Project leaders must track project status in order to ensure the project is being executed correctly. Project scorecards can be updated through a series of meetings with team members, and then shared with project leaders to provide transparency and accelerate issue resolution. Project meetings should be sequenced to allow information to flow from the functional teams to the project sponsor.
- One of the biggest challenges a leader faces is how to track the status of a project once execution begins. In this video, we'll look at how to use routine meetings and a project scorecard to make sure that everyone, including the leader, stays up to date with the project. A project scorecard is a document that captures key information that helps you quickly understand the status of a project: how are things tracking in regards to scope, schedule and budget? There are quantitative project metrics that you'll want to track, such as whether activities are on schedule, and of course, metrics related to the budget.
But there is also qualitative information that can be valuable, such as the highest priority issues, risks, and potential scope changes. If you'd like to see the project scorecard for H+ Sport, you can download it from the exercise files for this course. When it comes to maintaining communications about project status, I find that it's useful to schedule short, focused, routine meetings, either in person or over the phone. The scorecard is only useful if the information on it is accurate and up to date.
Let me share a system that I use which involves three rounds of meetings each week. It's a simple way to make sure that the right information gets to the right people in a reasonable amount of time. The first round of meetings if for the functional groups. Each of the groups should have a meeting where they cover five things. First, they should review the project scorecard from the prior week. Second, they should update the status of the activities they are working on. Have they finished any activities or started any new ones? Third, they should review any open issues or action items that impact their work.
This is also the time to raise any new action items that need to be addressed. Fourth, they should open the floor to everyone on the team about things that they need help with or questions they might have. Fifth, they should make sure that everyone knows what they're supposed to be working on for the following week. After each of the functional groups have met on their own, then I have a meeting with just the functional group leaders, to discuss our status and update the scorecard. This meeting also has four objectives, but they're slightly different.
First, update the scorecard from the prior week to reflect the current status of their activities. Second, we review the action items on the tracker and add new ones if needed. Third, we discuss any scope, schedule, or budget changes that may be required. And fourth, open the floor for discussion and questions. After the meeting with the functional group leaders comes the meeting with the project sponsor and any other executives that need to be kept in the loop.
This meeting has only three goals. First, share the scorecard, provide an update on the status of the project. Second, discuss any issues that require their attention or approval, such as changes to the scope, schedule, or budget. And third, capture decisions and instructions that will impact the project or that need to be communicated to the rest of the project team. That's my system for gathering status updates and keeping the project scorecard up to date each week.
You may not use that exact system, but having a process where information can flow up, down and sideways is really the key. When it works, you'll build trust with the team and your sponsor will have confidence in the work that your team is doing.
- Name who is responsible for approving the resources for the project.
- Recall what the spine of a fishbone diagram represents.
- List characteristics of the environment.
- Identify the tools used for mapping processes.
- Recognize what needs to be captured on the action item list.
- Recall what project metrics should be related to.