anatomy of a great status report

I love NPR and listen to it every morning in the car-- when I remember to switch from the kid's tunes. Dear Liza has a whole in her bucket after all. Sad but true.  This interview between Melissa Block and General Paul Kennedy on the Philippines typhoon in November 2013 is just one of thousands of examples of great status reporting.

example of a status report

Why I love it

It's logically structured, crammed with facts, oozes details, and is free from too much speculation about what might or hopefully will happen.

How you might use it

Prior to your next senior status briefing, sent out a couple of sentences on the issue and solution-in-progress along with the invite.  Keep it short.  Limit the meeting to 15 minutes or less (including questions.)* Then, separately send a handful of smart questions to the project team. Ask them to come prepared to address them but ban use of PowerPoint. 

*Have you ever noticed that things take as long as you give them? It's like grocery shopping. I can do it in 20 minutes or 2 hours.  It all depends on how long I have to spend in the store. Keeping your meeting durations down actually doesn't limit the information conveyed, it just forces people to stick to the facts and limit extra editorializing, speculation, and wishful thinking.