Are stakeholders actually benefiting from Project Status reports?

You may be spending a lot of time as a PM writing status reports. To be honest, there have been moments when I have wondered who actually reads such reports.

I’m anxious to know about your thoughts on project status reports.

Another way to respond is in the authentic hindsight style:

What is one thing in status reports that you want to 1) Start 2) Stop 3) Continue AS IS.

9 Likes

Effective status reporting allows your staff to operate with some degree of serenity by preventing micromanagers from breathing down your neck. By providing regular and comprehensive updates, status reporting enables your staff to have a clear understanding of project progress and expectations. This not only fosters a sense of autonomy and trust within the team but also allows them to focus on their tasks without constant interruptions or unnecessary oversight.

Best practices are not applied to everything. Sometimes, wrongdoing is addressed with action. In such cases, status reporting plays a crucial role in identifying and addressing any wrongdoing or deviations from the project plan. By regularly updating the team on progress and expectations, it becomes easier to spot any discrepancies or issues that need immediate attention. Taking swift action based on these reports ensures that problems are addressed promptly, promoting accountability and maintaining project integrity.

10 Likes

Interesting observation @YuriRoman .

In this case, who is actually reporting the status?

Project managers are responsible for protecting their team so they can work peacefully, if that is what they are doing for their team. It is crucial for project managers to maintain open lines of communication with their team members to ensure they are aware of any challenges or obstacles they may be facing. By actively listening and addressing their concerns, project managers can create a supportive and productive work environment. Additionally, project managers should also advocate for their team’s needs and provide the necessary resources and support to help them successfully complete their tasks.

9 Likes

The saying “any job I don’t want to do is the job of the project manager” will always make me chuckle, especially when it comes to paperwork. It’s true that project managers often have to deal with a lot of paperwork, but their role goes beyond just administrative tasks. They are responsible for coordinating and leading the entire project, ensuring its successful completion within the given constraints. From managing resources to mitigating risks, project managers play a crucial role in driving the team towards achieving project goals.

It is ridiculous to prescribe policies based on the organizational charts of other individuals. Utilize the members of your team to find a solution. To ensure that your engineers aren’t wasting their time, you just need to designate someone to own it. It’s you if no one else is around. Project managers are responsible for not only overseeing the project but also facilitating effective communication and collaboration among team members. They act as a bridge between different departments, ensuring that everyone is on the same page and working towards a common objective. By taking ownership of the project, project managers empower their team members to focus on their core responsibilities and contribute their expertise towards achieving project success.

8 Likes

Project managers should write reports on “what” is planned or being created; product managers should write reports about finishing on schedule and under budget. While project managers focus on the overall planning and execution of a project, product managers are responsible for ensuring that the final product meets the desired objectives and satisfies customer needs. Therefore, their reports primarily revolve around tracking progress, identifying potential risks or delays, and ensuring that the project is delivered within the allocated timeframe and budget. By emphasizing these aspects, product managers provide valuable insights into the successful completion of a project from a financial and time management perspective.

7 Likes

A project status report is a highly useful tool for keeping everyone up-to-date and motivated. It provides a comprehensive overview of the project’s progress, highlighting key milestones achieved and any potential roadblocks or challenges that may arise. Additionally, the report helps foster effective communication among team members and stakeholders, ensuring transparency and alignment towards the project’s goals.

While we PMs may believe that only we will read it, your stakeholders—in my case, the CEO, CTO, and product head—may utilize it for high-level talks.

For me, the most crucial parts of that report are timeliness monitoring (in terms of percentage finished), risk, and ownership. These components provide a comprehensive overview of the project’s progress, potential obstacles, and accountability. Timeliness monitoring allows us to track the project’s pace and identify any delays or bottlenecks that may impact its timely completion. Risk assessment helps us proactively address and mitigate any potential roadblocks or challenges that may arise, ensuring smooth project execution. Ownership highlights individual responsibilities and fosters a sense of accountability among team members, promoting efficient collaboration and problem-solving.

Additionally, delivering the report demonstrates your proactive as opposed to reactive nature. It shows that you are taking initiative and being proactive in addressing any potential issues before they become major problems. This can help build trust and confidence with stakeholders, as they see that you are actively managing the project and working towards its successful completion.

6 Likes

The main lesson here is to be proactive. It’s critical to get ahead of people’s curiosity before they begin to pursue you. By being proactive, you can control the narrative and ensure that accurate information is shared. This not only helps to avoid misunderstandings but also allows you to shape the perception others have of you.

