Project status report is a crucial part of project management. It provides regular and formalized report about the progress of the project against the project plan. The project status not only provides effective information to the project manager, rather it also communicates about the status of the project to its different stakeholders. But sometimes the information provided in the status report is not adequate or too little, which confuses the project manager to make any decision regarding the project. Incompleted, misrepresented, unauthenticated, incorrect, and unrecognized data always leads to poor project management and planning.
Challenges and Pitfalls of Different Status Report
The project status report plays a major role in controlling the project and improving communication among project team members. But normally people do some mistakes during the preparation of the status report. These pitfalls can be identified as follows:
Using incorrect and misrepresented information
This is the major problem in the status report when the information is not accurate and valid. This leads to the bad decision making of the project manager or executive of the project. The top manager needs to check every information used in the status report. Because the fact can be altered or change during the status report preparation by any employees for their personal benefits (Keil, Smith, Iacovou, & Thompson, 2014).
Inadequate information or too much information
Both inadequate information of excessive information is useless for a status report and it cannot help in any decision makings to the top executives of the project (Carstens, Richardson, & Smith, 2016). Accurate and precise data is sufficient for the project management and it helps in team alignment, decision-making and achieving the objectives and goals of the project.
Dependency on Project Staff
The top executive of the project cannot rely on the project staff for an accurate status report. The top executives of the project always think that the project staff will inform or speak to them if they found any problems in the project. But this is not always true (Hughes, Dwivedi, Simintiras, & Rana, 2016).
Misreport about Project Status
There are numbers of reasons that force to misreport about the project status such as personality traits of individual, cultural norms and work climate of a project. The individuals with the higher tendency for risk-taking are more likely to miss the report about the project progress. The positive people of the project are likely to be more optimistic when they report their project status (García, Peña, Pérez, & Pérez, 2017). Work climate and cultural factor also plays an important role in misreporting of project progress.
Ignoring a Mistake
Many times it has been seen that the senior manager or the recipient of the status report avoid the mistake which carries in the status report. Such mistakes can be in form of mistyping or incorrect or missing information. The worst mistake is to pretend nothing happened or ignoring the root causes of the problem.
Difference between the status reports provided for teams, sponsor, and steering committee
There are different types of status report that used in project management and provide useful information to different parties about the progress of the project.
Team Status Report
Project teams need accurate and reliable information about the progress of the project towards the completion of the project. The team status report provides information about the work of everyone who involves in project completion. With regular team status report issuance, the team members can easily track their work progress and get a better idea where the work progress is heading to (Oakes, 2016).
Status report for Sponsors
The sponsor status report provides regular updates and information about the progress of the project to the sponsors. The project sponsor attends the periodic meeting with the project manager to get information about the project progress. The sponsors of the project invest a huge amount in the project and they always want to know about the progress of the project. The status report for the sponsors includes all the information related to project progress and shows how well they doing the work to accomplish the project within the planned budget (Tonchia, 2018).
Status report for Steering Committee
As the name suggests the steering committee of the project helps, guides and suggests the project manager about the possible change in the project to complete it successfully. The status report of the project provides information about the progress of the project to the steering committee. The members of the steering committee usually not work on the project themselves rather they representing as a key member of the organisation or partners in the project. The role of the steering committee is to provide advice, recommend about the possible change, advice about the budget and helps in managing and monitoring possible risks in the project on the basis of a status report (Kerzner & Kerzner, 2017).
Project status report plays an important role in the management of a project and provides accurate information to its various stakeholders such as project manager, sponsors, and topmost executives of the project. A correct and meaningful status report is essential to measure the performance of the project team members as well as it is also helpful in providing the progress updates of the project. But it is essential for a project that the status report must be informative to its stakeholders that helps in taking corrective action when needed and the steering committee can suggest and guide in right way in order to complete the project.
Carstens, D. S., Richardson, G. L., & Smith, R. B. (2016). Project management tools and techniques: A practical guide. New York, USA: CRC Press.
García, J. A. L., Peña, A. B., Pérez, P. Y. P., & Pérez, R. B. (2017). Project Control and Computational Intelligence: Trends and Challenges. International Journal of Computational Intelligence Systems, 10(1), 320-335.
Hughes, D. L., Dwivedi, Y. K., Simintiras, A. C., & Rana, N. P. (2016). Project failure and its contributing factors. Success and failure of IS/IT projects. Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer.
Keil, M., Smith, H. J., Iacovou, C. L., & Thompson, R. L. (2014). The pitfalls of project status reporting. MIT Sloan Management Review, 55(3), 57.
Kerzner, H., & Kerzner, H. R. (2017). Project management: a systems approach to planning, scheduling, and controlling. Hoboken, USA: John Wiley & Sons.
Oakes, G. (2016). Project reviews, assurance and governance. UK: Gower Publication.
Tonchia, S. (2018). Project Execution in Industrial Project Management. Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer.