On a long project, project managers, sponsors and teams make a lot of decisions.  How do you keep track of everything you have agreed?  A decision log can help.

A decision log is simply a list of all the key decisions made on the project.  It includes:

  • A reference for the decision
  • Date decision made
  • What was agreed and why
  • Who agreed to it
  • Where you can find more information or supporting documentation (optional)

Project decision log example

Decision log

A decision log is better than keeping discussions on email or in another enterprise collaboration tool.  All the answers you need and the justification about why those decisions were taken are all in one place.  The decision log can solve many project disputes, especially when the team is working on a project that involves changes to strategy or approach or has a long duration.

Just because something is on the decision log does not mean it is written in stone.  When key members of the project team change or a new sponsor takes charge, you can review the decisions to date and check if they are all still relevant.  If not, reverse or amend the decision – but make sure you record why this was done and who authorised it.