Simple Portfolio Status Report


Quick Summary
A useful and effective approach for reporting multi-project, high-level status regularly to executives.


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What this is

A multi-project, high level status format for visually conveying a quick look at the status of various on-going, soon-to-start or dependent projects. It was developed by a medium-sized telecom company as a way of quickly reporting project portfolio status to executive staff members. By design, it does not contain much detail! Instead, it provides a way for high-level managers to identify critical problems in the portfolio, and then focus executives on those issues.

NOTE: The Word file explains the status format; the template is in the related Excel file.


Why it's useful

Common project planning tools like MS Project have roll-up methods to report status on the on-going project portfolio. At this telecom PMO, an analysis revealed that it was more costly to do a complete roll-up of all the projects to get a summary status sheet on a weekly basis. Even when that approach was used, it was always modified for the executive staff meetings anyway, into something easier to read, fitting the preferences of the executive staff. The simple Excel status format was created to highlight problem areas and critical issues on projects and within the project portfolio.


How to use it

Project team leaders and project managers determine their weekly status from the project team and forward it to the PMO (Project Management Office), or whoever is creating a summary status for the executives.

Four status criteria are applied to technology, costs, and time:

  • Green - The project is going well or very close to plan.
  • Yellow - Something on the project has become suspect and put the plan in jeopardy, or something is indeterminate and may put the project at risk.
  • Orange - Something is definitely amiss and the project plan has slipped. A change is required or an alteration to the plan.
  • Red - The project is experiencing critical problems and a plan review is required immediately. Changes to the plan are necessary–perhaps extreme changes.
  • Future status blocks are left blank.
  • An "X" in the block indicates project start dates that are delayed, but scheduled.

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