Best Practice Indicators


In less than four decades, Issue Management has become established as a distinct business discipline, with proven capacity to add strategic value to organizations. During that time practitioners and academics around the world have explored ways to optimize the new discipline and to stretch the boundaries of where its strengths can best contribute to corporate and societal advancement.

The nine Best Practice Indicators formulated by the Issue Management Council capture leading edge performance by the best in class throughout the world. An organization would not necessarily require all the standards in place to be best in class and, as needs and emphases vary greatly between different fields of enterprise, the standards carry no weighting.

Recognizing that different organizations may interpret achievement of each Best Practice Indicator in different ways, Reference Points have been developed for each Indicator and are available as a benefit of IMC membership.

The standards crystallize the wisdom and experience of practitioners and academics and set out the goals for those who aspire to perform and contribute to Issue Management at the highest level.



1. There is an established mechanism to identify current and future issues through environmental scanning /issue analysis.
2. The organization has adopted a formal process to assign and manage issues.
3. Responsibility for stewardship of the issue management process is clearly assigned and mechanisms are in place to build organizational expertise in the discipline.


4. “Ownership” of each major issue is clearly assigned at an operational level with accountability and results linked to performance reviews.
5. Progress against key issues is formally reviewed with organizational “owners” on a regular basis and the status of each is monitored at the highest management level.
6. The Executive Committee or Board of Directors has fiduciary oversight of issue management; has mechanisms in place to report progress to Directors and/or external stakeholders; and has authority to intervene in the event of non-compliance or misalignment.


7. Formal channels exist for managers at all levels to identify and elevate potential issues for possible integration into broader strategic planning, including external stakeholder management.
8. Management of current and future issues is well embedded within the strategic planning and implementation processes of organizational clients or owners.
9. Issue Management is recognized and organizationally positioned as a core management function which is not confined to a single function or department.

Learn more about Issue Management Defined, Professional Standards, Issue Management Value, and Best Practice Indicators.

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