Status Reports: Form of Communication 3

Status reports are great, but what happens when you are diligent and sending these out on a consistent basis, yet your audience doesn’t seem to be reading your status report. This is where status meetings come into play.  It is recommended that a status meeting should take place on a weekly basis.  According to Eric Verzuh, (The Fast Forward MBA in Project Management), “Keeping a project on track requires regularly scheduled meetings to both share information and make decisions.” If you’re just starting off as a project manager, these meetings could be a bit nerve racking.  A bunch of thoughts could be running through your head.  Preparation is key, and your weekly status report can help you get it done. Weekly status meetings are for everyone’s benefit.  Use your status report as your agenda.  You can start off by making sure everyone is aware of the project’s current status, which is in the status report.  Follow by reviewing the key items that were accomplished since the last update, also in the status report.  Roll into the open items which need a decision to be made, should be in your status report. The weekly status meeting is also good for items to be brought up, by your team members or sponsors, which may need attention.  In The Fast Forward MBA in Project Management, Eric Verzuh states “Project status meetings rely on a participative management style.  They build on the team’s involvement…” The more ‘involved’ your team and sponsors feel, the more effective your status meetings will be. Having a record of ‘effective’ status meetings will most likely roll into a good record of ‘effective’ project management, which will then roll back to my first point, “Communication is one of the biggest factors that can make or break your project and your project management career.”