In a recent post I explained why project metrics are useful and how to track them. The beauty of project metrics is that they are fluid and dynamic, constantly updating as people update their work in the SharePoint Project Management Site, providing an at-a-glance look at how the project is doing.
But every now and then you will probably need to draw a line in the sand as a kind of benchmark. What is the project status at this particular moment in time? Here we’re looking at things like your thoughts on the project issues and other commentary that you feel is important. A project status report is a simple way to add your comments together with the information already available in the project site to paint a complete picture for project stakeholders.
The fact that status reporting is so easy in SharePoint means that Project Managers do not have to spend so much time chasing down team members for updates and instead can spend more time using the information to track and re-plan the project! Let’s look at a process to create simple project status reports in SharePoint.
Remember my SharePoint project site mimics an amount of project management, and in this case under the ‘Control’ phase on the Quick Launch you see that I have a section for Status Reporting. It is here that I would be able to add my own thoughts to the KPIs already available in the project site.
You can see there are a few other status reports already, but they’re out of date so we want a more recent picture. Simply add a new item to this list.
Out pops a dialog box to enter the relevant status comments. The cool part about it is that all you have to enter into the form is the stuff it doesn’t know, i.e. how are you feeling about the project? Why are things going wrong? What do you have planned next? It’s the information your boss and stakeholders would be looking for anyway, so why not add it the collaborative site where it can be easily tracked and accessed by everyone.
So you save that information and you have a status report. Remember we’re already reporting on project metrics automatically, so that information is pulled in from other areas of the project site.
It’s really quite easy to add a project status report. Basically, we take the KPIs and metrics that are already being collected and reported and merge that data with some simple status comments about the progress of the project… and as simple as that you have a status report. So then that report is published and accessible to the project team and becomes the latest status report including the color commentary we added above.
Get started managing projects on SharePoint today with these two free (yes completely free!) templates that will transform out-of-the-box SharePoint 2010 into collaborative workspaces and allow you to create project status reports for real-time project visibility.