Juggling the wide range of projects your team has under way is a monumental task on its own terms.
Making sure everybody else in the company knows how great your guys are at juggling all those tasks is a neat trick, in its own right. Status reports tend to focus on single projects; presenting the full scope of what IT is up to, in a format that's easy for other managers to digest, is a critical step in communicating the value IT brings to the company.
The IT Initiatives Portfolio, from our partners at MDE Enterprises, gives you a clean, grid-based format for presenting progress on IT projects to the broader company. The Excel-based tool is available for free download to IT Business Edge members here in the IT Downloads library.
The simple spreadsheet asks you to publish key project metrics on a line-item basis. As you can see in the figure below, the sheet reports:
The business manager responsible for the project
The planned and actual timeframes for the project, along with variance. The spreadsheet gives you the flexibility of choosing any time unit you wish.
The planned and actual costs, along with variance.
The tool also goes on to ask you to review results, in any timeframe that best suits your business. (The template calls for 6-month and 12-month review periods, but again, you can tailor the tool to suit your specific culture.)
The report closes with fairly subjective ratings of whether or not the deliverable meets user needs and your personal rating of the project's overall success.
Again, this tool basically provides you with a visual layout of a very high-level report, which often is all you really need to make a point with non-IT managers. If you find you need to get a little more granular in your reporting, be sure to check out the IT Status Report Template, from Info~Tech Research Group.
The Word-based tool allows you to rate each of your projects on a color-coded scale for overall health, and then lays out a simple grid page where you can report the last reporting window's accomplishments, issues currently facing the project, and upcoming activities.
It's more information on a per-project basis than presented in the IT Initiatives Portfolio template, but the IT Status Report Template focuses more on particular deliverables and less on metrics (a.k.a., math). It's more of a storyline than a report. Depending on your business culture, you should pick the one that best communicates value to other managers. Or use both to complement each other. It's all about sharing just the right amount of information.