Dashboards, Scorecards and Project Status (Oh My!)
“What’s the status on that project?” It’s a question we hear all too often. The stakeholders and sponsors of a project will want to know a project’s status almost immediately after it has been approved by management (sometimes, they need it before the project is approved). This status report might be called a “scorecard”, a “dashboard” or some other fancy name. No matter what it’s called, the project status report should show the audience a good picture of where the project currently is. There are as many different ways to show project status as there are project managers, but there are some guiding principles that should be followed in order to effectively communicate with the audience. There are also some basic metrics and graphs that the project manager can keep in their analytic toolbox and use on the report.
The status report is also an important communication vehicle that helps everyone learn what is needed for project success. Ideally, there will be a regularly scheduled meeting where the report is presented; this will foster communication between the project management and the project stakeholders. The project manager should engage the stakeholders and executives in that meeting and be ready to discuss actions needed to improve the project’s health.
The one-page report
The project manager
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"Chaos is a friend of mine."
- Bob Dylan