In the project world, status is everything. But getting it can be painful, especially if it means getting team members to attend calls or provide updates.

But here’s why we need them:

  • The people paying for the project or our time need to know what’s going on.  They don’t like to be kept in the dark (just like project managers)
  • It lets everyone knows they need to have work completed or an update on progress by a certain day. It help keeps folks focused on delivering results without micromanaging them.
  • It’s way more efficient than chasing people randomly to find out about the status of a task (because if you’re popping in on them unexpectedly, they probably don’t have the work done or in a condition to show you).

But here are some ideas for making calls or getting status updates less painful:

  • Trying to get everyone on a call at the same time can be challenging, especially when most of our teams are spread across multiple time zones or have irregular hours of work. And we all know that until it’s time to give your update, most people zone out or are multitasking. So arrange a time each week to check in with individuals to get their updates – they’ll be prepared and happy to be able to get back to work quickly.
  • On calls, don’t waste time reviewing information that everyone can read for themselves. Issue your status report in advance of the call so everyone has time to look it over. Make sure the highs, lows, hot or need-to-know stuff is highlighted for discussion.
  • Use the call to give the headlines, make your points (and make them quick) and use the time for making decisions or solving problems.

There will always be people that consider meetings or status updates a waste of time or productivity killers, but with a few good techniques, they won’t think that about yours!