Overview with tools, software, best practices and alternatives
What is a Daily / Weekly Digest?
A digest is a synthesis of information about the status or progress of a team or a business project. It includes data on the team’s plans, strategies, actions, outcome evaluations, strengths, weaknesses, achievements, and issues. It lets the entire team know what the team members are doing in a particular period of time. They a digest can be daily or weekly.
Who does Daily / Weekly Digests?
The members of the team generate daily or weekly digests to provide updates to their team on their activities and performance. To add, if a team has a secretary, she may be the one to create the digest using essential information coming from the team leader or the team members. Usually, team members make the daily or weekly updates, however, members with supervisory roles like the team leaders, project managers, and supervisors can also use digests to send urgent information to the team.
Why do people do Daily / Weekly Digests?
Daily / Weekly digests are made by business teams in some reasons.
Communication is the primary reason why teams make daily or weekly digests. Digests contain summary of what happened in a specific time frame and contains salient information like the team’s achievements, problems, and plans. The daily digests enable the team to be become updated every day about the team’s activities, performance, and issues. Team members will be able to identify issues that need immediate action from the team.
Virtual teams generate daily or weekly updates, which can be in the form of e-mails. This is to keep team members informed on the team’s status and progress, regardless of the location and time zone. Daily and weekly digests also allow the team members’ plans, strategies, and actions or a specific day or week.
Daily and weekly updates also contain information that suggests the team’s strengths and weaknesses, along with open opportunities and threats to the team. These details will help the team generate better analysis, make strong inferences and conclusions, as well as make logical decisions.
How to do a Daily / Weekly Digest
Daily and weekly digests present team members with important information on the status and development of the team and the business project, which allows them to frame more operative plans, more well-organized strategies, and more vibrant actions in the future.
The digests should always have fresh hand information, as the team bases their future plans and actions on it. Daily and weekly digests present updated information to the team, enabling them to know what is currently happening to the team and the project.
Teams make daily and weekly digests as short and simple as possible. The digest should not be too short nor too long, as a very short digest may lack essential information. This can lead to the team missing pertinent information when they formulate plans and actions in the future. A very long digest can be boring and overwhelming to read, which can lead to information overload. This can prevent the team assimilate important information about the team’s status and progress. Also, the use of bullet points in the digest can help the team effectively present bits of information to the team.
Daily and weekly digests contain complete and accurate information, such as the team’s achievements, plans, and problems. These details let the team analyze the team’s status and progress and make rational decisions about significant matters.
Advantages of doing Daily / Weekly Digests
Daily and weekly updates are helpful to the business team in several ways.
The digests act as vehicles of communication to the team, allowing them to identify details on the team’s problems, accomplishments, and problems. These details allow the team to become informed about the latest news on the team’s status and progress.
Daily and weekly digests also help members of virtual teams communicate with each other. They are able to share essential information like their performance and activities to their teammates. Moreover, they will be able to inform the team their strengths, weaknesses, and open opportunities to the team.
Disadvantages of doing Daily / Weekly Digests
While doing daily and weekly digests have their benefits, they also have some disadvantages.
Daily digests have to be made every day, which can cut the team’s time intended for their normal tasks and responsibilities. If a team member is already busy in his regular tasks, he might miss particular information in the digest. This can affect the future plans and activities of the team.
Weekly digests are sent to the team every seven days. However, team members are different as not all members write down the events that transpire in the seven-day period. This can also lead to missing information, which can also affect the integrity of the team’s future plans and actions.
Best practices for doing Daily / Weekly Digests
Business team staffs receive essential information or updates about the team’s status and development from daily and weekly digests, enabling them to formulate concrete plans, cultivate well-ordered strategies, and execute self-motivated actions.
Daily and weekly digests should be readable and comprehensive to the people who will read them, such as other members of the team as well as members of the team’s affiliates. This can be done by utilizing an appropriate language to the team’s understanding. Acronyms should be limited to those that are known by the team. Also, jargons should be kept to minimum, considering other people who might not be fully aware of their meaning.
Using bullet points in listing data also helps in facilitating readability of the digest. Itemized data using bullets or markers are easier to read and absorb than a long narrative text. Moreover, team members will be able to identify the main idea of the text in bullets.
Completeness and accuracy of information is the ace trait of an effective daily or weekly digest. The team may include information on the team’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats, aside from achievements, plans, and issues, which are typically found in reports. The members of the team can also include assessment data, which is followed by plans, strategies, actions, and outcome evaluation.
How to do Daily / Weekly Digests with Teamreporter
Teamreporter is a business application, which helps business teams to have reduced number of status meetings in a specific time frame. This is possible with the use of schedule report mails. Teamreporter is free to use for teams with up to four members and signing-up is easy as it takes only less than a minute.
The interface of Teamreporter is user-friendly and automated, allowing team members to generate status e-mails to be sent to other members of the team. Teamreporter will send team members notification e-mails, asking them to provide information on things like accomplishments, plans, and conflicts. Based on the replies of the team members, Teamreporter will generate a summary, which will be sent the next day.
Teamreporter can also help team leaders have a clear oversight of the status and progress of the team and the project. Also, the information in the application will enable the team leaders to make logical decisions that will help the team achieve its goals. Moreover, Teamreporter will also allow team leaders to distinguish the top performers from those who need their further assistance.
Alternatives to Daily / Weekly Digests
Daily and weekly digests can be advantageous to the team; however, there are other alternatives that the team can take into account.
Using e-mail reports is one alternative to daily and weekly digests. E-mail status updates just need a laptop, a smart device, and a stable internet connection. Provided that the internet access is stable, the team members can easily send and receive information to and from their teammates with just only one click.
Conducting stand-up meetings is another option to daily and weekly digests. Stand-up meetings are brief meetings that aim to discuss important updates about the team’s status and progress. Unlike e-mail reports and paper-based reports, stand-up meetings allow team members to verbalize any pertinent issue or concern about the team or the project.
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