May 22, 2024

“Cons” of using a RAID log

We recently came across an article from a major project management software provider that listed some “cons” of using a RAID log. Our first reaction was, “WHAT?” That’s like criticizing a car for having seatbelts and airbags. It’s baffling, almost as if it was written by the luckiest project manager who has never faced issues from not managing RAID, or by someone who isn’t a project manager at all and doesn’t understand its importance.

If you’re new to RAID logs, no worries. You can read most of our CEO’s book, “The Ultimate Guide to RAID Logs,” on our website for free. In short, RAID logs are essential tools for project managers. They aren’t the plan itself but help keep your plan on track and allow for course corrections when needed.

Now, let’s break down some of these supposed “cons” of using a RAID log.


“RAID Logs are supplemental.” 

RAID Logs Are Essential, Not Just Supplemental

The article states that “your RAID should not be the only source of truth,” and this is absolutely correct. Your schedule should be the source of truth about timelines, your scope document for project boundaries, and your budget should be authoritative for financial tracking.

However, when it comes to the risks affecting your scope, schedule, and budget, as well as the issues impacting these areas and the decisions made about them, these elements are just as critical to track as the scope, schedule, and budget themselves. Labeling them “supplemental” implies they aren’t crucial, but study after study shows that projects will encounter challenges. Ignoring risks and issues is a disservice to your team, stakeholders, and organization. These elements are far from “supplemental.”

RAIDLOG’s integration capabilities make it easy to combine critical RAID data with schedule and budget information from your preferred project planning tools, providing a comprehensive project management solution.



“RAID logs have to be updated regularly.” 

Well, of course. That’s called Project Management. If you aren’t regularly monitoring the Risks and Issues in your project, and aren’t acting on Decisions made, what are you doing? Keeping tabs on your projects is a key responsibility of a project leader.

According to the 2022 CHAOS report by the Standish Group, the main cause of project failure is Decision Latency. This happens when we ignore Threats, Opportunities, or Issues in our project, delay Decisions on how to respond, and fail to Act on those decisions.

Luckily, regularly updating your RAIDLOG helps you stay on top of all these areas. With our “All UP” grids, it’s easy to keep an eye on the factors that could derail your project.



“RAID logs can become cluttered.” 

The article complains that logging many Decisions makes your RAID log “cluttered and finding information can become challenging.”

Uh, filters? Use find?

Even basic spreadsheets can filter data and use a find function. Not recording essential data because it’s a lot seems absurd. When an executive demands to know how a key decision was made six months ago, you’ll be grateful you recorded everything in your RAID log.

Think about it: neglecting to document critical Decisions because there’s a lot of information is like driving without a seatbelt because it’s uncomfortable. You wouldn’t do it. The same applies to managing project data. It’s essential.

With RAIDLOG’s easy search features, “roll-up” aggregations, and the ability to sort & filter by column, you can quickly sift through thousands of records to find exactly what you need, when you need it. Our system ensures you never lose track of vital project details, making your job easier and your projects more successful.




We’re extremely passionate about RAID logs. Our enthusiasm comes from decades of managing projects, PMOs, and portfolios, and experiencing firsthand the chaos when a RAID log isn’t used. While RAID logs aren’t a magic fix for all problems, they are an essential tool in the project management toolkit.

Sure, managing a RAID log adds a bit more work. But it’s nothing compared to the immense workload and problems you’ll face when your project runs into trouble without one. A RAID log can mean the difference between navigating through challenges smoothly and your project hitting the rocks. Don’t underestimate its power—it’s a small effort for a significant payoff.


Together, we can run or rescue any project