Don’t just give me a status report, tell me a story

Last year I took on a new project manager and asked him to prepare a monthly status report. I received a spreadsheet with a long list of work packages and ticket numbers. After reviewing the report several times, I really had no idea what had been accomplished. I went back to the project manager and suggested that a spreadsheet on its own lacks meaning.

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When making apps or sites or anything at all, we link an extraordinary chain of events together and, at the end, we have a product. Like any good story there’s a beginning, middle and end to the process. When I speak with clients or colleagues about a project, I’m really telling them a story – constructing a narrative of things being planned, worked on at the moment and what we aspire to deliver in the near future.

Whenever I return to the office after a few days of holiday, my first question to the team is – “tell me what’s going on and what we’re trying to achieve. Tell me the story of how we get there.”

Don’t just give me a status report, tell me a story

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