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Sep 6, 2012 by Al Santos in PM Best Practices & News

How to Keep Everyone Up-to-date on a Project Status: Part 1

Howdy folks!

Over the past few years of successfully helping companies implement Easy Projects, I often come across the same type of questions. One of the most popular questions I’m asked is

“How do I keep everyone in the loop in terms of project status and schedule?”

A really great question, that has many answers. After all, one of the main advantages of Easy Projects is that all the information is centralized, so if you’re trying to find out something, all you have to do is know where to look.

Usually there are four main of roles in every project (Team Member, Project Manager, Executive and Customer). In this article, I’ll be talking about the Team Members and the Executives. Let’s take a look at some common issues that both of these types of users encounter, and how they can be overcome using the tools found in the software.

Team Member

One of the biggest issues that Team Members face is not knowing when a change happens to a project or activity. Maybe an end date was pushed up/back, maybe they were assigned to a new activity, maybe they need to communicate something to several different people at once. How can Easy Projects help? I’m glad you asked!

project notifications for team members
E-mail notifications: These are set up at either the global level (apply to all projects) or individual projects. We suggest starting with a minimum set of notification events as per screenshot on the right. You can always add more notifications later.
If any changes are made to the activities, an e-mail is sent to each activity assignee notifying them. So, if an end date is changed (the edit checkbox) or if they are assigned something new (the assign checkbox) they will be instantly notified.

update project status using message board
Message Board: Found on each individual activity or the overall project, these are used if you need to communicate something to everyone at once. Let’s say you need to place an activity on hold, simply change the status and enter that reason into the message board. Now, everyone who has access to that activity can read your message and get caught up to speed, or request additional information. But since the communication is centralized in the software, you will have a complete history of that discussion if needed for future instances.

Executive

Unlike the Team Member, an Executive usually is not involved in the day-to-day operations, but they do want to know how projects are performing at a quick glance. Maybe they have weekly status update meetings with their PMs, and want a way to automate the process. We suggest using the following to help in this.
project notifications for executives
E-mail notifications: Create a new rule on the project level specifically for these types of users. They probably don’t need to know if anyone was recently assigned to an activity, but will need to know when an activity or project is completed (the completed check box). If the Executive finds they are getting too many unneeded e-mail notifications, they can override the project notification rules from their My Options–>Email Notifications area.

Dashboard: The Project Health Chart allow you to see which projects are still on schedule and which are falling behind. For more information, you can mouse over the pie chart segmentations to know the specific projects, and click to drill down to their respective detail pages. The Executive can find a wealth of information from just this one screen, and save themselves and their team members time asking for updates.
project dashboard for executives

These are but a few of the features and tools found in the software. In the next article I’ll be talking about the other 2 types of roles (Project Managers and Customers) and what they can use to quickly find out information.

al-santos
Al Santos

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