After my little diatribe titled “Project Management Theater” I had a few days to think about the less than stellar status report provided by the vendor to my customer. The more I thought about it, the more I realized the vendor did nothing to meet the unique customer needs. The attitude was Well, you asked for a status report. This shows status. I’m a firm believer that you need to understand who your customer is and then provide status reporting to meet their needs. Even when using a burndown chart for a team, I usually don’t show that to a C-Level. I understand that C-Levels (CEOs, COOs, CTOs…) are looking at the business more strategically. For that reason, I offer my 50,000 foot view of the project or program. Two years ago, when I arrived at this PMO, I looked at their Metrics Plan. One of the things that was missing was a summary graph or chart for the Federal Senior Executives (SES). What you see above is one graphical indicator I provided to them. What you do not see in the screen-grab is the associated data, which I made available on subsequent pages.
I’d like to thank Sam Palani over at Around the CHAOS for inspiring me to write this post. His post How Worthy are Your Status Reports nailed it.
Feel free to download a copy of my original (TPS Report) template Total_Project_Status_Template
Click the image to get your free report
I just reread my free copy of Top 7 WBS Mistakes Project Managers Make. Though I am now a paid affiliate of WBS Coach, I had to first review the products. I reviewed WBS Coach multiple times (just to be sure). At $39.99, I wasn’t sure if it would meet my expectations. Well, it did and then some. I got 5+ hours of video, audio, and textual training and a 68 page PDF textbook. It even included a one-year unconditional money-back guarantee.
The WBS Coach product includes:
- Core Lessons: 8 Lessons on WBS concepts, tutorials, and applications
- Instructor Interviews: 3 interviews, approximately 2 hours
- Q&A Sessions: Bonus video and audio based off student feedback
- WBS Checklist: Practitioner checklist for immediate real-world use
- PDU Credit: Course qualifies for 5 PMI PDUs
- PDU Reporting Guidebook: Claim PDUs without guesswork
If you’re not sure about spending the money, get this free report first. It’s informative and…did I already say it was FREE?
As I study the collection and reporting of metrics and project statuses, I find many reports just do not deliver what they should. I believe there should be a stand-alone deliverable that a project manager is able to provide to a stakeholder at any time, illustrating the total project status. I created a report and used the name “TPS Report” from the movie Office Space. I try to interject a little humor into a project, where I can, without raising too many eyebrows. Because I do not think I should keep all of the good stuff for myself, I hope others will download my free template. It captures everything from overall project status to schedule, budget, scope, and quality, including a RAG (Red, Amber or Green) status. What milestones were planned and accomplished? What is planned for the next period? Though I believe a subjective narrative does have its place in project reporting, I like the more objective approach. Give your stakeholders the facts!
Please enjoy this free copy of my Total Project Status Report Template.