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Generate Action in Project Status Reports

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To keep project activities moving, I've been testing a strategy of having action generate action through status reporting. Here's what I've noticed that works:

As it stands, the current status of a project or task either gives a call to action, which creates further productive activity, or it leaves things as they are.

For example, a task status might say, "Completed the requirements document." While it's a valid update on the task, it only tells us something that is already in the past. Rewording your updates to generate a vision of current action is more helpful.

Consider if the status update said, "Reviewing the completed requirements document with the business owner." By including the present tense, the status presents the same information, but it adds an action-oriented, current, activity-based standing.

As a result of using present tense, I've noticed that the action of simply reporting on status has generated further action. It actually put me directly into the doing part of action, rather than talking about the action.

Let's say I receive a status update that says, "Kim is getting the screenshots of the system alert message," or, "John is reviewing the requirements document with the business owner." From this, I would know to follow up with Kim on whether she got the screenshot and set a reminder to connect with John and find out how the review went.

Review one of the status updates you've recently done yourself, or one that you received. Did it use the present or past tense? If the latter, what better results do you see possible by using the present tense?

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