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Audience

Team members, project managers, issue managers, executives

Description

No project is perfect and you may need to track problems or issues that arise on tasks and projects. Some project teams may even want to add issues to a folder, not on a project or task. This training is for all team members, as anyone can report a problem, bug, defect or other issue.

Benefits

  • Understand when and why to use issues
  • Learn the different ways to configure issues

Key Points


Transcript

Managing issues is an integral part of the project management life cycle. As part of your project governance structure, you will be responsible for identifying, escalating and resolving issues that arise during the project.

Issues are managed generally with an issues log and open issues are recorded in project status reports and reviewing during project meetings. Without project and portfolio management software, issues may be managed via emails and excel spreadsheets. The challenge with that is that only the project manager has control and visibility on the information. As a result, information about issues can get lost in someone’s email box and issue status may be out of date. Also, it takes project managers extra time and effort to translate issue data into management reports.

The Project Insight issue management functionality enables anyone on your team to identify and record an issue and assign it to another team member. Alerts are automatically generated automatically to notify the project manager and other stakeholders of problems that might block progress on the project. Team members can update the status of issues in real time and collaborate on issues. All of that is tracked in one central, easy to access location.

For example, this dashboard is showing different information about the issues.

The Issues List show all the issues that are currently open and assigned to you. By looking at this list, you know what issues are your responsibility and that you must do something about.

Issues Managing are all the issues that you have created. You can see the status of these issues are, who they are currently assigned to, and follow up on them if necessary.

You can also view charts or graphs about issues on the dashboard. This is a graph showing you all the open issues by the number of weeks they have been open.

Hover on the Dashboard Options icon. Hover on Charts.

You can see the other pre-defined issues charts that you can put on the dashboard as well.

The definition of an issue can vary from organization to organization, however, it is generally an item that is in question or is in dispute or was something that was not part of the original project plan.

You want to document the issue details, decisions and outcomes in order to have a record of the problem or the action resulting from an issue, which may affect your scope, schedule or budget.

Issues are not the same as risks. Issues are something that have occurred while risks are something that may occur.

Issues are different from action items or to-dos. To-dos are part of the project plan and aren’t in contention. To-dos are a way to manage the more minute details of the activities in a task.

Set Up and Configuration of Issues

Before you start to create and manage issues in Project Insight, you need to set up and configure issues. This will ensure that you can manage the issues across the lifecycle specific to your business process and to help you get the reports that you need.

You must be a system administrator in order to configure issues.

Expand the left navigation.

Click the Administration section to expand it out.

Click on the arrow next to Issues to expand that section out.

Issue Types

Click on Issue Types.

This is where you categorize the different types of issues that occur on your projects.

This issue types will vary depending on the kind of projects that you do. This is an example of issues that may occur in an organization that does software development. The types of issues could be a bug in the software, a new feature request, a support item or an internal type of issue not related directly to a client.

Defining issue types are important for reporting purposes. You can create issue logs, charts or graphs by issue type.

It is recommended that your project managers, team members and other stakeholders provide input into the different issues types that you need as they will use the reports and other data that is entered.

For example, a very common issue on projects that can affect the schedule or budget is lack of available resources.

To enter that, click in the gray bar and type the name, Resource Availability.

Tab to the code. This is used typically for integrations with other types of software, so leave it blank for now.

Enter the Order number as 5.

Click the Save icon.

That will now appear as the fifth option in the list.

You can see that there is default value column. You can specify one item in the list as the default. In this case it is Bug, so if a large number of your issues are bugs, you can set that as the default and it will speed up your data entry as you can just leave it set as that the majority of the time.

There is an active column. Issue types must be set as active in order to appear in drop down lists. If your business processes change and you find you no longer need an issue type, but there are already issues created in the software with that type, you can just set it to inactive.

These columns are common across all the issue configuration lists.

Determine Priority Levels


Issue Priority Types

Next, click on Issue Priority Types.

This is where you set the priority of the issue. Some common examples are low, medium, high and urgent.

You may also just want to enter a number in here, such as 1, 2 and 3.

Priority types are also used for reporting purposes and to determine what order issues should be worked on. Should it be resolved immediately or can it wait?

Set up the priority types as they are applicable to your organization.

Issue Severity Types

Click on Issue Severity Type.

This is another way to identify an issue. Severity identifies how the issue impacts a project.

Some common severities are minor, major and critical.

Severity is different than priority because priority dictates the order in which the issue should be addressed while severity indicates how it affects the project.

For example, you may have the system fail when a certain menu item is selected, but that menu item is hidden several layers deep in menu options and is accessed rarely. In that case, the severity is high because it has a significant effect if it happens, however the priority is low because the chances of it happening are very remote.

Not all organizations will need both priority and severity types. In that case, you can turn them off or even rename them to represent a different type of categorization. Issue reporting is available on Issue Severity Types as with the other fields.

