Loving, Learning, Leading, Listening

The Value of a Personal Status Report

Published: Saturday, January 6, 2024

Welcome to the new year team. We are going to do great things. We need to be more transparent. We are working on larger projects. Multiple dependencies, teams, and timelines are going to be coming at us quickly. What do we need?

“An amazing status report from each of you every Friday.”

You can see the thoughts going off like the New Years fireworks exploding in the neighborhood:

  • I think it must be a new years resolution
  • We are now doing “TPS” reports?
  • This is micro managing.
  • I don’t have time for this.
  • Maybe if the people that care would just attend the standup meetings we wouldn’t be doing this.

Personal Status Reports are valuable

This is the opportunity for the person writing the status report to shine. Every time the report is crafted, it can showcase the planning, communication, and execution which happened in the past. It gives a vision into the next week plan. Bottlenecks, blocking issues, or impediments are identified so that support can be given.

A great blog post for engineers on the importance of visibility states

the absolute number one piece of guidance I give is “make sure your work is visible”

by Duncan Mackenzie

The rollup has to start somewhere

Usually status is requested at multiple levels. Delivering status in a consistent way shows that the reporter has a pulse on the work that they are doing. I am always grateful for relevant content each week to add to my own status report.

  • Your status report may just get forwarded. This gains you visibility with other stakeholders.
  • You are the most knowledgeable of the work accomplished and the risks you are facing. The status report gives you a documented avenue to drive the conversation.
  • Time moves fast. Status reports help us keep in the flow of progress.
  • Many times status reports help with key decision documentation

As the creator of the status report, you control the narrative you want to promote with the details.

This is only scratching the surface of the value of personal status reports. If you don’t do one, why or why not?

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