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When to escalate issues in project management?

When should the project manager escalate the issues to his manager? Is it when the issues are out of the project manager's control? Or is it when there is the slightest risk that these issues might adversely affect the course of the project?

Should the project manager refrain from escalating issues constantly to his management?
asked 9 years ago by anonymous

1 Answer

First let me say that the answer to your question is subjective (there is no objective answer to your question).

You should only escalate issues if both of the following is true:

- You cannot handle the issue yourself.
- The issue is threatening or has the potential to threaten the project.

Which means that you cannot escalate personal conflicts between you and team members (in fact, escalation of these conflicts will make you look bad in font of management), you cannot also escalate trivial issues that you don't want or don't have the time to address yourself (you can delegate these issues, however).

If you escalate issues constantly to your management, then you may be perceived as someone who's not autonomous and who just can't get things done. Additionally, if you don't escalate important and critical issues that you can't solve yourself, then you may be perceived as one of those project managers who try to hide facts and problems from management (which is not a good sign either).

Balance and using common sense in escalation is key. Also, you should follow the escalation plan when escalating (see: http://projectmanagementquestions.com/3689/how-do-you-create-an-escalation-plan )
answered 9 years ago by MaplePM (46,940 points)

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