Issue Status Types

Click on Issue Status Types.

Status types are used to indicate the different phases of the lifecycle that your issues go through. They are used for reporting purposes and to manage the issue.

Some common examples are a new issue, an ‘in’ issue meaning that it’s in process, an issue that is being validated or one that is validated.

Consult with your team and stakeholders to determine what the status types should be used.

Resolution Types

The last configuration item is the resolution type.

Click on Issue Resolution Type.

You always want to know from a reporting perspective whether an issue was resolved or not.

In some cases, you may never resolve an issue. The reason depends on the nature of your business. In the case of software development, a bug may have been reported as an issue but it could never be replicated so that status is unresolved. In that case, you could expand out the resolution types to include a ‘cannot replicate resolution type.’

Another common resolution type is a duplicate. Sometimes duplicate issues get created and you may want to create a resolution type called Duplicate.

If an issue arose because it was something that was not part of the original project plan, then you may also want a resolution type to identify that. For example, your client has decided that they want to include a new feature that was not part of the original scope. The resolution to that type of Issue will be a change to the project schedule and budget.

To add that, click in the gray blank line.

Type Change Order.

Enter 3 for the order.

Click Save.

Again, this is available for reporting purposes and is part of the issue lifecycle.

Issue Options Video

You can see that there is a link at the top of all these forms called Short video about Issue Options.

You can click on that at any time to get a quick overview of the issues lookups.

Now that you have the Issue lookups populated with the data applicable to your business processes, the next thing you are going to see is how to access issues.

Click the Administration section to collapse it.

Accessing Issues

Click on My Insight to return to your dashboard.

You can have access your issues by having them on your dashboard.

Click on the arrow next to Issues to collapse that section.

Click on the arrow next to Issues Managing to collapse that as well.

If they are not already showing, hover on the Dashboard options icon and hover on Issues.

You will see the two different options that you can put on the dashboard, just click on either Issues List or Issues Managing it to add it to your dashboard, if it is not already there.

The other place where you will see open issues assigned to you is in the Work List.

Click on it to add it to your dashboard.

The Work List contains all your work including issues, tasks, approvals, to-dos and more.

My Work

You can also access your issues through the left navigation.

Click on My Work to expand it out.

Click on the arrow next to Issues to see all the issues that are assigned to you and that are open.

Now you have seen how to access your issues once they are created.

You are going to see how to create issues next.

Create Issues on Tasks and Projects

When you create an issue in Project Insight, it can be created for a specific task on a project or against the project itself or even placed outside a task or project into a folder.

Where you create issues will depend on your business process. Your system administrator can also set up Project Insight to determine where issues can be created.

To add an issue for a project, navigate to the project.

Click on Project in My Work to expand it out.

Click on the Software Development project.

Collapse the left navigation.

Hover on the Views menu and select Issues.

This shows you a list of all the open Issues for this project. This includes issues created both at the project level and on individual tasks of the project.

It is a good best practice to review this project open issues list before adding new ones, just to ensure that there is not a duplicate issue already reported.

To add a new issue, click on the Add Issue icon

Or right click anywhere in the white space or gray bar and select Add Issue.

The Issue Add/Edit form appears.

The first thing you need to enter is the name or a brief description of the issue. This is the only required data for an issue.

Type in Login screen has the wrong logo.

You can then enter the full description of the issue. Type in ‘the logo is green is should be blue.’

In this description, you can put in formatting.

You can upload images.

And you can insert links.

This makes is very useful to put all the details about the issue directly in the description. You can also do things like upload files and attach them to the issue once it is saved.

After the description is entered, scroll down to the columns of data below it.

This is where you start to see the issues configuration data that you populated earlier.

In the Priority, you can see that it is set to Low. That is the default priority that you set and if that is correct, just leave it as it is, but you can click on the drop down and change it if you require. Click High.

The type has defaulted to Bug. Leave that.

The Status Type is set to by default to New. Leave that.

Click on the drop down for Severity. Change it from the default of Minor to Major.

That is how you add an issue.

There is one data field that is not displaying on Add form and that is the Issue Resolution Type. You have to add the issue and do some actions for that issue before you can enter the resolution type, so that data field is not available on the add form.

You can see there is other data you can enter as well.

The first is the Project Affiliation.

This is set by default automatically because Project Insight knows that you are adding this issue from the project views menu option.

However, the Task Affiliation is blank.

It is okay to leave the Task Affiliation blank if the issue is related generally to the project and not to a specific task.

However, if you wanted to assign it to a specific task, one way to do that is to click on the drop down. All the tasks for the project will be displayed. Click on the applicable task to select it.

For now, leave the task affiliation blank.

There is other data here such as Resolution Project, Resolution Task which you will see more about in a moment.

