In a complex IT support environment, it’s common to support multiple operational entities, each with numerous technology projects under way. You need a consistent method to help you conduct efficient status meetings for your clients. Download this status report template to help you manage your clients’ expectations, no matter how large or complex these expectations may be.
I developed this template while managing the IT resources for Medaphis, a large, regionally based physicians billing services company. With six regions focused on individual operating and strategic technology needs, the company used this template to conduct monthly technology project status and planning meetings with each of the regional VPs.
The template incorporates the following sections:
- Technology Assimilations: Business application conversions or the elimination of legacy systems
- Client Migrations: Transferring clients from one business application to another
- Interfaces: Automated data interfaces to eliminate clerical data entry effort
- Electronic Claims Automation: Unique to healthcare; refers to the automated creation and processing of electronic claims (invoices), as opposed to printing them and sending them by postal service to the payer
- Pay Remittance Automation: Specific to healthcare billing entities; refers to the automated processing of electronic invoice payments vs. handling them by paper remittance
- A/R Conversions for New Business: Refers to converting a new client’s accounts receivables so that the company could process and collect on them
- Data Center Moves: Refers to physical moves or consolidations of technology data centers in the company.
- Office Moves: Refers to operations office moves or consolidations
- Special Projects: A list of all special projects undertaken for the client
- Other: Any other item that is noteworthy and needs to be discussed
In using a project initiative status report of this nature, I would gather the details of each project prior to meeting with the regional VP and determine when key project managers needed to be invited to the meeting.
At the meeting, I led the group through each project of each category, as necessary. Some projects were simply identified as being “on target,” while others needed more discussion due to associated risks or a special importance to the regional VP. We always met in a casual setting, but the organization and supporting detail my status reports provided paved the way in managing the expectations of the client—in this case, the regional VP and his or her management team.
Another valuable benefit to using this method is that you’ll invariably learn about new projects that regional VPs or their management teams forgot to tell you about. This is especially true in a large, high-growth company. Using this tool to facilitate monthly status meetings gave me a heads-up on many projects that had not been identified for the IT organization.
Using a standard template like this one will help you maintain clear expectations for the current technology projects and identify new and upcoming projects.
Mike Sisco is the CEO of MDE Enterprises, an IT management training and consulting company. For more of Mike’s management insight, take a look at his IT Manager Development Series.