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Project Management Happy Hour

PM Happy Hour is the place for frank and honest discussion about real world issues in project management. We do it in a way that’s not too dry, though it may get a bit salty from time to time.

Each episode, your hosts Kim Essendrup and Kate Anderson we will cover a problem faced in project management today, and share practical advice, real-life examples and the occasional project horror story.

Not only that, but every podcast is also an online class! Our host is a PMI Registered Education Provider, who has structured each podcast as an easy-to-listen-to lesson. To get credit, go to our web site at, purchase your class, take the test (based on the content from our podcast) and you get your PDU certificate instantly!

Dec 26, 2023

“What percent done are you?” 

<the team moans and rolls their eyes…>

Status reporting is a core skill (and responsibility) of project managers. It is an opportunity for you to check in with your team, and to build rapport and engagement with stakeholders. But it’s also something we often take for granted. 

In this episode, Kate and Kim talk about how to approach status reporting whether your project is big or small, and how to leverage this key communication point to help with overall project success.  

  • Why Status Reporting? 

    • Essential for communicating project progress and challenges

    • Builds trust with stakeholders by demonstrating progress

  • Tailoring Status Reports

    • Reports should be adapted to audience needs

    • Understanding the audience (executives, team members, stakeholders) is crucial!

  • Components of an Effective Status Report

    • Executive Summary: A clear, concise overview

    • Accomplishments: Completed tasks or milestones

    • Upcoming Tasks: Planned activities or next steps

    • Risks and Issues: Key challenges and potential problems

    • Go-to-Green Plan: Strategy for addressing significant off-track areas

    • RAG Status: Red, Amber, Green indicators for project health

    • Budget Status: Financial overview (where applicable)

    • Timeline Overview: High-level graphical representation of key events

  • Approaches to Percent Complete

    • Debate on the utility and accuracy of percent-complete metrics

    • Preference for tying status to key milestones over percent completion

  • Status Report Frequency and Medium

    • Weekly status meetings with teams

    • Different report cadences for different audience levels (e.g., executive status monthly)

    • Possible mediums: Email, PowerPoint, Slack, or other communication tools

  • Challenges in Status Reporting

    • Ensuring stakeholder engagement and consumption of reports

    • Potential pushback on RAG status, especially when reporting red or amber

    • Importance of team input and alignment on report content

  • Additional Recommendations

    • Focus on highlighting value and progress in reports

    • Importance of clear, effective communication in status reports

    • Using status reports for accountability and project alignment



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