The Found By and Found Date are populated automatically.

Assign issues to team members

Click in the drop down for Assigned To.

This is where you select the resource this issue will be assigned to.

In most cases, you will assign the issue to the project manager, but you can assign it to anyone.

Click on the name in the list or type in the first or last name of the resource to narrow the list and click on the one you want.

Once you save it, the issue will appear on his Work List and Issues lists.

Click on Steps to Reproduce.

If you wanted to add in additional information about the Issue, this is where you can do it. This is an optional field. You can use it to record conditions on how to reproduce the issue if you require.

Click Save.

The Issue is now displayed in the projects open issue list.

Adding an Issue to a Task

Another way to add an issue is directly from a task.

Click on Views to see the Task List.

Click on a Summary task to expand it out and see the details.

Click on the task you want to add the issue for.

The Task Detail form is displayed.

Hover on the add icon and select Issue.

Enter the name, such as Can't complete task. Assigned to other project.

Click on the drop down for Type and select Internal.

You can see that the Task Affiliation is filled in for you. That is because you added it from the Task Details form.

You can add an issue for a task from the task detail form or from the project form and select the task manually. Either way accomplishes the same thing.

Click on the Assigned to and select a resource.

Click Save.

Hover on Views and click Issues.

Issues created at the project level and task levels are all displayed.

Accept or Reject an Issue

When an Issue is assigned to you, that Issue will appear on your Work List and Issues list.

Click on My Insight.

Click on the Issue in your Work List.

When you first review the Issue, you are prompted to accept the assignment of the issue, reject or decline the assignment of the issue, or just leave it for now and decide later if you want to accept or decline it.

Click Accept.

You can see Assigned To was changed to your name and Accepted.

If you had not seen the issue or decided whether to accept or decline it yet, then it would say Pending.

Whoever assigned you the issue and whoever created the issue in the first place will receive a notification that you accepted the issue or declined the issue.

You will want to change the Status Type as this same time as well.

Click the Edit icon.

Click in the drop down for Status Type and select In Process.

Click the Save icon.

Working on an Issue

Now that you accepted the issue, you work on the issue.

You can capture comments and notes as you work.

Click the Add icon next to comments.

Type in a comment such as Discussing with Client.

Click the Save icon.

You may want to change the Status Type as this same time as well.

Click the Edit icon.

Click in the drop down for Status Type and select In Validation.

Click the Save icon.

You will update the Status Type accordingly, as the Issue moves through your business process.

Resolving an Issue

When there has been a resolution, you want to capture that.

Click on the Resolution History section to expand it.

Click the Plus sign icon to add the resolution.

You have to identify the type of Resolution.

The default is Resolved.

Click in the drop down for the Type. Choose Change Order.

Enter more details about the Resolution if necessary. This is optional.

Enter, Getting Signed by Customer.

Click the Save icon.

When an issue resolution is entered, notifications will be sent to the item assignee, the assignor, the creator of the issue and the project managers and schedulers.

Scroll down to the bottom of the form to see who the creator was.

These are system default notifications but your administrator can change them.

Project Insight also has change order functionality that you can use to manage changes.

Hover on Views and you can see there is a Change Order option.

Resolution Project and Task

If the issue was resolved through work done for a different task or even a different project, you can record that.

Click the Edit icon.

Click the Resolution Project drop down, and select a different Resolution project if necessary.

Click the Resolution Task drop down, and select a Resolution task if necessary.

For now, just leave them blank.

Click Cancel.

You may or may not use these fields depending on your business process, but they are available if you use them.

Create Task from an Issue

If the result of this issue is a change from the original project plan and the change was approved, you can also create a task automatically on the plan for this issue.

You must be a project manager or project scheduler on the project in order to do this.

On the task display screen, under the Task Affiliation, there is an option, Create Task.

Click on it.

The Task Add form appears.

You can add this new task to an existing summary task. Click in the Summary Task drop down and choose one if required.

If you just want it at the top level, leave this blank.

You can also set it as a summary task if you need to by checking that option.

The task name is populated automatically with the issue name and internally assigned issue number.

You can add to it, or change it if required.

Then you can enter the other task information, such as duration of 5 days and leave 40 for the work hours.

The Task Owner gets set to whomever the issue was assigned to. Again you can change it if required.

Enter the rest of the task information. Entering tasks is covered in detail in other training sessions.

Hover on Save and click Save & Display Task.

The Task Detail form shows with the new task information.

Click on Views to see the full Task List.

Scroll to the bottom. You can see the new task was created from that issue.

Close an Issue

Hover on the Views option and click Issues.

This issue is still listed. That is because even though a resolution was entered, it is not yet closed officially because the creator of the issue or an issue manager must review the resolution details and then close it.

Essentially, the creator or issue manager must sign off that the issue resolution was acceptable.

