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Week 13. The Project Managers training blog by Paul Bradley SPOCE MD

Just one week to go until London Marathon Day and Paul presents us with a highlight report on his Project Marathon. Highlight reports, enable the project manager to communicate the status of the project while giving the right level of information to the right people (the stakeholders and Sponsor).

25th September 2022 - Marathon day minus 1 week

Information management

Well that all went very quickly! Just one week until the London Marathon. Here's your weekly highlight report on what has been happening:

Purpose

• To provide my followers and sponsors an update of progress during the period 19-25 September 2022.

This reporting period

• Dates: 19-25 September 2022.

• In summary, a total 22 miles have been covered in 3 training runs:

    o 19 September - 10 miles

    o 21 September - 3 miles

    o 24 September - 9 miles

• I had a sports massage for a sore neck and sore left leg on 21 September.

Next reporting period

• Two easy runs for the next reporting period as part of the tapering plan.

    o 4 miles on 26th September

    o 3 miles on 28th September

Budget Status and Tolerances

• I received a great offer of 15% off Nike trainers, and took advantage of this by purchasing the pair that had been budgeted for at the discounted price.

• However, we are now over budget due to my taking advantage of the offer and ordering a second pair!

Schedule Status and Tolerances

• On schedule, albeit the 400 miles of training may fall short by 7 miles due to the injury that will affect the final week of training.

• Completion of the London Marathon on 2nd October is still on schedule.

• The fundraising target of £1,700 was complete 5 weeks early.

Requested for Change

• None

Key Issues and Risks

• A key issue is my left leg. There is an injury somewhere that is delivering pain in the outside of my left calf.

• There is a risk that the final weeks training will be affected by this injury.

Lessons Report

• Had I got my left leg examined last week before the 9 miles on the 24th, then this could have reduced potential impact in the final weeks of training.

• Do not run when feeling even a slight injury.

The above is an example of a highlight report. In projects we use highlight reports to keep the Sponsor and other stakeholders informed of what is happening. Not everyone needs to be sent all of the information, but you can use this as a base for your communication.

Reports and information

There are many other reports and information that we use in projects, including:

• Checkpoint Report

    o Created by team managers to provide a regular (weekly or even daily) summary on progress of development work.

• End Stage Report

    o Created by the project manager towards the end of each stage of work to  summarise what has happened during the stage and to confirm the products that have been completed.

• End Project Report

    o Created by the project manager towards the end of the project to summarise how the project was performed and how it has met its objectives.

• Exception Report

   o Created by the project manager to alert the Sponsor that an issue has arose which beaches the project manager's authority.

• Issue Report

    o Created by the project manager to summarise the an issue that has been raised. It should include the results of an impact analysis to show the affect the issue is having on the timescales, costs, risks, quality and benefits.

• Lessons Report

    o Completed by the project manager, this is a summary that forms part of the End Stage Report/End Project Report to help disseminate lessons that have been recorded during the stage or project. This should be a summary of both good and bad things that we would want to consider for the way we perform future work.

• Product Status Account

    o A simple snapshot of the current status of all products of the stage (and project).

As you can see, there are lots of ways to keep people informed, but you do also have to be careful of information overload. Try simplifying the information and reports where possible and use summary information, dashboards and diagrams where possible.

So with 22 miles completed, and one week to go, things are looking good going into the final week.

EDIT: 28 September 2022

The final week of training has been cancelled due to the injury outlined (the risk described in the highlight report). This means that the criteria of 400 miles of training will fall short by 6.7 miles. I will make a concession and sign this off anyway.

Maybe one more chance? On Wednesday 28th we had arranged a charity relay event for Team #runFAR. Each team of 5 had to cover 5k (1km each). With 11 teams taking part, this was to be a great event. The atmosphere was amazing, with the emphasis on taking part, rather than winning!

I was apprehensive to take part as I was keen to rest my left leg as much as possible before the London Marathon on Sunday. Nevertheless, I decided to set off very slowly in my leg(!) with another member of my team accompanying me in case I had to stop. Sure enough, 100 meters into the run, I had to stop.

It's now a waiting game. There is nothing that I can do now other than rest, ice compress and head to that startline on Sunday (and hope I'm recovered enough to complete the 26.2 miles).

What next?

In the final series of this blog, I'll explain what happened in the London Marathon and will look at project close, post project reviews and managing benefits.

About Paul Bradley

Paul Bradley is a leading authority on project management methods and techniques. With over 25 years in the industry, Paul's knowledge and experience is respected by clients, accreditation bodies and training organisations globally. Paul has been the Managing Director of SPOCE since 2005, and is an accredited trainer for PRINCE2®, APM and AgilePM®. He is a regular presenter at seminars, providing information on project implementation drawn from his expertise as an accredited Axelos P3M3® Consultant. He has had two books published to enhance the training and use of PRINCE2®. Paul is also an active member and co founder of the renown RunFAR® initiative that raises both awareness and funds for charitable causes. The #RunFAR mission is to run for a reason and share a passion for running with others. 

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