Project Status Reporting

Throughout all individual phases of the project, the project manager is required to develop and distribute regular project status reports to key stakeholders who are involved with the project. Remember that status reports keep everyone informed of the current status of the project and the progress being made. This report also highlights any unresolved issues or action items. Items that are part of project status reporting include

• Executive high-level project schedules

• Periodic status reports

• Weekly status reports

• Monthly project status reports

• Project summary reports

High-level or summary project schedules are great when you have more than 100 tasks and want to provide executives with a snapshot of where the project is, from a schedule perspective. Executives rarely have the time to browse through a complex schedule with more than 100 tasks in it. Rather, a short summary explains matters far more clearly than a detailed schedule. The summary-level schedule should filter those tasks that are on a high level only. Figure 7.9 illustrates an example of a highlevel summary schedule.

ID

Task Name

Start

End

Duration

2002

Jan Mat Apr Jun Jul Oct

1

Discovery analysis

1/16/2002

4/9/2002

12w

V Y 100%

2

Equipment ordering

3/22/2002

9/13/2002

25,20w

v mm ao.83%

3

Site installation

9/13/2002

11/7/2002

8w

▼ T o%

4

Training

8/1/2002

8/28/2002

4w

ygj 45.63%

5

Testing & Quality assurance

9/19/2002

11/29/2002

10,40w

ray o%

6

Support and helpdesk

11/25/2002

1/3/2003

6w

Figure 7.9: High-level executive summary

As the project manager moves forward on a project, information changes and progress updates are made to the baseline project plan and schedule. Whenever such progress updates are made, it is wise to include these changes into the status report as well when reviewing a project or projects with the supervisor. Organizations usually have their own status report format that they would like to monitor, so it is important to understand what progress information to present. The following is some of the most common information that I have found project managers like to include in their project status reports:

• Project number

• Project manager

• Contract amount

• Upcoming tasks for the coming period

• Tasks or milestones completed

• Percentage complete

• Whether the project is ahead or behind time schedule

• Whether the project is over or within the cost schedule

• Number of change requests submitted since project start

• Corrective actions (if necessary)

• Risks and issues that require urgent attention

• Resource status

• A categorization system for the status report (e.g., the color red for "in danger," yellow for "in trouble," and green for "OK"

Within many organizations, it is common to hold a general status report meeting where each project manager has the opportunity to report back to the group on the progress of each project. The group, in turn, has time to assist the project manager with possible solutions or ways to correct problems. I found this to work well at a cellular company; one project manager stated, "These meetings help me to resolve issues and risks that I didn't know how to solve. It helped me tremendously and also fostered a team spirit among my colleagues." It is just as common for status reports to be handled on a one-for-one basis with only the project sponsor or supervisor. So, it is necessary that project managers determine the type of status reporting that is required, the manner in which it is presented, and the frequency of these status reports.

LESSONS LEARNED FOR CONTROLLING THE PROJECT

• Motivate project team members and create incentives for teamwork.

• Deliver on promises to team members. Unfulfilled expectations can lead to negativity and poor performance.

• Never have arguments or conflict in front of others.

• Ensure that the project objectives have been clearly defined.

• Ensure that a risk management plan exists for any potential risk that may take place.

Figure 7.10: Generic project status report
0 0

Post a comment