Simon Terry

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Status is Over

Don’t report status. Share ongoing work and let collaboration advance the work.

Most of the time in meetings is spent sharing and discussing status. A large portion of our emails are status updates. In organisations with social networks much of the information shared is in the form of a status update.

All of this information is better pulled as needed than pushed in a time consuming way to everyone. As we all know, listening to someone else’s status is rarely relevant or useful. What has happened is done. If you are impacted or involved, you already know. For everyone else, the value rarely justifies the time

Importantly, all that can happen from a status update is awareness. Many of those a status updates are made solely to make others aware of our performance. Often the consequence of that awareness may be identification of an error or problem after implementation.

When you work out loud on work that is ongoing, there are many more valuable conversations that can be had. People can:

  • help solve problems
  • suggest improvements
  • highlight risks or issues 
  • add information or ideas
  • offer assistance
  • avoid duplication
  • reuse your work practices or approach to improve their own

Reporting status is good for history books and the ego. Reporting on ongoing work is better for learning and collaboration.


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