On Weekly Reportings - PYP & GSoC

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The objective of weekly reporting is communication. Specifically, reports should tell the reader what the current status of a project/task/deliverable is, what issues have been encountered, how the issues should be addressed, and what the plan is for the next reporting period.

Weekly reports should focus on expectations. The point of the report is to get attention focused on the bits that are not going to plan, as such, traditional status reports generally take the form of an exception report. They should focus the spotlight onto the issues the writer needs the readers to focus on. This of course implies that the report will be short and succinct.

Traditional reports focus on scheduling, budget, and risk. Scheduling should answer the question "have you got the things done that you should have by now?" If not, what has caused delays, what is the consequence, re budget and risk, of the delay.

Fundamentally, we are undertaking research within a project environment. As such, we can reformulate the reports to aid our research progress. Essentially, your report should address the following:

  • What did you do since the last meeting (or for the last week)?
  • What did you learn during the last week (...when you did your research)?
  • What problems did you encounter?
  • What do you plan to do next week? or better still, what do you think you/we should work on next week (... to overcome problems encountered for example).* What do you need to overcome the problems encountered (e.g., additional tools)?

Ideally, these reports should be disseminated (via email/wiki) to other team members prior to weekly update meetings to give team members time to consider issues encountered, identify sources of risk for their work, and to enhance brainstorming opportunities during the weekly reviews.