The value of written status updates

Photo by Markus Winkler on Unsplash

Hey Product Leaders, How often are you in meetings? Getting questions on what is coming up, how things are progressing, and when can they expect an update on what they’re most interested in?

Enform.io is a solution aiming to help product leaders share transparent progress updates. Focusing on activities and development progress toward the overarching business objectives you’re striving to meet.

Share progress towards goals and objectives regularly

A written update on the progress towards business & product goals and objectives will help yourself and others understand what you’re prioritizing and why. For example, if a current focus is to prioritize refining your product’s onboarding experience, connect activities and development back to the broader goals of increasing conversion to paid, increasing the number of active trials, or decreasing time to value (that aha moment).

Stay focused

Ideas can evolve and take on a life of their own. Linking activities back to the objectives and metrics you are looking to influence can help keep you and junior members of a product team keep their eyes on the outcomes you’re trying to achieve.

Keep the broader cross-functional team in the loop

Meetings, workshops, brainstorming sessions, random ideas captured in a myriad of online tools often get lost in the week-to-week grind, particularly if people have broken off into different groups for execution. As a leader or as a cross-functional team, collating all the major movements and linking off to any artifacts recently produced can help everyone stay motivated. It helps to ensure information does not go missing and is not sitting with just one person or happening behind closed doors.

Everyone is generally interested in knowing how key initiatives are progressing. Keep them informed.

Meeting fatigue

Zoom fatigue, days of back-to-back meetings. Meetings are seen by many as a way to talk about the work that needs to be done, but actually are not the best way to communicate or execute those tasks you’re often talking about. Written updates allow you to have a more structured thought-process that can be shared more broadly, and used as a reference document to create a purposeful meeting.

Written updates can also be shared more broadly, show concrete data, and invite well-considered questions and responses even from the quietest team member. This allows everyone to remain productive and view the update and comment at their own leisure and provide more constructive feedback.

Get requests answered

Written updates provide an opportunity for leaders and cross-functional teams to highlight gaps, make requests, invite responses and reflect on their progress. It can also be used to solve current problems and clearly see the impediments.

Build trust within the team and across the organization

A regular cadence of transparent and honest communication builds a culture of trust and accountability.

The most common metaphor we’ve heard managers use to describe their own cultures is “a mushroom farm”—as in, “People around here are kept in the dark and fed manure.” (https://hbr.org/2009/06/a-culture-of-candor)

Updates to a broader group of people will help them feel connected to the business objectives, allow them to see the impact that their work has, and empower everyone to make better decisions.

There is so much to gain by sending a written update on a regular basis. With enform.io we promise to make composing updates as easy as possible, by integrating with different sources and allowing teams and leaders to add their commentary on top. If you want to learn more, sign up or say hi at luke@enform.io


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