Weekly reports: small to do, big for success

Improve management team cohesion with weekly progress reports. When you do this, team meetings become more effective as you can concentrate on cooperation and forward-looking topics.

To make a management team work well together, information must be shared quickly and directly. One way to do this is quick weekly progress reports that members of the management team email to each other.

Here is an example of how you can group items:

Weekly email report sections

  1. Key accomplishments last week
  2. Key things that stalled
  3. Key concerns
  4. Key good vibrations
  5. Key upcoming tasks and events
  6. Other thinking

Key principles:

  • The CEO should also send a report to the team.
  • It is vitally important that people can speak freely in the report and that problems and concerns can be openly discussed.
  • The report should not become a forum for bragging about accomplishments. Its purpose is to ensure that everyone is fully informed.
  • As with all reporting, these should to be easy to produce. Otherwise you risk losing more than you gain. Reporting must never become a self-purpose. Its role is to make information move faster.

Benefits of weekly progress reports:

  • When everyone in the team is informed of everything, the team is more cohesive.
  • When weekly reports are sent in writing, time does not have to be spent at meetings reviewing what they did last week – this is all in the report. Instead meetings are used to discuss cooperation.
  • When the report also includes sections on problems and challenges, it is easy in the management team to take action to fix them.

VIDEO TRANSCRIPT

Weekly reports. A small thing to do and a big thing for success for the management team. As CEO, it’s your role to make sure that the management team communicates well.

I’ve found that writing weekly reports that everybody writes and sends to everybody in the management team is an excellent way of sharing information quickly and easily.

Like with all reporting, it has to be very easy to produce them and very easy to consume them. They shouldn’t be overly long. They should focus on just the key things.

In the reports I’ve used, we have six sections in the weekly report. We write it by email every week.

The first one is “What were the key accomplishments last week” – just to make sure everybody knows.

Then, Which key things stalled last week?

Which things didn’t move forward? Important to report about those so that they can be fixed.

Number three, section number three: Key concerns. Any question or concern or lingering worry that the manager has is being reported in that weekly report.

Number four: Good vibrations. Whatever it is, always celebrate success, small success, large success, whatever it is, the good vibrations need to be shared.

Section number five is about the upcoming week: Key events in the upcoming week.

The last section, number six, is just a general one that I usually call Other Thinking. People may write down a poem or a joke or a comment about their personal life or whatever it is, something extra that they would like to share with their colleagues.

When everybody in the management does this, the CEO included, information is shared very quickly and everybody is up to speed with what happens. This means that when you get together for a meeting, you can be focused on the future and you don’t have to look back.

You don’t have to report in the meeting of what you’ve been doing because it was all in the weekly report. The meetings become forward looking and you can concentrate on collaboration and on cross team coordination, which is what the management team should be doing.

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