Categories: PMO Tips
|Report (noun) / an account of a particular matter.|
Top 10 Tips for Project Status Reports
Here are 10 tips to keep in mind for Project Status Reports. As always, I hope we hear and learn from others.
Tip #1: Keep it short. Keep your project status report to just one page. This is more than a tip. This is a rule.
Tip #2: Keep it targeted. Keep your status report targeted to your executive stakeholder. If you believe the stakeholder status report is too high level for others, consider having a second, more detailed status report, rather than adding far more detail to the status report than your stakeholder needs or wants.
Tip #3: Keep it well formatted. A well formatted report is intuitive to the recipient. It is easy to view, read, study, and understand. Hence, the focus and thinking is all about the status of the project, not how to learn what the various elements on the status report are.
Tip #4: Make it pretty. Make your project status reports pretty. Of course use a format that makes sense and that is easy to prepare. But take ample time to ensure that the project status report is pleasant on the eyes of its recipients.
Tip #5: Make it available. A status report is of little use if nobody knows about it. Don't just file your status report away on your your PC hard drive and don't just email it as an attachment to your boss. Make your status report available to all those that have a need to know about it. Whether using a SharePoint document folder or network file share or something else, make it available.
Tip #6: Use it. A tell-tale sign that a status report is of little value is when it is not used in discussions, meetings, and reviews. Seek to use your status report whenever the occasion rises to share information about your project. The more you use your status report, the better it wil be.
Tip #7: Improve it. To ensure that your Project Status Report is meeting the needs of your business, improve it. Periodically ask those that prepare and those that review the Project Status Report if it is meeting their needs. As the organization improves and evolves its project management capabilities, there is ample opportunity for continual improvement.
Tip #8: Accept it. While there is always room for ongoing improvement, there are some people that are contrarians and objectors. No matter how good your Project Status Report format is, they will find a way to nitpick it with advice that is often times not very well thought out. Recognize these people for what they are and don't be bothered by them. It's a Status Report. Accept it and move on.
Tip #9: Don't be intimidated by it. A project status report is just a report. It is an opportunity to quickly and effectively report on the status of the project. A project status report should be viewed as a useful tool for accurately communicating what is happening on the project. It should not be viewed or completed with apprehension or worry. Don't be intimidated by it.
Tip #10: Be open to change. As needs of the business change, be open to the fact that the status report of the projects of the business may also need to be tweaked to best reflect the review needs of the leadership team. A good status report is one that meets the needs of the reviewer, not just one that is aligned to best practice standards.