Issues Identification & Prioritization


“An issue is essentially a risk that has happened.” (Spacey, 2016) Failure to manage issues at the right time can affect the outcome and success of a project or initiative. “Addressing issues has never been more important to the success of an organization than it is today. To head off crises, conflicts and take advantage of emerging business opportunities, you need an effective process of addressing issues.” (Laufer, 2006)

Issue Identification and Prioritization addresses the issues an initiative is facing, and prepares the organization to manage them before they adversely affect the outcomes.

The process consists of 3 simple steps:

  1. Identify and categorize the issues the initiative is currently facing.
  2. Rate each issue based on its impact to the initiative, and urgency level. 
  3. Discuss rationale/insights, identify ownership of the issues and set the status.


This model can be used by project managers, risk managers, department directors, and managers.


Resolving issues is critical to the success of an initiative as stakeholder confidence in the outcomes and goals of the initiative are increased. “Unresolved issues can be a source of conflict that delays or prevents a team from attaining goals, milestones, and deliverables.” (CDC, 2009)


1)  NOODLE & TAG: Identify the issues that your initiative is currently facing and categorize them. 

Issues Tags.png

2)  COMBINE to eliminate duplicate and similar issues and move forward with only unique issues.

3)  MULTI-CRITERIA RATE each issue based on Impact and Urgency. In the comments section, provide rationale for why each issue was rated the way it was.


5) SHARE AND DISCUSS RESULTS: Display the graph of results to view alignment. 

6) NEXT ACTIONS: Assign owners to each issue and use the status tag for progress updates and attach any supporting documents to each tile.


  • List of issues that need to be resolved
  • List of issues that can be revisited during each Issue Identification cycle.
  • Deep conversation around the most important issues
  • Clear ownership for resolution of each issue


This exercise will enable:

Quality  Gain critical insight into your initiative’s issues, so they can quickly be resolved to maximize outcomes and goals.

Efficiency – Make the best of your stakeholders' time by quickly and efficiently generating issues and supporting insights and prioritizing those that need immediate resolution.

Engagement – Quickly engage a wide range of stakeholders, to bring more of the right people into the issue identification and prioritization process. Conversation analytics ignite rich discussion and provide a platform for candid and thoughtful analysis.

Agility  Develop a shared understanding of your initiative’s key issues, and assign ownership for their resolution, so you can effectively respond to urgent situations. 


CDC. (2009). Issue Management.

Laufer, D. G. (2006). A Practical Process Guide to Issues Management.

Spacey, J. (2016, August 18). Risk vs Issue.


RiskFaizan ShoaibRisk, pn7, BA, BA6