It’s important to think like a journalist when writing status reports: be clear, concise, and engage the reader by creating a narrative. Tell a story that the reader wants to finish. But not everything in your status report should be news—you also need to mix in information, showing trends and data in a digestible format. The goal should be to help your stakeholders have a better understanding of the work planned, completed, and in progress so they can make better decisions and help to champion the project.
As always, thanks for taking the time to read my stuff.
New project management articles published on the web during the week of April 9 – 15. And this week’s video: Daniel Engber examines the history of the progress bar—a visual narrative that keeps us engaged and sane, even when it’s not a precise measure of progress. 4 minutes, safe for work.
New project management articles published on the web during the week of April 2 – 8. And this week’s video: Bones and a full reconstruction of the largest pterosaur (flying dinosaur) ever found are now on display at the Altmuehltal Dinosaur Museum, in a suburb of Stuttgart, Germany. Hey, even if you are tired of Jurassic Park sequels, this is cool!
Greg Satell explains how General Electric got disrupted—by getting better and better at delivering things their customers needed less and less. 5 minutes to read.
Tim Fernholz notes the huge difference between getting good at mass production (Tesla) and getting reliable at reusability (SpaceX). Transitioning to production can be the biggest business risk of all. 5 minutes to read.
Graham Kenny clarifies the relationships between objectives, strategies, and actions. 4 minutes to read.
Elizabeth Harrin provides the questions you need to ask about GDPR implications before starting a new project. 8 minutes to read.
Dmitriy Nizhebetskiy points out the ways in which software development projects are managed differently from other types of projects. 4 minutes to read.
Karin Hurt shares the INSPIRE model for project management accountability conversations. 4 minutes to read.
Mike Clayton tutors us on project procurement management, as described in the PMBOK and practiced in the public and private sector. 10 minutes to read.
Jigs Gaton begins a series on creating custom reports in Microsoft Project, beginning with changes to a delivered report. 7 minutes to read.
The folks at Redbooth explain how to conduct a project pre-mortem and post-mortem. And your project doesn’t even have to be dead! 6 minutes to read.
Stefan Wolpers curates his weekly list of Agile content, from the Scrum master end game to the way Scrum and DevOps fit together to the cost of decision making. 2 minutes to read, 5 outbound links.
Johanna Rothman makes a distinction between being data-driven and data-informed. Good decision makers should note the difference. 2 minutes to read.
Cassandra Leung points out the problems with limiting work in progress (WIP) with creative work—in her example, writing. But it has other applications. 6 minutes to read.
Renee Troughton provides a decision tree on when to move to a different format for retrospectives. 2 minutes to read.