On the Issues log, you can see the State which is open.

That is different from the Status Type but is still part of managing the Issues life cycle.

There are two states: open and closed. You cannot change these states, they are built-in.

When an Issue is created, the State is set to Open automatically.

It stays set to Open while the Issue goes through the Status Types and also the assignment of a Resolution.

After a resolution is entered, the Issue creator or an Issue Manager is responsible for reviewing the resolution and if it is acceptable, closing the issue.

An issue cannot be closed until a resolution has been added.

To close an Issue, click on the Issue name.

The State is displayed in the upper right hand corner.

If you are the issue creator or an issue manager, then the State text will be clickable.

Click the Open text.

That changes it to Closed.

When an issue resolution is closed, notifications will be sent to the item assignee, the assignor, the creator of the issue and the project managers and schedulers. Again, these are system default notifications but your system administrator can change them.

Once it is closed, it will no longer appear on the assignees work list or issues lists.

The Closed By and Closed On fields are populated automatically.

You can also see in the Comments section, that the State was changed from open to closed.

Allow clients or team members to add issues in folders

You have seen how to add issues to projects and tasks. However, issues don’t have to be attached to projects. You can add an issue in a separate folder.

This is done commonly to enable clients to add issues themselves or sometimes even team member to add issues when you do not want them to have to navigate to the project or task itself.

The first step to doing this is to create a folder where the issues are stored.

Only system administrators can create folders at the root level.

Expand the left navigation.

Click on Administration to expand it out.

Click on Edit Folders Navigation.

Hover on the Add icon and select Folder.

Enter the name, such as Customer ABC Issues.

Click on Items Allowed.

This is where you specify what types of items are allowed to be added into the folder. Right now, all types of items can be added.

To change that, uncheck the option – Inherit the add menu options from parent items.

Click the X next to an item type to remove it.

Click Ok to the confirmation prompt.

You will want to continue doing this for all the items.

The other thing you could do is leave these different types of items, but put Issues at the top of the list.

To do that, click the Edit Icon next to Issues.

Change the Order number for Issues to 1.

Click the Save icon.

That way, only issues can be added into this folder.

The next thing you have to do is setup the correct permissions on this folder.

Click on Permissions.

You will also want to setup permissions so that only certain users can see this folder, including your customer users. Permissions are described in other training sessions.

Hover on Save and click Save and Display folder.

There is now a folder setup specifically for issues for that customer. You could create shortcuts or links to the folder to make it easier for the customer to access – this is covered in the Accessing Data Using Shortcuts and URLs.

Click on the Administration section to collapse it.

Click on the Folders section to expand it.

That folder is also listed here.

To add an Issue, hover on the Add icon.

You can see that’s it is the first item to be selected.

Click on Issue.

The Issue – Add form appears.

Enter the name such as Page not Refreshing.

You can see the Project Affiliation and Task Affiliation are blank.

Click Save

That is how you allow team members or customers to add issues into folders.

You could setup notifications on this folder so that account managers or project managers responsible for that customer will receive an alert that an issue has been created.

Report on All Issues

You have seen how to view open issues logs for individual projects. You can also report on all issues across all projects and even on those not assigned to specific projects.

Click on the Reports icon.

Click on Issue.

Click on Create Issue Report.

You can enter keywords to report only on those issues that have that keyword.

You can choose to only include open issues, closed issues or both.

Click on the Date Filtering Options section to expand that out.

You can filter the list of issues by the created date, last updated date, when it was closed or when the resolution date was.

Click on the Date Filtering Options section to collapse it.

Click on the Issue Type Filtering Options.

You can filter the issues by any of the categorization information you entered, status type, type, severity and priority.

Collapse that section.

Click on the User Filtering Options.

You can filter the issues by who it is assigned to currently or who created it.

Collapse that section.

Click on the Resolution Filtering Options.

You can filter the issues by the resolution type and who it was resolved by.

Collapse that section.

Click on the Found By Filtering Options.

You can also filter on details such as who it was found by and when.

Collapse that section.

Click on the Project Filtering Options.

And you can filter on the projects it belongs to, if any, and the companies the project is being done for.

Collapse that section.

Click on the Update Display.

You can now see an open issues log for all issues entered into the software.

You can also group the issues and report on them by project.

Click the Display Options icon.

Click the Group By / Sub Total Options to expand that out.

In the Column drop down, select Project Affiliation.

Click the Add icon.

Click the Update Display icon.

It is now grouped by project. Click on the arrow next to a project to expand that out.

If there were any issues not assigned to projects, they appear in the Uncategorized section.

Click on the arrow next to that to expand that out.

You can see that getting issues logs is very easy and they can be generated on demand-by who ever needs them, all without any extra effort required to analyze and translate the information into different formats.


Online 3/13/2015
Updated on: