Top management is continually besieged with information and requests from across the organization. This makes it difficult to get their attention, especially when you need their intervention on a project.
To be effective in providing project updates to top management and seeking their help, it’s important to cut to the chase, simplify your message, and be brief.
- Tell them where you are now in relation to the goals of your project. Don’t expect the big bosses to ferret up-to-date information about your project. Anticipate their questions and be ready with supporting data.
- Tell them where you’re headed. Present your plans and tell them where you stand in relation to those plans.
- Tell them how you’ll know when you’ve arrived at the goal.
- Tell them how you plan to get where you’re going. Provide enough context to help the big bosses understand the challenges you face.
- Tell them where you need their help and intervention. “Boss, we have conflicting customer specifications. I need your guidance about setting priorities.” Mention your recommendations and seek agreement. “Here is our recommended approach to the problem. Do you concur?”