The ability of TrackerSuite.Net to integrate with email provides organizations with the real opportunity to manage projects in Outlook, Lotus Notes or Web based platforms such as Gmail. It provides an array of tools and functions to automate and streamline processes including project status reporting. But tools can only go so far, they facilitate the process, they don't do it themselves. There are a couple steps that your organization can take to improve its project status reporting process.
First, set a clear reporting schedule, with firm due dates. When a status report is due, it's due. Remind your project managers the day before the reports should be submitted . If a report is missed, follow up immediately and remind the manager responsible that reports are expected on time. For a large group of project managers this can be difficult, but if slip is permitted, it's practically encouraged. TrackerSuite.Net simplifies this process with tools including automated email reminders for status reports that put managers a click away from their responsibilities, as well as automatic notifications of missed reports. However, a direct, personal communication to tardy project managers about their responsibilities will have a much stronger affect than an automated email.
Second, get details. A report is only as useful as the information it contains. You can improve the quality of status reports as well as simplify the process a great deal for your project managers by giving them key points to include in their reports, such as overall progress, adherence to scope, milestone achievements and issues. TrackerSuite.Net status reports provide an area for reporting key project metrics, with required descriptions for any metric not labeled "Green", as well as areas for reporting and tracking project issues, milestones, completed and uncompleted tasks, and more.
One way you can help promote good status reporting habits in your organization is to make them a more intrinsic part of the project process. As well as being sent to the sponsors and stakeholders, encourage their use as points of discussion in project meetings, and have them circulated among the project teams as well. By increasing the visibility and use of the project status report, project managers may be encouraged to spend time developing quality reports. TrackerSuite.Net can help share status reports by sending them as project e-newsletters, or exporting them to PowerPoint for meeting presentations.
If you'd like to discover other ways TrackerSuite.Net can simplify work for project managers, read The 10 Minute Project Manager.