Introduction to Decision Log
A decision log is key to ensuring that smaller project decisions are A) not lost or forgotten, and B) communicated to others.
It’s different from a change control process which tracks larger, structural changes in scope, time, or budget – which needs business level sign off. A decision is much smaller, does not need sign off, and often has no financial implications. An example would be a decision to use a certain process over another. This wouldn’t need a change control form but is an important decision that the project team must be aware of.
Without a decision log, you’ll struggle to keep abreast of all these smaller, individual decisions in your project. Eventually, the inevitable argument will arise. The one where a member of the project team was not informed of the decision. And in turn, has either A) strong opinions on the decision itself. Or B) completed their work based on the assumption that no new decision had been made.
To stop this from happening, you need to record and track all decisions made in the project. You’ll need to share this with the project team as often as possible.
Not every decision would be appropriate to include in the decision log. So a level of common sense and practicality must be deployed. It would be beneficial for the project lead to clarify the criteria for inclusion into the decision log when setting one up.
Points of Interest
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2) Formatting – Be sure to format the document to your brand colours and replace the freepmotemplates.com logo with your own on all sheets.
3) ‘Project’ Column – If you’re working on one specific project then remove this column. Or you can change it to read ‘area’ or ‘project stage’ etc.
4) People / Groups that must be informed of decision column – It’s important that everyone who should be is informed of the decision. This column should include a list of all relevant people who need to know about the decision.
You should assign a member of the project team to review the decisions. This person should also remind others to share their information with the relevant people.
The project leader should also clarify the criteria of decisions that should be included in this log. Clearly, not all decisions need to go on this log.
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