RAID is an acronym that stands for Risks, Assumptions, Issues, and Dependencies, which are aspects of every project. A RAID Log tracks lists of these items, and is used by a project manager to minimise the chances of negative events. Each RAID item in the RAID Log has a status, severity, and actions for particular people involved in the project. RAID project management techniques originate from the classic “waterfall model” project management approach that started in the 20th Century.
Use a RAID Log to keep control of your project
Every project is different, and projects typically have lots of moving parts. Project Managers use RAID Logs to stay on top of all the moving parts, and to inform regular routine meetings that track each RAID item, its associated owner, and what the next steps are for that item.
Each RAID Log item is one of these:
- A Risk – A negative factor that might happen. If it does happen, it will have a negative effect on your project. Risks are often scored by Likelihood and Impact. e.g.
- There is a risk that the project sponsor will stop funding the project.
- There is a risk that people will not buy our product
- An Assumption – This is something that you believe will happen, and you need to keep track of it to check that it will happen. e.g.
- We assume that people will still be eating cereal in 2021.
- We assume that there will be enough finance to borrow £xm in 2022.
- ISSUES – These are problems that are definitely happening. Risks can become issues. e.g.
- Not enough budget to run phase 2 of our project.
- The expert kite maker is leaving the company.
- DEPENDENCIES – These are things or processes that your project is reliant on. e.g.
- Raw materials are being delivered into the manufacturing plant.
RAID Logs can be summarised on Dashboards
Regular RAID Log updates
Project managers typically use a RAID Log to track the RAID items each week with regular meetings. For many, this is their favourite tool to monitor and track the impact caused by project changes, and to manage the actions across the project team.
In complex projects and programmes of work this regular RAID Log activity is essential to ensure that items are not forgotten or neglected – it is used as a living document to visit in real time, as the risks, assumptions, issues and dependencies develop.
While you can use project management software to help with RAID management, it is often better to use a simple excel spreadsheet, so that the team can all access and read the document easily.
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