There are many different formats and requirements for status reports in project and program management.
It is always a balance between providing relevant data to make informed decisions without becoming a time-consuming bureaucratic task for busy project and program managers.
An additional challenge is how to ensure quality status reporting across a set of projects with different project managers is a successful communication medium.
Project Status Report Quality
A key challenge for a PMO is to ensure consistent quality in project status reports. Unfortunately, many PMs are not convinced that communications is a key part of their role and they see updating status reports as an additional bureaucratic interference in their day job as a project manager.
Here is a one-page download that may be useful that has a series of questions to ensure consistency. It is not exhaustive but may be a useful aid.
Example Status Report Download
Here is an example of a Project Status slide really to stimulate the discussion and sharing of ideas of good effective status reports for project and program management with an emphasis on PMO quality health checks.
Project Management Reporting Tool
There are some good project management tools on the market now. A good example of a Project Management Reporting tool is BrightWork that I have used and like is a SharePoint-based tool that offers close integration with Microsoft products.
The tool provides live status update reporting, metrics, and roll-up reporting of custom reports to suit a specific audience needs.
A great benefit of a project reporting tool is that you can enforce the quality of status reporting with compulsory fields to facilitate a more consistent set of reports across a number of projects.