Do these status reports bring you any joy? Not in my opinion. Does it aid in controlling expectations and stakeholders? In my opinion, yes. By providing regular status reports, you can keep stakeholders informed and manage their expectations effectively. This proactive approach demonstrates your commitment to transparency and accountability, which can ultimately build trust and strengthen relationships with key individuals involved in your work. Additionally, it allows you to address any concerns or questions proactively, minimizing potential misunderstandings and ensuring that everyone is on the same page.

5 Likes

To support features, collateral needs to be created by PMM and CS. This collateral serves as a valuable resource for the sales team, providing them with the necessary information and materials to effectively showcase the product’s features and benefits to potential customers. Additionally, it helps in educating customers about the product’s capabilities and how it can address their specific needs, ultimately increasing their confidence in making a purchase decision.

Executives may wish to adjust the distribution of resources if a particular project is falling behind or cannot be completed on time. This could involve reallocating personnel or financial resources to ensure the project’s success. Additionally, executives may also consider implementing alternative strategies or seeking external assistance to overcome any obstacles and meet the project’s deadlines.

It could be used by analytics to schedule dashboards for future releases. By analyzing data from previous releases, analytics can identify patterns and trends to optimize the scheduling of future dashboard releases. This allows for better resource allocation and ensures that the dashboards are delivered on time to meet the needs of users. Furthermore, analytics can also provide insights on user preferences and behavior, helping executives make informed decisions about the content and features to include in future releases.

What should be displayed is the goal date, the health condition, and, if the goal is off, a note explaining the deviation and the actions taken to correct it. By displaying the goal date, stakeholders can easily track progress and determine if the project is on schedule. Additionally, the health condition provides a quick overview of the project’s status, allowing stakeholders to identify any potential issues or areas that require attention. If there is a deviation from the goal, including a note explaining the corrective actions taken demonstrates transparency and accountability, ensuring that necessary steps are being taken to address any setbacks.

4 Likes

A very high level “this is in progress,” “this is in QA,” “this is currently scheduled for the next sprint” comment, perhaps with an ETA for release, is usually adequate to give stakeholders the information they need on an as-needed basis for high visibility projects.

If a project has deviated from the plan, a succinct justification should be provided.

They normally finish the task in about five minutes, and I don’t usually spend much longer than that. They save time and provide value when handled this way, even if that value is limited to keeping stakeholders off your back and enabling them to communicate with their stakeholders in an informed manner.

3 Likes

As needed basis? When someone requests project status, do you respond with information on an as-needed basis?

Well, I feel that when someone requests project status, it is important to respond promptly and provide the necessary information. However, it is also essential to assess the context and urgency of the request before determining the frequency and level of detail in your response. This ensures that you effectively manage communication and avoid overwhelming stakeholders with unnecessary updates.

2 Likes

The likelihood that a stakeholder will never read it depends on their particular job within the organization; that is their problem, though. It is an excellent method for formalizing and recording important choices, risks and mitigations, roadblocks, schedules, etc. When stakeholders begin to point fingers at difficult projects, it’s especially helpful to have the information you need to defend yourself, such as reporting that a significant obstacle or delay that was outside the purview of your team was disclosed in a report.

Having a well-documented report can also serve as a reference for future projects, allowing teams to learn from past experiences and avoid similar obstacles or delays. Additionally, it promotes transparency and accountability within the organization, as stakeholders can easily access and review the documented information to gain a comprehensive understanding of the project’s progress and challenges.

1 Like

I provide my leader with a weekly status report that covers the work we have completed or are working on (whether it be projects, quality of life work, etc.). This status report helps my leader stay informed about the team’s progress and ensures that they are aware of any potential roadblocks or issues that may arise. It also allows my leader to provide guidance and support as needed, ensuring that our work aligns with the overall goals and objectives of the organization. Additionally, by regularly updating my leader on our activities, it fosters open communication and a collaborative working relationship between myself and my leader.

It’s strange, but it’s actually pretty beneficial for me since, when doing the activity, I realize where I neglected something. This helps me identify any areas where I may have overlooked certain details or tasks, allowing me to make necessary adjustments and improve my overall performance. Moreover, it allows my leader to have a comprehensive understanding of the progress and challenges we are facing, enabling them to provide valuable feedback and suggestions for improvement.

He enjoys it since he is aware of what is going on and can push back against the leadership team if necessary. Additionally, keeping my leader informed also fosters a sense of transparency and trust within the team. By sharing updates on my progress and challenges, it creates an open communication channel where my leader can address any concerns or provide guidance when needed. This collaborative approach strengthens our working relationship and ensures that we are aligned with our goals and objectives.