Status reporting is an important function needed to be performed in any project. It is the primary tool used by project managers to communicate with their clients and stakeholders. Creating status reports may be a simple task, however, preparing one with valuable information takes some management skills and process maturity.
Here are some points to be considered when creating status report
- Start with the summary. Most executives do not have the time to read the entire report, so make sure that the first page summarizes the project status.
- Use graphs and visual cues to represent the status. For example, a line graph showing your actual progress against baselined plan will explain the progress of project.
- Keep it short and simple. Use bullets and numbered items instead of paragraphs.
- Report critical issues and risks, but write down resolutions and mitigations as well.
- Make sure you have basis on all the numbers represented. (e.g. % complete must be based on some earned value or delivered work)
- Be honest. Do not be afraid to report delays, it will save you in the long run.
Below is the minimum information needed to be reported:
- Project Name, Project Manager
- Reporting Period - specify start and End date
- Summary – provide visual cue like green, yellow, red depending on status.
- Planned Status vs. Actual Status
- Accomplishments - tasks completed within the reporting period.
- Issues and Risks – critical issues/risks needed to be escalated.
- Next Actions - plan for next reporting period.
Larger projects may require more information such as:
- Earned Value. PLN(Plan), ACT(Actual), ETC(Estimate to Complete), EAC(Estimate at Complete)
- # of defects reported, # of open defects, # of closed defects.
- # of new issues, # of open issues, # of issues closed.
- Resource utilization
- specific project details
Preparing a simple report containing all these information can be difficult. Good thing is that you will always have room for improvement. Get feedback from your stakeholders on the report format and improve it afterwards. Caio!