RAID Log Template Excel : Free Download

Share:

What is a RAID Log?

A RAID Log is the 'bread and butter' of project managers and should be at the forefront of your mind if you are managing a project. RAID stands for risks, assumptions, issues, and dependencies.

RAID Log Template
RAID Log
  • Risks: uncertain events which may have an impact on the project, either positive (opportunity) or negative (threat).
  • Assumptions: beliefs that are accepted as true which, if proven invalid, will have an effect on the project.
  • Issues: risks that have materialized or any problems incurred which impacted the project.
  • Dependencies: links between projects, work packages or deliverable which, if delayed, will impact the project.

Benefits of using a RAID Log

  • Keeps your project organized and on track as all information is centralized, making it easier to monitor and control project status.
  • Makes the information easier to store and retrieve, as the different logs are combined into a single document (and is always a better option rather than keeping everything in your head!).
  • Gives confidence to key stakeholders that the project is being closely monitored, resulting from the visibility of information.
  • Brings focus, as it serve as an aide-memorie to give appropriate attention to each area, ensuring that areas that are typically overlooked, such as assumptions, are not forgotten.

  • Enables accountability for mitigating actions, which is where risks and issues usually fall through the cracks.
  • Creates a sense of ownership by inviting all members of the project team to contribute with the identification of new areas of concern.
  • Useful for auditing purposes (internal or external).
Project Assumptions Log
Project Assumptions Log

Best Practices on using and maintaining a RAID Log

  • The RAID Log is a living document, and should not be something that you use in the beginning of the project and then store away. It should be continually updated as changes occur or more information is gained.
  • Put the "RAID Log Update" as an item of your project meetings agenda and go through it with your team.
  • Make the RAID Log easily available in a central location so that it can be used collaboratively by all key stakeholders (unless there's something confidential or sensitive information on it, of course!).
  • Identifying risks and issues without also identifying actions to mitigate them, or making decisions to resolve them will not be of much use. Identifying actions is as important as identifying problems!
  • The project manager or the sponsor are usually accountable for removing obstacles to the project but that does not mean that they should be responsible for carrying out all the actions themselves. 
  • Distribute responsibilities among the team and designated matter experts - accountability and responsibility are two different concepts
  • remember that assumptions and dependencies are as important (and dangerous) as risks and issues.
  • Be ready to accept that your assumptions may be wrong. However, it's better to log a wrong assumption and actively test it and sorted it out than to believe that all your assumptions are correct and do not log them just to realize, usually too late, that you should have challenged them before
  • It's not just important to log the right risks, assumptions, issues and dependencies, you also need to log them at the right level of detail: too many and too much detail makes you loose sight of what real matters and is impractical to manage; to few and too little detail does not offer the granularity needed to assign responsibilities or assess progress. This is a difficult one but you need to strive for balance
  • Finally, remember that good project management is not about the absence of risks and issues (if you found a project that does not have any risks or issues, please share your secret!) but about how well you manage them. And that's where this RAID Log can help you.
Risk Log Template
Risk Log Template

Tips about the RAID Excel Template

  • Risks are a combination of probability and impact, which  will result in a certain score for the project and related level of appropriate tolerance and escalation. 
  • Each risk should be clearly described, identifying its potential effect on the project, who is accountable for the risk and what action will be employed to mitigate it. 

  • Risks should be part of the agenda of every team meeting.
  • To avoid the project getting into avoidable trouble, all assumptions should be recorded in the Assumptions Log, identifying their impact and, as importantly, how will it be tested if the assumption is actually valid or not.
  • While issue management is, by definition, a reactive endeavor, it is still important that issues are resolved as soon as possible in the project, by identifying the necessary action that could remove obstacles to the project's success. 
  • It is useful to record dependencies in a separate log to allow for a greater level of focus control. 
  • Dependencies identified should refer both to receiving products (inbound) and to dependencies towards other projects (outbound). 
  • Where appropriate, dependencies can also be added in project schedules (e.g. MS Project).

No comments