5 Words That Show You Know What You Are Doing as a Project Manager

Music to my EarsA number of years ago I worked with a company that performed large-scale enterprise software development for clients. These projects would typically run a year or more in length and would spin off additional work throughout the process. Projects of this scale require Executive debrief with the sponsors on the client side as well as the executives of my company. This would allow everyone to understand where things stand.

So the conversation started out one day, “I’ll be meeting with [insert client name here] next week.” Here we go, I thought. Here comes the long list of needs, reports, action items, deliverables, etc., etc., etc.. “I won’t need anything additional. Just give me the most recent status report.” That was it! I was thrilled when I heard those five words, “I won’t need anything additional.” Why was this? Nothing additional was needed for a couple of reasons”

  1. The Status Report was Up-to-Date: It was the most current information that was at the most a couple of days old and could be refreshed in a matter of minutes.
  2. The Status Report was Comprehensive: This report included Risks, Milestones, Next Steps, and Escalations. Everything that an executive would need to know was on this one page summary.
  3. The Status Report was Accurate: Facts were checked. There was no guessing or conjecture in the report. This report was something that could support solid decisions.

Was this report always like this? No, this report had evolved throughout the years. However, once you reach this point you will find that your projects run smoother, expectations are able to be managed and decisions can be made that will keep your project moving forward.

By the way, credit needs to be given to the executive as well. He knew that his job was not to go in and manage the project, but to shore up the relationship and look for additional opportunities where our companies could work together.

What are some of the things you make sure are on your status report so you can hear “I won’t need anything additional”?

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