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Issues are like Herding Cats

BY: Tim Gryder

Practical use of Microsoft Project Server or Project Online 2013 for Issues Management and Collaboration


The Problem

If you’re a project manager running any project of scope, duration and complexity then you know that much of project management constantly deals with Murphy’s law…”What can go wrong will go wrong and at the worst possible time”. These events or “Issues” are often documented, assigned, and managed by the project manager in order to address the issue and keep the project moving. But how can we really drive issue resolution and ensure that nothing is falling thru the cracks?

A simple solution to keeping up with, and collaborating on Issues can be found in the Microsoft Project Server Platform

Take for example the image below…a simple project managed in Project Server (PWA-Project View), to build a storage building. As is typical, as tasks are being completed, I have now run into an issue related to the “Budget” task…More funds must be Secured!




The Solution

Use Project Server (or Project Online) to document; assign the issue to a task and person, against the task “Budget”. Here is how to assign an Issue to a Task!

Step One

Open the Projects view in PWA and select your project and then Select Issues from the Project tab for the Project.



Step Two

Select New Item and create your issue.


Step Three

Fill out the issues form to define due dates and assignments and dialog on the issue etc.

Then Save the Issue.



Step Four

Navigate back to your project site and select Tasks and then select your task “Budget” to open.

This is where we now associate the Issue we created above with the task from the project.



Step Five

Select “Show More” and then “Add Related Item”


Step Six

Select Issues from the left side of the assets available to add which will be underneath your project.

Take note that each project has its own list of objects that can be associated with a task…

I could also associate Deliverables and Risks etc…



Step Seven

Choose the Issue you created from the Issues List and then select Insert.




We now have a Task with an issue assigned to it. This can be seen in the task details view in PWA.


We are also now made aware at the Projects Portfolio View in PWA that this project has an unresolved Issue.


So now instead of collecting issues into a spreadsheet and hoping you have the latest issues and their status…You can manage these issues in an environment that is collaborative, real time and reportable.

If this doesn’t get your cats walking in a straight line then I don’t know what does!



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