracking—and curbing—project risks.
A RAID log template is a reusable and duplicatable version of a RAID log that helps you quickly track all the risks and issues your project faces.
Using a RAID log template is easy—at the start of every new project, simply copy the template and use it as a baseline to document the project’s RAID elements. That way, you don’t have to worry about leaving out key information. What’s more, RAID log templates standardize the RAID analysis and RAID logging process, so you can be confident every person on your team is tracking project risks the same way.
There are a lot of moving parts when it comes to organizing, monitoring, and mitigating project risks. From identifying potential threats at the start of a project to closely monitoring project progress in order to see where issues arise—and address them—project risk management can be a hefty task. That’s why you need a tool that lets you track risks and coordinate actions in real-time, in one place.
By creating your RAID log template in a project management tool, you can easily coordinate with your team on project risks and mitigation actions. Plus, since your digital RAID log template lives where work happens, it’s easy to check and update daily, so you always know where your project stands.
With a digital RAID log template, you can:
Quickly document any issues that occur as your project progresses and track risk mitigation actions in one central location.
Alert team members of critical issues and solve them in real time.
Assign action items to owners, so your team is clear on expectations and responsibilities.
Quickly see the potential adverse impact of a risk, assumption, issue, or dependency and make decisions accordingly.
Easily communicate key project information with project stakeholders.
Your RAID log template is your single source of truth for any risks, assumptions (or actions), issues, and dependencies (or decisions) your project faces.
To start building out your RAID log template, separate the template into two sections: one for risks, assumptions, and dependencies identified during the project planning phase, and one for issues, actions, dependencies, and decisions identified and made after the project kick-off. Then, build out the template with all the details you need to successfully track and monitor project risks, including:
The RAID category (risk, assumption/action, issue, or dependency/decision)
A description of the RAID element (such as a description of the project risk)
The potential impact of the RAID element on the project
The RAID element status
Any next steps or risk mitigation actions
The task owner and deadline, if applicable
Custom fields. Custom fields are the best way to tag, sort, and filter work. Create unique custom fields for any information you need to track—from priority and status to email or phone number. Use custom fields to sort and schedule your to-dos so you know what to work on first. Plus, share custom fields across tasks and projects to ensure consistency across your organization.
List View. List View is a grid-style view that makes it easy to see all of your project’s information at a glance. Like a to-do list or a spreadsheet, List View displays all of your tasks at once so you can not only see task titles and due dates, but also view any relevant custom fields like Priority, Status, or more. Unlock effortless collaboration by giving your entire team visibility into who’s doing what by when.
Dependencies. Mark a task as waiting on another task with task dependencies. Know when your work is blocking someone else’s work, so you can prioritize accordingly. Teams with collaborative workflows can easily see what tasks they’re waiting on from others, and know when to get started on their portion of work. When the first task is completed, the assignee will be notified that they can get started on their dependent task. Or, if the task your work is dependent on is rescheduled, Asana will notify you—letting you know if you need to adjust your dependent due date as well.
Adding tasks to multiple projects. The nature of work is cross-functional. Teams need to be able to work effectively across departments. But if each department has their own filing system, work gets stalled and siloed. Asana makes it easy to track and manage tasks across multiple projects. This doesn't just reduce duplicative work and increase cross-team visibility. It also helps your team see tasks in context, view who’s working on what, and keep your team and tasks connected.
Microsoft Teams. With the Microsoft Teams + Asana integration, you can search for and share the information you need without leaving Teams. Easily connect your Teams conversations to actionable items in Asana. Plus, create, assign, and view tasks during a Teams Meeting without needing to switch to your browser.
Salesforce. Remove bottlenecks by enabling sales, customer success, and service teams to communicate directly with their support teams in Asana. Share attachments and create actionable, trackable tasks for pre-sales needs. With Service Cloud, connect your implementation and service teams with supporting teams in Asana to deliver amazing customer experiences.
Google Workplace. Attach files directly to tasks in Asana with the Google Workplace file chooser, which is built into the Asana task pane. Easily attach any My Drive file with just a few clicks.
Jira. Create interactive, connected workflows between technical and business teams to increase visibility around the product development process in real-time—all without leaving Asana. Streamline project collaboration and hand offs. Quickly create Jira issues from within Asana so that work passes seamlessly between business and technical teams at the right time.
Once you’ve created your RAID log template, using it is easy. Just follow these five simple steps:
Make a copy of your RAID log template at the beginning of every new project.
Discuss initial risks, assumptions, and dependencies during the project planning phase and log them.
Update your RAID log with new issues that occur as the project progresses. Track any mitigation actions your team needs to take.
Collaborate with team members in your digital RAID log template, assigning due dates and task owners as needed.
Use your RAID log template as a jumping-off point for your project post-mortem once you’ve completed your project.
RAID log templates are useful for anyone involved in a project, from the project manager and project stakeholders to individual contributors. Initially, invite your main project team to participate in the project’s RAID analysis—this will ensure you’re sourcing diverse opinions and perspectives when identifying potential project risks. Then, use the RAID log template as a living document to keep your team in the loop on project issues and coordinate risk mitigation actions. You can also share your RAID log template with project stakeholders and project sponsors to keep them updated as the project progresses.
You should create your RAID log template during the project planning phase, before you’ve officially kicked off the project. To effectively identify project risks, conduct a RAID analysis—a meeting scheduled during the beginning of a project to identify any potential project risks. Then, monitor the pre-identified risks (and any others that pop up) via your RAID log as the project progresses.
RAID is an acronym; depending on how your team sets up their RAID log, it might refer to risks, assumptions, issues, and dependencies or risks actions, issues and decisions.
A RAID log template is similar to—but more comprehensive than—a risk register. Since the main goal of a risk register is proactively identifying and mitigating project risks, you can think of a risk register as the “R” in your RAID log template. RAID log templates take risk tracking further than risk registers by also identifying the assumptions/actions, issues, and dependencies/decisions of any given project. If your team uses a risk register, you can add the risks identified in the risk register to the “risk” section of your project’s RAID log template and then build out the log from there.
RAID log templates do more than streamline your project risk management and mitigation—they can also help you improve projects going forward. Once you’ve completed your project, use your RAID log template as a starting point during your post-mortem meeting when discussing what went well and what you could have done better, like what project issues came up that you should have proactively planned for.
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See how a RAID log template can help you proactively identify and mitigate project risks.