- Problem Definition
Project management does require the production of some paperwork and this does include some information that can be used for protection when there is a problem. We must not forget that there is always the risk of failure and the potential for things to end in the courtroom.
2. Identify the Feasible Alternative
The key documents for the Project Management are:
- Project Plan.
- Goal Log.
- Risk Log.
- Issue Log.
- Action Log.
3. Development of the Outcome for Alternative
Project Plan contains the dates of all appointments, consultancy sessions, development work etc. It should be used to allow the project manager to understand when the project is on track and when there have been slippages. It should also plan for the delivery of products necessary to the project.
Goal Log allows the team to understand the problems they are trying to solve. They provide an insight into the customer’s business. They allow visibility of goals achieved during a project. In short they are essential.
Risk log should be created as a single document with the risk, the agreed actions and the impact if the problem occurs. Everyone should be aware of this document and it should be maintained constantly. One line per risk should be suitable; a new document per risk is generally overkill.
- Selection of Criteria
Face to face status reports could happen in a staff meeting, but more likely might occur in a hallway or when you stop by your boss’s office to check in on another topic. When you deliver status verbally, stick the recommended format. First, provide overall information such as project health, % complete, % target complete, number of days ahead or behind schedule. Tell what milestone you are in, and what next steps are. If asked, go into a very crisp description of the most important issue that is outstanding on the project. The biggest point to remember about verbal status is to keep it concise.
Over the Phone is the same rules apply over the phone. Consider a conference call to be the same thing as an in person meeting around a table. A one on one call is the equivalent to any face to face meeting. Be brief. Since you are not in person, you can use a script or a one page status report for a reference source without revealing that you are doing so.
E-mail is by far the most powerful tool for providing project status. There is one big mistake that separates e-mail from all other communication channels. E-mail provides the ability to attach documents; so many project managers will attach one or more files, usually a combination of documents such as a presentation with multiple slides and a spreadsheet with multiple tabs.
- Analysis of the Alternative.
Most managers will never open up your attached documents in e-mail if the status is not in the actual body of the e-mail message. The subject line of your e-mail should be very relevant to the project. Put the project’s official name in the subject line along with the project ID number from your tracking system, if there is one. This helps management sort your status reports easily in their inbox after they have filed them away. Try to use the same subject from one e-mail report to the next.
- Selection of the Preferred Alternative.
Send status reports in e-mail as often as the project events require. If the project is green and not on your boss’s top ten lists, then you might never send project status upstairs as your project cruises to easy completion without management assistance. If you have a high visibility project with a gigantic budget, a massive cross-functional project team, and multiple executive participants, then your status should appear in e-mail to all participants and your boss regularly.
7. Performance Monitoring and the Post Evaluation of Result.
Sending out effectively organized status which is well composed allows management to quickly consume what they receive passively rather than working long hours to call around, send messages, and slowly gather up information. This allows for the avoidance of much frustration on management’s part and makes you a project manager worth your weight in gold.
- Jodi Sorensen (2013, July). How to Create a Gantt Chart in Excel Retrieved June 29, 2014, from http://www.smartsheet.com/blog/gantt-chart-excel?page=27
- Chart Director (2008, December). Simple Gantt Chart. Retrieved June 29, 2014, from http://www.qrb-bw.de/pdf_pool/pythondemo/cdpydoc/gantt.htm
- Projects Master(2013, August). How to Create a Gantt Chart Using Microsoft Excel. Retrieved June 14, 2014, from http://www.projectsmart.co.uk/creating-a-gantt-chart-using-excel.php