Your project is moving at a steady pace, but then a hiccup happens. What do you do? The first step is to document the problem in an issue log. Learn how using an issue log template can help your team create consistent issue logs across projects.Create your template
Running into hiccups during the project management process is never fun. However, documenting these issues can help you prevent them from happening again.
That’s where an issue log comes in. These logs can help you track—and resolve—problems as they occur. Learn how creating an issue log template can help your team quickly log and resolve problems throughout a project’s timeline.
An issue log template is an issue log outline that you can use to track problems or issues as they occur during a project. This tool helps you establish a process for how to document and keep track of problems during your project’s timeline. And, because it’s a template, you can reuse it for new projects later.
Issue logs are important for project management because they give you a central place to document problems—and solutions—as they occur. This becomes a valuable resource for future projects because your team has documented proof for how you resolve problems. If a future project manager comes across a similar issue, your issue log becomes the documentation to solve that exact problem.
An issue log (or issue register) is a document that project managers use to track all of the problems that negatively impact a project. As a project manager, you can use this tool to keep track of issues and document resolutions.
Issue log templates come in all shapes and sizes, and you can use them differently depending on your business’ unique operations. For example, a marketing agency might use an issue log template to track the problems that occur during a website migration project, while an IT team may use that same template in their day-to-day work to monitor technical issues.
Regardless of how you plan to use your issue log template, you should always include these five main components:
The name of the person who logged the issue
The date the issue was logged
A description of the issue
The issue’s priority
The severity or impact of the issue
You can get even more in-depth and include information such as:
The type of issue
The team member or project team responsible for solving the issue
The status of the issue’s solution
Resolution target date
Final resolution date
Using an issue log isn’t complex or challenging, but there are a few best practices to help you get the most out of your project issue log.
Make your log accessible to everyone. An easy way to make sure your issue log template is accessible to everyone on your team is to house it in a way that makes it easier to duplicate for future projects. Try using a digital project management software so team members can always access the issue log when needed.
Assign resolutions to specific team members. Assigning issues to a specific team member ensures that there’s a point of contact for the resolution. That person is then responsible for documenting the issue, identifying solutions, and documenting the results of their solution.
Color code priorities. By color coding issues, your team can quickly identify what issues are the most important with one a quick glance. The most common way to represent priorities is with stoplight colors: red, yellow, and green.
There are many different types of issue logs available, some in a spreadsheet format and others as printable PDFs. While these work fine for individual one-off projects that don’t require cross-functional collaboration, they aren’t ideal for complex projects or projects that involve multiple teams.
Using a digital collaborative issue log template allows your team to update information in real-time. By housing your issue log template in a collaborative software, your team can easily duplicate your issue log template for future projects, and standardize the way you use this template across the company.
Forms. When someone fills out a Form, it shows up as a new task within an Asana project. By intaking information via a Form, you can standardize the way work gets kicked off, gather the information you need, and ensure no work falls through the cracks. Instead of treating each request as an ad hoc process, create a standardized system and set of questions that everyone has to answer. Or, use branching logic to tailor questions based on a user’s previous answer. Ultimately, Forms help you reduce the time and effort it takes to manage incoming requests so your team can spend more time on the work that matters.
Automation. Automate manual work so your team spends less time on the busy work and more time on the tasks you hired them for. Rules in Asana function on a basis of triggers and actions—essentially “when X happens, do Y.” Use Rules to automatically assign work, adjust due dates, set custom fields, notify stakeholders, and more. From ad hoc automations to entire workflows, Rules gives your team time back for skilled and strategic work.
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.
Project status updates. Say goodbye to sorting between multiple tools to find project status information or sitting through another meeting that could have been an email. Project status updates in Asana aren’t just easier to use—they’re also directly connected to the work your team does. This makes it easy for team members to access additional project information, like your project plan, communication plan, project goals, milestones, deliverables, and more. Ultimately, project status reports reduce your manual work, centralize information, and keep everyone up to date.
Slack. Turn ideas, work requests, and action items from Slack into trackable tasks and comments in Asana. Go from quick questions and action items to tasks with assignees and due dates. Easily capture work so requests and to-dos don’t get lost in Slack.
GitHub. Automatically sync GitHub pull request status updates to Asana tasks. Track progress on pull requests and improve cross-functional collaboration between technical and non-technical teams, all from within Asana.
Zendesk. With Asana's Zendesk integration, users can quickly and easily create Asana tasks directly from Zendesk tickets. Add context, attach files, and link existing tasks to track work needed to close out the ticket. The integration also provides continuing visibility across both systems, so everyone is kept up to speed regardless of which tool they use.
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.
An issue log template can help you and your team save time during the entire project management process. By starting with a standardized template, you can immediately start logging problems as the project progresses. As the project moves forward, your team can adapt the issue log in a way that best fits that unique project.
An issue log template is most commonly used by project managers to help keep track of potential problems during a project’s lifecycle. These templates should be available cross-functionally so anyone on your team can access them. Project managers can duplicate the template and share it with their project team so everyone knows where they can log and track issues as they arise.
An issue log template helps project managers keep track of problems that occur during a project’s lifetime, measure the impact of the issues, and monitor who is responsible for each problem. Project managers can use an issue log template to ensure consistency across projects. Regardless of what project your team is working on, they’ll still know how to document issues, track status updates, and know who to contact should they have any questions about a specific issue.
Your issue log template should contain at least the name of the person who logged the issue, the date the issue was first documented, a short description of the issue, the priority and the severity the project has on project progress. You can also include the team member responsible for resolving the issue, the type of issue that needs to be resolved, the issue status, the target resolution date, and the final resolution date. Ideally, build your issue log template in a platform that your entire project team has access to so everyone can add issues as they crop up.
An issue log template is one of the best ways to ensure consistency through the project management process. By making your issue log process the same throughout every project, your team will know what to do should they come across a problem, regardless of what project they’re working on.
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See how Asana can help create a consistent issue log across multiple projects.