This website covers knowledge management, personal effectiveness, theory of constraints, amongst other topics. Opinions expressed here are strictly those of the owner, Jack Vinson, and those of the commenters.

Not interested in yesterday

I often enjoy the Manager Tools podcasts for their sensible approach to the world of work. One of their recent entries has been on "Project Meeting Reporting" Part 1 and Part 2

Effective managers are really good at managing projects. Projects provide a focus, an attention, that often regular responsibilities don’t. ... So why aren’t we all a lot better at them? ... One thing we CAN do is be more effective at teaching and handling project reporting.

Their essential message is that the first thing managers should ask of their people is a report on status, not the effort. Is the work complete (or progressing) as expected? Then talk about the future prospects: are there any speed bumps or concerns? After that, then the stories about how hard people have worked (effort) are acceptable.

They make the point that project status reports are all about the future, not about what already happened. Yesterday is gone, and whether you did a great job or someone got in your way is mostly inconsequential to what needs to be done to make the project speed along its path from today onward.

Note to my knowledge management friends: Yes, I know that we need to pay attention to what we've done in the past so that we can learn from our mistakes and our successes. For the immediate needs of the project team, that doesn't help much.

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