Good Practice: Progress reporting is an essential part of project management. Regular reports, from weekly to monthly, should be issued to the executive sponsor, business sponsor, budget holder, steering committee, project team, and user group and circulated to all other interested parties. The report should be as brief as possible and summarise key points.
The following is the recommended format for a maximum of two pages:
This approach ensures that you are keeping people informed, involved and committed. Frequent communication is essential to the well-being of any project.
Regular progress reporting creates a valuable written record of the project’s life. You can use these reports later to look back and decide how to improve the running of future projects.
You might develop some metrics to measure project progress in other ways, such as Earned Value or Activity Float Statistics.
The timing of status updates depends on the size and complexity of your project. Some project managers find fortnightly or even monthly reporting adequate. A good approach is to provide weekly status updates over video conferencing and then follow up with an email. Follow a no-surprises approach to projects. Weekly status updates mean delivering any good or bad news within a few hours or days of its occurrence.
Warning Sign: Unwillingness to communicate bad news.
Question 12: Are you distributing regular progress reports?
Question 13: Are you achieving the right balance of consultation and leadership?
Question 15: Have you based your development on an iterative prototyping approach?