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Dynamic Status Dials – to communicate project status with RAG on a single page.

Sydney at Night – Zoomed in.

Communicating a large amount of information on any project into a simple,  easier to read and digest format is always something of a challenge. The trick is to focus on the key areas and “zoom” in on them.

We have read a fair bit of conventional wisdom which states that creating the ideal dashboard template should be kept simple (we agree) and that attempting to replicate the most traditional of dashboards in that of a car is to be avoided as it is not necessary. This struck a chord with us as we fundamentally disagreed – after all, cars display the most complex of information in a format which is universally accepted and which in spite of digital advances has remained largely the same using dials with redder bits akin to a RAG status.

So we started to build one and soon understood the reason behind conventional wisdom – making a car dashboard which is fully automated, pleasant on the eye and useful to those looking at it is really quite difficult! Being that difficult is our middle name (well it is documents but you get the gist) we would not take really quite difficult as an answer so persevered and finally late one night we had done it.

You can see our status template with dynamic dials here.

…in all of its 3-colour glory!

We are quite proud of it, but as ever, feedback is always welcome. As an added incentive, the first 5 people who can e-mail us with “How hard could it be” in the title will get a free version to give it a test drive.

Our Status Templates

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RAG Status – Communicate Project Status!

Rag Status

“RAG Status” stands for R / A / G = Red, Amber or Green (it’s an acronym, which means Annoying Manager Word!)

RAG status is clearly communicated in this Dashboard template

It is commonly used in Project Status reporting to communicate the level of risk, to cover your arse, and yes….

….it is Management Jargon ?

The Idiots Guide to RAG STATUS

  1. RED = High Risk
  2. AMBER = Medium Risk
  3. GREEN = Low Risk

The Typical RAG Status Conversation

Manager: “What is your RAG status, Mr Smithers?”

You: “I have GREEN for Project Sunshine, and AMBER for Project Saving Rear”

Good – you passed!

Need more help? Here are a few RAG Status Examples

Watch Out – RAG STATUS can mean different things !!

“Do I need to poke nose in and mess your life up??” Management RAG Status

  1. RED = Your manager MESSES UP YOUR PROJECT IMMEDIATELY.
  2. AMBER = Your manager HANGS AROUND ANNOYINGLY.
  3. GREEN = Your manager reverts to NORMAL PAIN IN THE REAR.

THE TRUTH: Project Manager’s RAG Status

This is what it really means.

  1. RED = My project is ABOUT TO GO BANG. I am PROTECTING MY ASS.
  2. AMBER = My project is ABOUT TO GO RED.
  3. GREEN = My project seems OK, so IT WILL BE AMBER OR RED NEXT WEEK.

MORE JARGON: “Issue Focussed RAG Status”

This will impress your managers. Use these exact words if you want to appear all business-like:

  1. RED = LIVE ISSUE: remedial action is required to bring the project back within budget or delivery schedule
  2. AMBER = ISSUE is being addressed: remedial action is in progress, and ISSUE is being addressed
  3. GREEN = NO LIVE ISSUE: no action required

Some more generalised Risk and Status communication formats

Summary – use RAG Status carefully!

RAG Status is a great tool for communicating status quickly, but beware : Make sure you define what the Red, Amber, and Green mean for you and your stakeholders!

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Powerpoint Dashboard

Keynote Status Report Template

This excellent value Powerpoint Dashboard includes Status, RAG, KPI, RAID, SWOT, and Highlights. Use this for any dashboard presentation.

The Powerpoint Dashboard Includes:

  1. Overall RAG
  2. KPI
  3. Workstream RAG
  4. RAID
  5. SWOT
  6. Highlights.

Use this template pack to communicate your Project or Product status to stakeholders of all levels.

More Dashboard Formats

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Project Dashboard

Powerpoint Project Dashboard with Status Template

The Project Dashboard – the perfect way to deliver Project Status reports to stakeholders.

  1. Summary RAG
  2. KPI Status
  3. RAG by Project Area
  4. RAID – Risks, Assumptions, Issues, Dependencies

You can use this format as a form of regular project communication update.

Project Dashboard Formats

Outline the key Project Status points in minutes, on this Dashboard

Highlight the important messages of your Project

  1. Successes
  2. Upcoming releases
  3. Live risks
  4. Blockages
  5. Caveats

It also includes a Roadmap format to compliment the Dashboard.

Product Roadmap shows Timeline, Workstreams and Dashboard
This Product Roadmap shows Timeline, Workstreams and a Project Dashboard

Outline the Red, Amber, Green Project Statuses with this Dashboard

This Dashboard, part of a Product Roadmap Template, features these Dashboard status updates:-

  1. Delivery (with RAG – Red, Amber, Green)
  2. Budget (with RAG – Red, Amber, Green)
  3. Resource (with RAG – Red, Amber, Green)
  4. Marcom – Marketing and Communications (with RAG – Red, Amber, Green)
  5. Dependencies
  6. Risks
  7. Issues
  8. On Radar (‘heads up’ items)
Picture of The Product Roadmap Template, with Project Dashboard
This template features both the Product Roadmap, and the Project Dashboard

Reduce your Project Update Documentation down to 1 Document

  1. No need to send around an unfathomable Gantt – your stakeholders hate them!
  2. No need to pull out boring spreadsheets
  3. No need for piles of PDF attachments

Project Dashboard Templates