RAG Status is the name given to a simple colour coding of the status of an action or step in a process.
It simply uses the Red, Amber and Green indicators of a traffic light to visually highlight its status.
Sometimes the three colours are not enough and often blue is added when project steps are implemented and live in production.
This tends to happen when a project team is no longer managing an item and it has moved into 'Business As Usual'.
The colours are used to flag:
R Red A problem needs serious attention and action now
A Amber Not complete, in progress, a risk but not an issue yet
G Green On track, in progress and complete to plan, no issues
B Blue Completed, finished and handed over to another responsibility
Some meetings and forums will only discuss 'Red' items to make the best use of resources and time.
Some will discuss 'Red' and 'Amber' to ensure processes are on track and nothing is brewing up that may go Red.
This is usually done alongside a list of Risks and Issues.
Issues are items that are 'Red' and need urgent, important action now.
Risks are exactly that. They are part and parcel of all change and need management. Items may show Amber but are risks under management and are not a concern.
Some organisations use 'Red' in many reporting processes and 'Red' items can raise major concerns and escalations.
Be sure how you want the RAG process to be interpreted and ensure that it is used consistently in order to be most effective.
Use this simple colour coding throughout your action planning and status reviews to help speed up progress reviews and focus discussion on priority issues.
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