You’d better have 10 pairs of eyes, matching sets of ears and a crystal ball if you want to be the project manager. That, or make sure you are on top of your status reports. It will probably work better for you then all those extra eyes and ears. Most project managers these days will spend quite some time and effort on a status report, and for good reason.
Outline project health – Progress, goals, milestones, schedule, everything the PM doctor needs to assess. Not to mention the problematic parts, which help the executives decide if the project is safe.
Highlight exceptional issues and risks – Many issues demand immediate attention, you want put this first in your report, or at least highlight it.
Report to the senior executives and stakeholders – Frequent insight is the key to happiness. Give them that insight into goals that have/have not been met, financial status and any problems the project is facing or might face – a status report will give that to them.
Keep the team in check – People work efficiently while they are being monitored, the opposite is true when they are not. Remember that basement refinishing job that went on for a year and a half? The status report will keep everyone in check and if incompetency is noticed, it can be mended.
Stay away from unwanted surprises – Better to be disappointed in during a project and fix it while you can, than to overcome the shock and loss in the end.
Take in the views – Be sure to have different minds to analyze the status report, the best outcomes are through collaboration and communication.