My company(1000 employees) is new to the PMO practices and we are trying to define a standard template for a weekly project status update across the enterprise.
I can use a hand with some suggestions on what will be a simple and efficient project status report and what worked or did not work for you in the past.
For weekly reporting on project status, we use a very simple, one-slide presentation that contains:
- Weather indicator (sunny / cloudy / stormy) for overall project health
- A three-sentence summary of project objectives
- A short written description of current status with trend indicator (horizontal arrow = on track, upwards arrow = catching up, downwards arrow = slipping)
- A small graph with planned / actual / revised of the mandays & budget, with calculated burn rate
- A timeline view with major milestones and tasks
- A table with a list of upcoming actions and decisions to be taken by whichever authority the weekly status is sent to
This is enough for our run-of-the-mill projects, but bear in mind the PM maturity level of my company is quite low.
Hope that helps.
HI Anna, great post and advice from Julien. I would add that if it is appropriate for your organization you might consider the bread and butter agile technique (and philosophy) of "Give it to the team." Even though you might have the perfect report template on hand or can no doubt develop it yourself, let the team do this. Whether the team is a handful of PMs or some other composition of folks that prepare and use the report, let them develop that which they will be using. Give it to the team... a great way to solve problems, get work done, and establish a high degree of participation and ongoing committment. Good luck..!
Anna, good luck with your PMO practices and templates. By way of suggestion, I would offer that you have a look at Processes On Demand (http://botinternational.com/benefits.htm). This is a rebrandable and tailorable set of PMO content that you set up on your own network (server or network file share) that includes streamlined and scalable PMO practices, templates, guidance, and self-learning resources that help you rapidly set up your PMO practices and guidance rather than painstakingly doing this yourself. We used Processes On Demand at my last PMO and it saved us considerable time and effort. I would highly recommend it..!
If you are talking formal. official reporting - then I'd look at whatever standard you are closest to (e.g. PRINCE, PMI etc) as there should be plenty of templates readily available out there.
If we're talking something less formal, and you're reporting across , projects rather than one report per project. I'd be tempted to go for a RAG status on key aspects e.g.
- overall project
- time (milestones)
- cost (or resource which is money and people)
- scope (are we doing everything we said we would)
and if you can, add risk/issue and quality as they become available. Then the RAG status guides you in to what you need to discuss *by exception* and you can have a short commentary against each which explains what is behind any amber or red and what is being done (and when) to get it back to green.