What is a RAID analysis?
RAID analysis is a project planning technique for identifying key project Risks (R), Assumptions (A), Issues (I), and Dependencies (D). Project teams should complete an initial analysis at the beginning of the project and then monitor the issues via a RAID Log.
Each items can be rated based on its impact on the speed, profitability or outcomes of the project, allowing you to focus on what is most important.
RAID analysis focuses on four key areas:
- Risks – events that can have an adverse impact if they occur.
- Assumptions – things you assume are in place which contribute to the success of the project.
- Issues – current matters that need to be considered and addressed by the group.
- Dependencies – other projects or triggers that your project depends on, or are a beneficiary of your project outcomes.
Why do a RAID analysis?
A RAID analysis is a best practice for effective project management and is one of the easiest and most practical tools you can apply. Use it to:
- Perform a broad environmental scan during the initial planning phase
- Inform regular reviews and keep the project organized and on track
- Involve the whole team in identifying critical issues that may affect the project
- Collate all the relevant matters affecting the project in one place
- Proactively assess changing project conditions
- Focus project efforts and resources
- Assure stakeholders that the project is under control
- Engage with management when you need their input or support
Who can use RAID analysis?
RAID analysis is usually associated with project teams, especially in the IT industry. However, the technique is quite simple and versatile, and therefore useful for:
- Core teams or large project teams that are complex and involve multiple stakeholders
- Managers exploring current project portfolios to identify common RAID areas that can be addressed at a holistic level
- Business process specialists who are looking to manage risk and improve sustainability
- Consultant and facilitators looking to provide deep dives into projects or for strategic planning
RAID analysis template
A RAID analysis template lets you continuously record project risks, assumptions, issues and dependencies over a period of time in an organized way. The team can easily refer to it in project audits and update meetings. This helps keep the conversations flowing.
A RAID analysis template is structured as a 2 x 2 matrix, resulting in four quadrants highlighting Risks, Assumptions, Issues, and Dependencies.
Ask: What must we deal with to make the project run to plan?
Actions: Contain or remove the issue.
Ask: What exists, or do we presume to be true, that will help our project to succeed?
Actions: Reassess assumptions at regular intervals to ensure they are still valid.
Ask: Who or what are we dependent on and who depends on us?
Actions: Monitor and manage dependencies.
How to run a RAID analysis session
Ensure the group participating in the RAID analysis represents all aspects of the project. Take advantage of new tools and technology to include critical members located off site. Online brainstorming and collaboration tools like GroupMap are perfect for bringing together dispersed teams and ensuring you capture everyone’s ideas.
The time to run a RAID analysis will vary depending on each project. However, there’s no reason why you can’t identify and prioritize issues and develop an initial action plan in 45 minutes.
Give context and identify the scope of the RAID Analysis.
Gather input and ideas for each of the four quadrants.
Rate the Impact
Rate the impact of each risk, assumption, issue or dependency on the project.
Create an action plan assigning responsibility for each issue to a group or individual.
Report on the outcomes and monitor as part of your project management processes.
Define the scope of the RAID Analysis and clarify the objectives of the session. Present any data and information that will help give context. Examples might include:
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