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July 26, 2015

Decision Log Excel Template Download

Decision Log

Facilitating and making decisions is an everyday chore for a project manager. Maintaining a decision log or register allows a project manager to keep a trail of what decisions were made and who made the decisions. Decision Log  Excel Template is easy and simple to use.
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Decision Log, Decision Log Template

Reasons to Maintain a Decision Log Excel Template

  1. Accountability - people forget what they say, so it is important to document the decisions and make people accountable.
  2. Trail - the decision log captures all the information required for anyone to understand at a later point in time why a certain decision was made, who made it, and who approved it.
  3. Governance - The decision log enforces that every decision is approved. Getting approval means that the decision made could be challenged or validated. Also, all the information regarding the decisions made will be stored in a single location.
  4. Transparency - The decision log or register is a general document that should be accessible to everyone. Everyone in the project team can look at how the decision was made and who made it.
  5. Informed decision making - Last and most important, any decision-maker needs to know what are the impacts of their decisions on the project. The decision register gives all the information - details, impacts, who requested it, and when and possible actions.

Few Tips when Maintaining a Decision Log Excel Template

  1. Always try your level best to capture all the fields in the decision log. 
  2. For the decision log to be effective, the most important factor is that everyone in the team should be aware of the current decision log. If the team is not aware, then maintaining a decision log is of no use.
  3. Use every opportunity to review the decision log with the project team, sponsors, senior management, stakeholders, and business SMEs. 
  4. Include a review of any changes to decision log into weekly project status reports, monthly project status reports, project team meetings, and technical decisions.
  5. Not every decision needs to be included in the decision log. A project manager will need to make a decision as to what goes onto the decision log. Generally, anything that affects cost, schedule, or scope has to be on the decision log.
  6. There is a config tab where you can define decision statuses and approves list. You can add up to 10 for both. To add more than 10 statues or approver, you will have to change the data validation.
Decision Log, Decision Log Template
Decision Log Template

Using the Decision Log

The Decision Log Excel Template is simple to use. When a request is made for a decision, the Project Manager should capture the details, impact proposed by, and proposed a date. The project manager then needs to determine if the decision needs to go on the log. If yes, then who will approve it. The project manager can then table the decision to the required person or team by sending the details to that person.

The decision log excel template has the following fields - 
  • SL No - A incremental counter for the decisions.
  • Decision Details - Details regarding what decision needs to be made.
  • Impact - Impact of the decision. Briefly explain what will the impact of the decision on the project,
  • Proposed on and Proposed By - The person or team who suggested that this decision is made.
  • Status - Approved, Pending, Declined. Abandoned can be used when the decision is not required anymore.
  • Approved by and Date - The person or entity who approved the decision. By default, I have set Project Manager, Manager, and Project Control.
  • Resulting Action/Comments - Any decision taken will have a resulting action. This column should have the details about the action item. It can refer to the action log.
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