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SHARP Status Reports

Status reports can be a challenging communication vehicle for a project manager.  I've seen status reports that are so sparce and cryptic that they barely provide basic evidence that a project even exists.  On the other end of the spectrum are status reports that would turn the average doctoral dissertation green with envy; it's a wonder that any work is done on the project given the effort that must go into creating such a communication beast.

Then there is the audience - those reading your status reports - which ranges from the highest level executive to the lowest level analyst.  The detail-mongers will demand more and more information, viewing any omission as some covert sign that you are hiding critical data.  The typical executive, however, has the attention span of a gnat (I probably should have kept that inside voice - now I'll get nasty emails from gnats everywhere for comparing them to executives).  In their defense, many executives have A LOT of competition for their attention.

In the next few blog entries, you'll be introduced to the 5 components that make up a good status report, and how better reports can be written for our projects.  This is where art meets science - that sweet spot where points of "carpe factum" can best occur.  A quick preview, these five components are as follows:

  1. Statistics
  2. Highlights
  3. Accomplishments
  4. Risks
  5. Projections

Comments

Michael Wagner

Tim - you make project management so "human". and i mean that as the biggest compiment. rather than staying totally left brain you create the balance between, "just the facts ma'm" and "people are busy" so lets keep perspective on things. And all of this with the ultimate goal in mind - carpe factum. get 'er done.

This is going to a very popular blog site! Thanks for joining the big conversation!

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