Overview with tools, software, best practices and alternatives

What is a Team status report?

Project teams need a reliable way of stay updated with the developments and the problems that may come up in a project’s status as work proceeds on it towards completion. Team status reports are an efficient way getting this updates done for everyone on the team. With regular issuance of team status reports ( some project teams even have status reports every day), the team members get a better idea where the work progress is heading to.

Budgetary and resource management issues would come to the fore with every team status report released to the team members. This is a major question that everyone on the team needs to keep in mind – for his work depends on the availability of funds – and any lack of it would be retrogressive to the project’s progress.

Thus one major function of team status reports is to provide a way for the project manager to keep the project’s progress rolling smoothly. Team status reports keep the team wary of the resources available for them, and wise resources and finances management guarantees the project’s progress towards completion. And with the flow of information from team status reports, project managers are better equipped to handle scenarios of anything untoward that may happen. They make the progress of the project work foreseeable and within bounds of project plans and quotas.

Team status reporting is also a necessary communication tool for everyone (the client, stakeholders, company executives, project manager and his team) to get to know about each other’s situations, thus enabling them to better understand the human aspect of the project. Rapport is better established when there is information available about the other person. Rapport is very important between the client and the project team.

Who uses team status reports and why?

Team status reports are important project management tools that project managers use for keeping the project right on track of expectations of the project team, the client and of other stakeholders involved in the project. Unforeseen circumstances can easily be addressed if they are brought to the light by team status reports. And everyone involved will have a chance for the correction of any problem that may arise.

Project team members make use of team status reports by creating adjustments in their work assignment as warranted by the latest team status report that they had accessed. With team status reports, team members are given ample time to create whatever adjustment is needed, and not having to make the changes on the fly, as in the case of a sudden tragedy or breakdown in the system. Team status reports gives the team a sort of forecasting ability by means of the data that it gives to the project team. These data are sourced from different aspects of the project, and gives the team members awareness of subjects beyond their expertise but still within the scope of the project.

How to do team status reporting

Team status reports are detailed summaries of data and events that has come to affect the project and the team. And as such, a team status report must contain all the pertinent details of these current issues that are being discussed by the team.

A team status report ordinarily begins with the statement of the current status of the project in relation to projected goals of the team. Decisions made by the team are then studied as to their effects and also the corresponding actions that are to be taken. The overall scenario is then taken into account – how the project will move on when the changes decided upon are implemented.

Advantages and pitfalls of team status reporting

Team status reports, in their detailed forms, brings every member of the team on the same page as far as the current status of the project is concerned. The team status report brings to light any serious issue that may have come about, and rallies the team members to focus together their efforts in addressing the current issues. This focus brings energy to the project enabling it to move forward and closer to accomplishment.

Team status reports also bring understanding to the project team when something bad happens. The whole team will be better equipped to handle the disappointments that may happen if they can understand the nature of such events and take the necessary actions to correct them.

On the down side, one of the cardinal principles of Agile methodologies is the practice of face to face real time communications between team members as the ideal way of establishing rapport between team members. With today’s technologies and the busy lives of remote working teams ( they have to deal with work and family), the option of conducting face to face communications between all the members of the team has become unfeasible, and so team status reporting will have to be conducted without the benefits of face to face meetings.

Best practices in team status reporting

Project managers base the soundness of their decisions from the contents of team status reports. Relevant information plays a primary role in the making of the right decisions for the project and the team. Information that matters most to the team should be the main content of team status reports in order to bring about efficiency in the team.

When reports are loaded with unnecessary information, team members could lose their chance to act out their ideas. Trivial data can get the members lost in the forest of unnecessary information, wasting valuable time and money in the inconsequential efforts that errors leads to.

For best results in team status reporting, relevance of data content should be a priority of the team.

Teamreporter serves as a team status reporting instrument

Teamreporter is a web based email application that remote working teams use for their keeping updated on the current status of projects they are working on. It is a simple, easy to use application that is designed with status updates for the team in mind. Project teams who makes use of the Teamreporter application, can have their status updates all done by email, freeing them from the encumbrances of a status meeting, and giving them more time for project work, even giving them time for their families. Teamreporter is accessed with the following procedures:

  • Creating questions that the team members will answer.
  • Tailoring the questions to be asked to fit project needs
  • Scheduling the sending out of email queries.
  • Team members replying with their status reports.
  • Upon receiving individual team member reports,scheduling of overall status updates to every team member.
  • Adopting preset business scenarios.
  • Prompting team members who forget their reports.
  • Arranging an archive of team status reports

It has the following advantages:

  • Ready in 5 minutes
  • Free startup
  • Accessible even to novice users and managers
  • No IT software or hardware requirements
  • Only email login required for Team members

Teamreporter leads the team to greater productivity with its time and effort saving benefits.

Alternatives to team status reports

If there are no team status reports, team members will then have to use other means of communicating their situations, problems and ideas to other team members. They could exchange notes, converse on phones, have group sessions on Skype and use many other devices and applications available today.

But even with these modern devices, a structured and orderly exchange of information must be in place to attain the same results as a formal team status reporting.

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Teamreporter is free for small teams (up to 4 members)