Recently I attended a talk by Dr. James Brown titled: Three Overlooked Strategies of a Successful PMO and there was one item that really hit home for me.
Dr. Brown indicated that the first thing you need to have in a successful PMO is a standard one page status report that is sent out at the same time as all other projects. In it, it will have 4 basic sections: Where are we now, where have we been, where are we going and new issues and risks.
This was great to hear, because I have used this same concept at each of the organizations I have worked at. The key to this one page document is that it is short, concise and in many cases it includes colors or charts. I always encourage PMs to insert these updates into the body of an email instead of attaching a word document (save the word document to your project site). Next it is key within your communication plan to indicate when the status report will be sent out (I personally like Thursdays by 5PM); and be ready for the folks that actually read it to send you questions on it.
The next step is to have a portfolio view of all of your organization’s projects. I personally like SharePoint, because it is very easy to create a mini database within it.
If you are in a PMO or are the sometime PM, do you have a clear easy to understand status report that is sent out at defined intervals? If not here is your chance to truly help your project get back on track!