Being a team leader is a serious responsibility. You are essentially responsible for the success of that team, for helping them overcome obstacles, and for optimizing their performance.
One useful tool for any team leader is a team leader report. This article discusses what a team leader report is, when to use one, and how to structure one. That way, you should be clear on the benefits and uses of this project management tool.
Looking to learn more about successful team management? Check out this post – The team development cycle.
What is a team leader report?
A team leader report is what the team leader uses to track their team’s progress on a project. Distinct from a dashboard, a report is a document that explores the subject in more depth. It is great for identifying and solving any recurring project obstacles, assessing productivity issues, and more.
It is also a great tool for communicating team performance to team members and other company stakeholders as required.
When to use a team leader report
Most busy team leaders struggle to pull out the most important data when it comes to their team’s everyday activities. By using regular progress or status reports, team leaders are usually able to improve their collaboration and processes.
A team leader report is useful for communicating recurring issues to team members as a way of highlighting recurring issues and uncovering obstacles. It is also good for reporting on performance to other company stakeholders and perhaps also clients – as required.
If practicing Agile project management methods, it makes sense to produce team leader reports at the end of each Sprint or development cycle. Otherwise, reports can be produced on a regular monthly, weekly, or even daily basis – or else following the completion of each significant project milestone.
Focus on the 3 Ps for effective status reporting
The PPP (Plans, Progress, Problems) process is one of the simplest and most effective ways to focus on collecting and reporting information for a process report. It is quick and efficient, making it easy to do regularly and to keep on top of.
The 3 Ps in this case stand for:
During a specified time, each individual team member, as well as the team leader, reports 3-5 key achievements, plans, and challenges from the reporting period.
Let’s now explore each of these in turn:
This P indicates what each employee has achieved during the reporting period, development cycle, or Sprint agreed upon as the reporting period. By getting team members to report on what they have achieved, a team leader gets a great overview of what the team has completed.
Asking this regularly makes the team think about and reflect on their progress. It’s best to encourage team members to write down only 3 – 5 key achievements each time. This helps keep them focused on the most significant progress and helps ensure that the report does not become too long, complex, or unwieldy, thereby maximizing how informative it is.
This indicator communicates planned future activities. For a team leader, knowing the plan is as important as knowing the progress. At this point, team leaders are still able to influence team plans if it becomes obvious that they are not in line with overall team objectives or the company’s business priorities. This is perhaps the most useful indicator to manage if you want to manage your projects effectively.
These are the challenges that your team members think they face. It’s very important to get this information from your team members, both so you can uncover and solve problems, and also so your team members feel listened to and respected.
This is the most urgent and important indicator for team leaders to focus on first. After all, solving problems and helping overcome obstacles is one of a team leader’s key responsibilities. Do this well and responsively, and your team will be more motivated and productive over time.
What to do next
Using a project management software tool such as Teamhood can be a great way to collect this kind of information on a regular basis, as well as display a lot of more urgent data visually in dashboards and charts that make it easier to access and understand in visual form.
Nevertheless, the depth of a team leader status report is a very useful discipline to get into, not least because it helps team leaders to become more effective managers.
For more on how Teamhood can help improve your project management practices and process, check out our expanding library of project management content: Project Management Resources or go ahead and try out Teamhood for yourself.
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