Let me start by saying I hate status reports. I don’t think anyone who writes them tells the truth, but rather they are painting a picture of how they want the reader to see the project. On the flip side I don’t think anyone bothers to read them unless there is some glaring RED boxes or type. There are better ways to see the health of a project, but none-the-less, they are a necessary evil in the corporate world.
I was asked to start performing this necessary evil for a new project I am working on. The Program Manager sent around this suggested template for all the project leads to use every week.
This is on top of a weekly meeting where we will discuss all of these updates. Talk about traditional waterfall overkill and meaningless reporting!
After I wiped my tears I noticed that in the email the sender asked for feedback on the template. Aha! If I have to do a weekly status report why not actually report what matters. I started thinking about what would make a better template and then inspiration struck and I thought of the Daily Stand Up. The result of my inspiration was this:
Look familiar to anyone? Current update = what I did this past week, Focus for Next Week = what I am doing next and Risk/Blockers, of course. One simple RAG for all.
I sent the template out and all the other workstream leads liked it as well so the Program Manager agreed. Hooray!
I consider that a victory for Agile within a waterfall project.