So here I am doing a project in the Nordics. One of the topics of discussion has been on status reporting. I have seen a lot of organizations that use the red/yellow/green stoplight motif for their status reports. I have also seen project managers that figure out how to manipulate the data so that their project will appear as green until things really fall apart, at which time they go to red. Taking this approach doesn’t really help because management can’t see when things start to go wrong and when they need to step in to assist.
An effective organization will have true transparency in their reporting. When an issue surfaces, it is communicated without fear of “shooting the messenger.” There’s not a focus on who’s to blame, but on how to fix things. Without this type of open communications, status reports aren't worth the paper they're printed on.