Issue Management Best Practices – Part 3 of 3

Plan ImplementationAs we conclude our discussion of best practices for issue management in part 3, you may want to review what we covered in parts 1 and 2 which are the building blocks that lead up to our critical final two best practices.

Links to previous related posts:


The magical benefits of issue management do not happen until something is put into practice. Some might consider implementation as a given, but for those of us who have been involved in an issue management process implementation we know there is too much deliberate thought and action to consider it a given. Many organization fall short of success when it comes to implementation. There are whole books devoted to the subject, but here are a few key points that contribute to a successful implementation of an issue management process or program.

Suggested guidelines implementation

  • Clearly define what you mean by “implemented”.  How will you know when you are done?
  • Assign clear accountabilities for implementation. Who specifically is responsible for what aspect of the implementation?
  • Gain buy-in from the people involved. Communicate clearly and repeatedly to all involved as to why your organization is implementing a formal or updated issue management process, what tools and procedures are involved, how will they will be affected, and what benefit will they derive from changes being made. In case you were wondering, keeping your job is not the type of benefit I am referring to here.
  • Schedule standing reviews to access the effectiveness of the implementation and make adjustments as appropriate.


For the organizations that successfully implement a system for issue management, there is still a final hurdle that represents a real chance of faltering. That hurdle is lack of enforcement. If the guidelines listed above have been followed during implementation, enforcement should be fairly simple and painless since there will be a good level of buy-in from the people involved, because they clearly understand why, and how they benefit from their issue management participation. Enforcement should be focused on use of the established issue management procedures and tools as defined in the tailored issue management process discussed in part 2. For enforcement to be effective, it should be focused on providing opportunities to learn as opposed to punitive consequences.

This concludes the list of best practices for issue management. If you have any questions or feedback, please leave your comments below.

For your convenience, here is a summary of the best practices for issue management covered in this series:

Summary of Issue Management Best Practices

  • You need a champion
  • Tailor your process to the lowest common denominator
  • Focus on Information Visibility
  • Appropriate Use of Technology
  • Implementation
  • Enforcement

“Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new.” -Albert Einstein

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