Regardless of the organization you work in, this question probably comes up daily, but at least weekly. To answer the often dreaded status question you need minimum 4 pieces of information.
- When did the project start? This is the Start Date.
- When is the project expected to end? This is the Expected, Planned, or Estimated End Date.
- Where should we be today based on the plan? This is the Expected, Planned, or Estimated % Complete.
- Where are we today? This is the Actual % Complete.
If you have the above information then you are able to judge how well you are doing relative to what you said you’d be doing. There is a lot more to project management, but this is a good start.
To get started make a plan for the work you intend to do this week. Write down at least 2 tasks for each day: one task for the morning, one task for the afternoon. This gives you a total of 10 tasks for the week. As you check off the completed tasks, you’ll see your progress bar move. Once you are able to plan your work for a week, plan the next month. Collect your data and adjust.
There is no need for you to wait for your entire organization or team to start doing this. You can get started alone. You’ll be surprised how much better your work will go and how much better you’ll be able to help your team.
One thought on “What’s the Status?”
Actual and estimated % complete are good starts. You need to include risks in here as well as their mitigation. Basically – where am I, where should I be, what’s preventing me from completing on time, and what am I going to do about it. That’s not just the basics, I’d argue that’s all you need. Everything else is just fluff.
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