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4-Box: Simple way to report your projects

Updated: Sep 5, 2023

#TLDR: Proven project reporting format to take your project management to the next level

At the intersection of #PBJAM facets of #Communication and #Leadership, lies an often experienced and much-cliched issue of "how best to report and track your projects". I searched Google for the term "project reporting" and found 753 Million results!!

Over many years of being involved with projects, I have seen my fair share of project reporting tools, both effective and ineffective. Today, I want to share one tool that I have liked for its simplicity and effectiveness. It's called a 4-box report. The timeline and status summary are shown on the top with a series of boxes (you can treat them as weeks, months, or quarters depending on the length of your project). This simple visual provides uniform messaging to all stakeholders at a glance.

You can vary the number of boxes as needed (e.g. one version combines red and yellow issue boxes together, replaces accomplishments with project KPIs, and leaves lower space for key communications) and you can also choose to report more details here around project status (e.g. cost, schedule, scope, compliance).

In general, such a simple report helps you avoid administrative efforts involved in creating detailed project reports. Simplicity helps your audiences as well to better understand where your project is.

I won't recommend using this tool for daily reporting as daily reporting might be more transactional in nature. But, this is quite effective for weekly to monthly reporting cycles.

What tools have you found to be effective for project reporting? Which ones do you like? Post your responses here.

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