How to Find and Manage Issues in Microsoft Project

Microsoft Project is a powerful tool for managing complex projects. However, as with any project management tool, issues can arise. These issues can range from minor hiccups to major roadblocks that threaten the success of your project. In this article, we’ll explore how to find and manage issues in Microsoft Project so you can keep your project on track.

Identifying Issues in Microsoft Project

Before you can manage issues in Microsoft Project, you need to be able to identify them. Here are some common signs that there may be an issue with your project:

  • Tasks are taking longer than expected.
  • Milestones are being missed.
  • Resources are being overallocated.
  • Budgets are being exceeded.
  • Risks are becoming more probable or severe.

If you notice any of these signs, it’s time to investigate further to determine if there is an issue that needs to be addressed.

Using Views to Identify Issues

One of the most effective ways to identify issues in Microsoft Project is to use views. Views allow you to see your project data in different ways so you can get a better understanding of what’s happening. Here are some views that can be helpful for identifying issues:

View Name Description
Gantt Chart Shows the timeline of tasks and their dependencies. Can help identify tasks that are falling behind schedule.
Resource Usage Shows how resources are allocated across tasks. Can help identify overallocated resources.
Task Usage Shows how tasks are scheduled over time. Can help identify tasks that are taking longer than expected.
Calendar Shows working and non-working days. Can help identify scheduling conflicts.

Creating Custom Reports to Identify Issues

Another way to identify issues in Microsoft Project is by creating custom reports. Custom reports allow you to focus on specific aspects of your project and can help you identify issues that may not be immediately obvious. Here are some examples of custom reports that can be helpful for identifying issues:

  • Task Completion Status Report: Shows the completion status of each task. Can help identify tasks that are falling behind schedule.
  • Resource Workload Report: Shows how much work each resource has been assigned. Can help identify overallocated resources.
  • Cost Overrun Report: Shows whether your project is over or under budget. Can help identify budget issues.

Managing Issues in Microsoft Project

Once you’ve identified an issue in Microsoft Project, the next step is to manage it. Here are some tips for managing issues effectively:

Prioritizing Issues

Not all issues are created equal. Some issues may have a greater impact on your project than others. It’s important to prioritize issues based on their potential impact so you can address the most critical issues first.

“If everything is a priority, then nothing is a priority.” - Anonymous

Creating an Issue Log

An issue log is a document that tracks all the issues that have been identified in your project. It should include a description of the issue, its impact, and any actions taken to resolve it. Creating an issue log allows you to keep track of all the issues in one place and ensures that nothing falls through the cracks.

Assigning Responsibility

When an issue is identified, it’s important to assign responsibility for resolving it. This ensures that everyone knows who is responsible for taking action and helps prevent confusion or duplicate efforts.

Taking Action

Once responsibility has been assigned, it’s time to take action. This may involve reassigning tasks, adjusting schedules, or reallocating resources. It’s important to communicate any changes to the team and stakeholders so everyone is aware of what’s happening.

“Action is the foundational key to all success.” - Pablo Picasso


Identifying and managing issues is a critical part of project management. By using views and custom reports to identify issues and prioritizing, creating an issue log, assigning responsibility, and taking action to manage them, you can keep your project on track and ensure its success.