• Development

How to use a RAID log to help you Plan a Project

Written by Alex Curtis

What is a RAAIDD Log?

If a software build has gone perfectly then you’ve missed something.

Every project has issues during a software development lifecycle, and managing them in real-time can be a challenging task. 

Risks, on the other hand, are issues that have not yet occurred and require attention as well; tracking these alongside your activity can lower the probability that they’ll present issues.

If you’re employing a risk management software, much of the task can be optimised – but if not, a manual tracker is often just as useful and effective in setting up any large project.

RAAIDD is an acronym for:

  1. Risk: Any event with a level of uncertainty. If any of these materialise, they may impact the project outcome. They should be identified throughout the project life cycle whether they are positive or negative risks. A mitigation plan should be put in for all risks – especially those of high impact or likelihood.
  2. Action: Actions what you do to mitigate a risk or resolve an issue. Actions are assigned to the relevant team members and logged as the owners for accountability.
  3. Assumptions: Assumptions are the factors assumed to be true in the project. A lot of the planning is based on assumptions through past experiences and estimation techniques. These must be validated to avoid miscalculation.
  4. Issues: Issues are past or existing events. In some cases, these can be as the result of risks being realised, but they are usually problems that are known to exist, with a mitigation plan to resolve them. Some can be as technical as bugfixes, and some can be people-focused – e.g. stakeholder availability. 
  5. Dependencies: These are the tasks or events, which are dependent on the result of another task/event. When an activity directly impacts another, dependencies can lead to a number of issues.
  6. Decisions: Decisions are important to be logged as part of a ‘lessons learnt’ activity and prove useful for auditing purposes when dealing with software containing sensitive information. 
woman planning project on work board

Benefits, Best practices & Maintenance

Benefits:

  • Allows organisation on finalising decisions made for predicted risks.
  • Allows managers to gain more control and oversight for the long run of the project.
  • Provides confidence to stakeholders that the project is being closely monitored.
  • Enables accountability for mitigated actions.
  • Useful for auditing purposes.

 

Best Practices

  • Continuously update the document throughout the project life-cycle and make it part of key meeting agendas.
  • Accountability and responsibilities of varying items should be distributed to the relevant owners instead of the project manager.
  • Consider that Assumptions and Dependencies are just as dangerous as Risks and Issues.
  • RAAIDD logs should be placed in a central repository and accessible to all key stakeholders to be used collaboratively.

 

excel row displaying raid log table

How to Maintain a RAAIDD Log

Maintaining the log is a fairly straightforward process; a simple excel sheet is all you need to get started. (see raid log template above)

Start by creating document control sheet outlining the following:

  • Title of the project
  • Date
  • Owner/Author
  • Version
  • Revision Date
  • Scope
  • References

 

The second sheet consists of the RAAIDD log table consisting of the following columns: 

  • ID
  • Date Identified
  • Identified by
  • Owner
  • RAAIDD Type
  • Description
  • Impact score
  • Severity
  • Next steps
  • Status
  • Comments

 

That’s it! You can now get started on your next project using this template outline. Start populating the table and continuously monitor the status of each line item throughout the project. Consider storing your file in an accessible drive or central repository and your stakeholders will appreciate the transparency. If you want further your skillset, review Prince2 raid log chapters.