In this lesson, we'll discuss the plan for status reporting. Status reports are a common aspect of communication plans, and are used to cover overall project progress. It's the project manager's responsibility to communicate regularly with stakeholders and team members about the project status, so this lesson will discuss:
A status report is an excellent way to highlight contributions from the team. The minimum information that should be included in a status report is:
Below is an example of a status report. Keep in mind that If the project team is large, only key events by team members should be noted.
A project dashboard, which is another method of communicating progress, can be part of the status report, or it can be it’s own method of reporting.
The dashboard should contain:
The work status on dashboards is often color-coded as:
When work is marked as red, the dashboard should also contain details about how the issue will be addressed. It's the project manager's role to manage those issues.
The dashboard should stay focused on high-level tasks or activities since it is intended as a summary of the project schedule status, not as a replacement.
Imagine that you are the manager of a large project in your industry, and it is your job to create a method of tracking the project’s status.
Would you use a status report, or a project dashboard?
How would you handle tasks that have been falling behind on the schedule?
What would be the best way of communicating these issues to your team and others involved in the project?
When project statuses are communicated, it's important for the project manager to remember the levels of confidentiality needed with each piece of information.
Part of the project manager’s role is to determine who should and shouldn't receive each update, especially when there are issues with the team as a whole, individual personnel, or with vendors. To determine who should receive confidential information, the project manager may need to consult with the project sponsor.
It's crucial to restrict certain updates to those who need to know this information, not the entire team. This also helps reduce the noise that can come when too much information is communicated about project status.
If there is a question about confidentiality, the project manager should:
This tutorial discussed how status reports highlight contributions from the team, dashboards are color-coded to indicate whether or not a task is completed, and that confidentiality is key. Check with the project sponsor if there is a question about confidentiality.
Source: This work is adapted from sophia author jeff carroll.
A technique for providing high-level overview of the progress being made in a project's scope.