There are many times over the course of a study that the PDT or the sponsor will need to make decisions relating to the project. Often these decisions can change the course of the project. The decision log is a way for the PDT to document the decisions made to reduce the chances of a dispute arising from unknown decisions. The decision log does not mean that a decision will never resurface over the course of a project. There are times that new risks or opportunities are introduced to a project and it causes the team to rethink previous decisions. The usefulness of the decision log allows the team to make sure that decisions are documented so that if they need to be revaluated, they are easy to identify.
At any meeting with the Vertical Team involved (IPR, milestone meeting, etc…) the PDT will draft/update a decision log during the meeting, documenting major decisions that needed VT input. The decision log will be posted on SharePoint or emailed out to the meeting participants and relevant VT members immediately. Any issues with the decision log should be raised by the VT within a couple days. This is in accordance with ER 1105-2-100, Appendix H. The MSC is responsible for the quality and completeness of the decision log as part of their Quality Assurance (QA) role.
PDTs are highly encouraged to post all IPR (and charette) products on a single study SharePoint site so the VT can track decisions and the progress of the living documents, including the decision log.
At a minimum, a decision log will include:
- A reference (identifier) for the decision.
- Date the decision was made.
- Description of what was agreed to and why.
- Who agreed to it.
- Where you can find information or supporting documentation.
The PDT / Vertical Team may agree on additional information on each decision based on the needs of the study.
Examples of Decision Logs:
- Decision Log template
IWR-APT (Assistance to Planning Teams)
IWR-APT is an online software tool to help project delivery teams (PDTs) create, edit, analyze and manage their study materials. Modules currently within APT include: Risk Register, Decision Management Plan (DMP), Decision Log, Study Issue Checklist, and SMART Planning Deliverable Workflow.