In praise of the Issue Log

Currently I am doing a data architecture for performance measures.  My client wants a few special tweaks, and my intuition has been making me worried:  are those features feasible in Business Intelligence software?

Worrying was not helping.  So I used a technique from previous complex IT projects:  the Issue Log.  My log focuses on design questions rather than software bugs, but it’s still a methodical approach to finding solutions.

It’s a simple spreadsheet with columns such as:  issue ID number, topic, detailed question, who to ask for an answer, priority, detailed answer, date answered.  Using filter and sort features, I can bring a list of appropriate unanswered questions to a meeting.

The act of writing down the issue immediately relieves my anxiety.  Writing down the issue also makes it clearer, to me and to the person who might have an answer.  Sometimes I can even answer the question myself after explaining it in writing!