Monday, April 10, 2006

Status Reports

The value of status reports have been debated since, oh, maybe the time of Napoleon. Over at DevelopingStorm, Pete has a quick take on how Kubi Software does its reports. It sounds like a concise and useful approach:

1. Last week, what did you say you were going to do this week?
2. What did you finish doing this week?
3. What do you plan to do next week?
4. Is anything blocking your progress?

The status reports I'm most familiar with are simply memos consisting of bullet points: noteworthy activities called out along with any highlighted problems.

The issue I have with both approaches is that it doesn't provide a "dashboard" view of progress in a particular area. A single week's snapshot won't depict status of a lengthy task that, for example, had no activity over the last week.

What we need is a new form of status report and, by golly, that's just what I intend to unveil over the next several blog posts.

The DR status report (for lack of better nomenclature) requires a new form of template: ideally one that is web-based or suitable for publication on the web. It describes projects/tasks that are grouped (by priority or other natural affinity). It also provides a handy dashboard view, both at the weekly and overall project level. Lastly, it also provides free-form text input.

I'll have some drafts available shortly. And, no, I'm not going to issue an RFC.

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