Project management is a wonderfully complex topic, but I find particular parts most interesting. For example, it’s amusing to watch how some project managers, and managers in general, work with project status. Now, what I’m going to tell you is far from a big secret, in fact it’s a little bit of common sense.

Status absolutely is the single most important thing in project management.

There. That wasn’t that hard, was it? Seriously though, it’s that simple. ┬áIt’s not the GANTT chart or the Work Breakdown Structure, it’s the status. When you’re managing a project, you have a lot on your plate. That’s a given, we all do. What you cannot do is forget status to focus on other things.

You see, in projects, status is pervasive. It’s everywhere. In each task, in each milestone, and in the project as a whole. If you don’t know the status, you’re not doing a great job of managing the project. I’m not saying you need to know the status of every task off the top of your head, but they must be available to you. That means enforcing consistent status updates from your resources. Don’t let them get away without telling you exactly what the status is.

Once you’ve learnt that it’s all about status, you’ll have better control over your projects. You’ll be able to articulate to your stakeholders and sponsor exactly where the project is. Trust me, your organization will thank you for it.