Planning Phase : Develop Work Request
The purpose of this activity is to maintain a common and accurate understanding of the project's progress and status among project participants. This is accomplished by providing routine updates about the progress of the project that present topics that need decisions or approvals, address critical budget or schedule variances, and ensure that there is a common understanding of the state of the project. This activity helps to maintain the close partnership between ISC and its clients.
Project status reporting is an ongoing activity that may start as early as proposal development and continue until the project officially ends.
|Subject Matter Experts|
* The ISC representative with whom the client will work and who is responsible for driving the request to a point of approval or denial.
Project Status Reporting is an ongoing activity throughout the project life cycle. Routine project status reporting is fundamental to successful project delivery in that it provides frequent opportunities for identifying and addressing problems.
When the Communications plan is developed (refer to the Develop Communications plan activity), the content, audience, delivery vehicle, and frequency of reporting should be defined. The frequency of status reporting will vary from project to project and will depend upon the intended audience of the status update. For large to medium size projects, monthly status reporting is recommended for project sponsors and weekly reporting for project owners.
The scope and depth of information in the project status report should be tailored for the audience to which it is targeted. For example, the purpose and objectives of a client status report versus an internal team status report versus a report designed for a project sponsor may vary significantly. These corresponding differences in content, focus and level of formality drive the format of the report. The information of greatest interest to the audience, or issues requiring audience decisions, need to be presented up front at the top of the report. Supporting detail and activity descriptions (if included) should be relegated to the later pages or to an appropriate appendix.
To serve its purpose, the status report needs to be produced on a regular periodic timetable and needs to be focused on the informational needs of its audience. It may be advisable or even necessary to produce multiple versions of the status report, one for each major stakeholder group, with the appropriate level of formality.
The content of the project status report should be driven by baseline variances. Anything that affects the baseline or threatens to affect the baseline needs to be highlighted and discussed. A record of who did what may not add value unless it is at odds with what was expected, or a project manager needs to demonstrate accomplishments to the client, sponsor, or owner.
Although the status report is most commonly distributed via email, a meeting may be necessary to discuss issues, arrive at decisions, and assign responsibility for resultant action items. A well constructed report provides structure to the meeting. The project status meeting should be action-oriented. Once a commitment variance is discovered, actions should be identified to address it and to prevent it from happening in the future (to the extent possible).