RAID Analysis

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.

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:

  • All industries
  • Existing and new businesses
  • All levels of an organization
  • Business processes
Tips for facilitating an effective RAID analysis

RAID analysis template

A RAID analysis template is structured as a 2 x 2 matrix, resulting in four quadrants highlighting Risks, Assumptions, Issues, and Dependencies.

Risks

Risks are events that will adversely affect the project if they eventuate. Evaluate their importance based on the likelihood they’ll occur, along with the impact on the project if they do.

Ask: What events might occur that will have a negative impact?

Actions: Implement risk mitigation strategies based on the criticality of each risk.

See also: Risk Assessment

Issues

Issues are events that have an adverse impact on the project. They are risks that have eventuated, and you must manage ASAP to keep the project on track.

Ask: What must we deal with to make the project run to plan?

Actions: Contain or remove the issue.

Assumptions

Assumptions are aspects of the project that you assume will be in place to help the project run but can’t be guaranteed. If they are proved wrong, there will be an impact on the project.

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.

Dependencies

Dependencies are activities which need to start or be completed so the project can progress and succeed. Dependencies may rely on internal or external events, suppliers, or partners.

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.

Scope

Give context and identify the scope of the RAID Analysis.

Brainstorm

Gather input and ideas for each of the four quadrants.

Collate

Clarify content, group similar ideas, and delete duplicates.

Prioritize

Rate the impact of each risk, assumption, issue or dependency on the project.

Action Plan

Create an action plan assigning responsibility for each issue to a group or individual.

Share

Report on the outcomes and monitor as part of your project management processes.

Cross Device Compatibility

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