Item tracking is an organized approach used by business
analysts to address stakeholder concerns.
Stakeholders may identify such item types as actions, assumptions, constraints, dependencies, defects, enhancements, and issues. When a stakeholder concern is first raised, it is assessed to determine if it is viable.
If viable, the concern is classified as a specific item type so that it can be better tracked and controlled by a process that works towards the item’s closure. During its life cycle, an item is assigned to one or more stakeholders who are responsible for its resolution. Item tracking tracks the item from the initial recording of the concern and its degree of impact to its agreed-upon closure. The item tracking record may be shared with stakeholders to ensure transparency and visibility into the status and progress of items in the record.
.1 Item Record Each recorded item may
contain all or any of the following attributes for item tracking. These
items may be recorded using various software applications or manually
catalogued for sharing between an agreed set of stakeholders.
• Item Identifier: a unique identifier that distinguishes one item from another.
• Summary: a brief description of the item. • Category: a grouping of items with similar properties.
• Type: the kind of item raised.
• Date Identified: the date the item was raised as a concern.
• Identified By: the person who initially raised the concern.
• Impact: the possible consequences if the item is not resolved by the resolution due date. Impact can be assessed in relation to the initiative’s time, cost, scope, or quality.
• Priority: the importance of this item to the impacted stakeholders.
• Resolution Date: the date by which the item must be resolved (or closed).
• Owner: the stakeholder assigned to manage the item to its closure.
• Resolver: the stakeholder assigned to resolve the
item. • Agreed Strategy: agreed-upon strategy for the item. Examples include
accept, pursue, ignore, mitigate, and avoid.
• Status: the current status of the item within its life cycle. Examples include open, assigned, resolved, and cancelled.
• Resolution Updates: a running log of details about how the item’s resolution is proceeding towards closure, as well as approval of its completion.
• Escalation Matrix: a level of escalation in case the item is not resolved by the given due date.
.2 Item Management Each item’s resolution is undertaken as prescribed by stakeholder needs and according to any organizational process standards. In some cases, one item may cause another item to be recorded and tracked. In these situations, close attention is needed so that item resolution efforts are not duplicated and are progressing in coordination. Each item must be tracked to its closure or resolution.
.3 Metrics All stakeholders benefit
from the detailed information that is maintained about any item and its
progress. These items can be looked at individually for resolution or even
used to define key performance indicators tailored to the item tracking
process. By reviewing this output, stakeholders can determine how well:
• items are being resolved by the proper resources,
• the initiative is progressing, and
• the item tracking process is being utilized.