Should team leaders in startups write weekly reports?

Edited excerpt from Tips for Startup CEOs by Evan Schumacher, via David Cancel:

Every Friday have all your direct reports submit a “weekly update” one page or less focusing on progress against metrics, key accomplishments for the past week and summary of what’s on deck for the next week. Then, aggregate/consolidate/summarize those updates, add CEO level stuff, and forward to your board on Sunday night.

Why this approach?

— Every team member should spend 30 minutes reflecting on the week. The key is that these updates are shared with other executives who are expected to read them prior to the team Monday morning management meeting (another management tip). That way the meeting is productive, focusing on issues and not “status updates”.

— By sending a report to board members on Sunday nights, you’re on top of their inbox when they are catching up on their weekend emails so there’s a chance they’ll read it. Then they’ll be up to speed on your business during their Monday internal meetings, which makes them look good (and thus, you as CEO look good).

(1) In Seeking Alpha, we standardized on monthly reports. Some team leaders and their team members also chose to write weekly reports, while others found them too onerous. Wonder what the wider experience of this is.
(2) Re. That way the meeting is productive, focusing on issues and not “status updates”: We find that providing written materials before meetings eliminates the need for updates during meetings, and therefore makes the meetings far more effective. We follow Amazon’s practice in allotting time at the beginning of meetings for people to read the written materials.
(3) Cf. How to write a monthly report for your investors or manager.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s