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What to include in a status report

What to include in a status report

What to include in a status report

(OP)
Hi All,

I’m a software developer that has had to manage quite a few projects over time as well… I’m not a qualified or certified project manager, it’s just something that has fallen on my shoulder in numerous projects.

The biggest challenge I have found is that of communication - particularly with decision makers. They often cancel catchup meetings where i am wanting to update them, seldom seem to read the details when I send them information, and then when they find out a project might be running two months late for example, they chuck a hissy fit! Of course, if they had not cancelled the meetings, or read the emails, the would have known that it didn’t just go from “running on time” to “being two months late”... it happened over the course of many weeks and primarily because they were not making decisions and so things had to be postponed.

What i found was, sending such manager a “big red dot” and blinking text saying… “project late, will not launch on time” got their attention… but what bugs me is that I am becoming a constant alarmist…

Do other people experience anything like this? How do you deal with it so that you are not seen as the person who only ever comes up with issues or as an alarmist…

For me, I’ve now started using a template that has the usual traffic light, due date, key risks, etc…

I make sure I send out the report every week at the same time… seems to have started working a little better with this… but keen on how everyone else works through issues like the above, and what you use (content and tool) for doing your status update reports.

James.

RE: What to include in a status report

The Status Report should include whatever you have agreed to report with the people receiving the report. This is something you should set up during the early phases of the project as part of Communications Management or RACI Matrix. Examples of things that may need to be reported: Ahead/On/Behind Schedule, Ahead/On/Behind Budget, New or changes in status of Risks, Issues, Personnel, Requirements (Change Control), Milestones, Earned Value, Releases, Work in Process, Backlog, and other things that may be important to various team members and stakeholders.

If Executives don't want to see some of the stuff, create an Executive Summary as the first paragraph of the report.

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