Reporting And Project/Program Management

One of the most important tasks of a Project/Program Manager (even if they don’t call you that) is reporting.

That may sound odd. It’s supposed to be management, or projects, to tracking things. Which is of course core to what you do, but just because people are managers doesn’t mean management is the most important task. Management can only happen in the right environment and place.

An environment and place where you, the manager, are properly informed and aware.

It doesn’t matter how organized you are, how well you plan, how well you update your gantt charts, or if you’re SCRUM certified if you lack information and if you don’t know you have the right information. No matter your skills and abilities and inclinations, you have to know in order to manage, and if you don’t know you can’t do your job.

That comes back to what I said – reporting is one of the most important tasks of Project and Program Management.

Good reporting is all about making sure information flows to and from the right people, in the right format, and that includes yourself. Without that information flow you can’t do your job, people can’t know what their jobs are, no one knows what’s going on – and you’re probably going to get blamed for it. In fact things could be a complete mess reporting-wise and you may not even know it since . . . reporting is so bad.

Again, reporting is one of the most important tasks for people in the Project/Program Management profession.

In fact we have to work on it even if it’s not officially our job. Because we stand in the middle of everything and know how things work. Because information can flow to us and often does, even if it’s half-baked. In short, because we’re in the best position to make reporting work unless someone has specifically been given that job (whoever that poor sot is).

I’d like to see more of this covered in Project/Program and even Product Management training.

– Steven Savage

Steven Savage is a Geek 2.0 writer, speaker, blogger, and job coach.  He blogs on careers at, nerd and geek culture at, and does a site of creative tools at He can be reached at

Project Management Time: The Horizontal And The Vertical

As a Project Manager I both have to run processes, create processes, and get people do to them. It’s not as exciting as it sounds (and if the idea excites you then . . . well, we’re a lot a like).

The problem is that people don’t want to follow process for the most part. Who does like to fill out forms, do documentation, get the right boxes checked, etc.? People don’t enjoy this for the most part, and at best tolerate it.

Yet, at times, you’ll notice some processes do get done. Sometimes automatically, sometimes grudgingly. But they get done (and usually get done without coercion, or much of it).

So why does this happen? What is the difference between things that get done and things that don’t?

My answer is that there are Horizontal and Vertical Processes.

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