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Author: Elyse, PMP, CPHIMS
May 6, 2009

One of the many changes of a project management methodology is leaving the project chicken game behind and receiving accurate status reports. Perhaps you have never heard of project chicken, its an extremely frustrating game. You have a project team, all giving glorious fictional status reports of an on time and within budget project. Everyone is just waiting for someone else to relate they are behind schedule or have obstacles to prevent realizing the live event. But back to the topic at hand, obtaining an accurate project status from the team.

I'll recommend a couple of mechanisms. First is a check back, while in the team meeting after the assignment of the task. Place accountability on the individual performing the work to check back with you on status. Ask direct questions like "When would be a good time for you to provide a status?" Agree on a time, date, and formate, then include the outcome in the meeting minutes as an action item.

Some items require, your initiation for a check up. After assignment of the action item, it is clear you will need to check up on the status. In the team meeting, clearly identify when is a good time for the check up, and how it will be performed. Commonly, I mention items like "We are definitely going to need this {insert task here} completed by {insert deadline}. We are {how far away}. How about I call you to check up on the progress. Does {insert date and time} work for you?"

Another key item is to have issues addressed quickly. In meeting summarization after reiterating the assigned action items, it is wise to relay to the team if there are any concerns or yellow flags, to please let you know immediately.

Also if a task is taking a long time, break the task into key milestones for completion. This way you can measure progress. Another item is to ask for time spent during the week from your time reporting system.

Using these tips and trips, should assist you in obtaining an accurate status.

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1 Comments to “Status Check - The pulling mechanism of how to check progress?”

The best point here is to break work up into manageable chunks that can be reported on. You should be able to point to something rather concrete on a weekly basis and say that it has been achieved. This is much better than relying on the "percent complete" reporting where people say something is 95% complete for several weeks.

Josh Nankivel

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