Deliver Impressive Status Updates

Categories: IT, Foundational, Mid-Level, Consulting, Project Mgmt, Elevate Offshore Teams
Successful Outcomes

This tech lead learnt how to clear doubts of new requirements and address extensions of delivery dates through our program.

Course Summary

Do you ever feel your client isn’t impressed with your status updates?

Do you hear clients ask you for more information or appear to challenge your status updates?

If you are a team lead, do you feel you need to repeat or talk in place of your team members as their status updates just “aren’t cutting it?”

Do only team leads or managers attend client standup meetings as the dev team isn't able to showcase their own status updates?

Do you want your team to be more proactive about sharing their updates?

If you feel as if you are pulling teeth to gather information from status updates from your development team, this program WILL bring a much desired shift.


It’s only when a developer or team member can articulate what they did, what they are doing, what they will do, their blockers, and approaches for overcoming them (with possible brainstorming to follow), that clients gain more confidence in your team as well.  

So, let’s see how our coaching approach helps your team to merge their current knowledge with team collaboration and communication skills to answer the following questions:  

1.  How do I give a good status update?
2.  What do you say in a status update meeting?
3.  What elements go into a good status update?
4.  How do I showcase my expertise and my team’s knowledge base?
5.  How can we tackle blockers in a status update?
6.  How can we know when to open up the conversation for brainstorming? Can we even do this?
7.  How can I possibly fit in all the important elements within 1-2 minutes?
8.  How can our team become more self-managing when delivering status updates during our standup meetings? 


How Can My Team Understand What Makes a Good Status Update?


We help your team articulate the good and not-so-good news with confidence and expertise through on-the-spot mocks, self-retrospectives and peer feedback. In coaching sessions we identify two to three communication strategies the team member can apply to their particular types of updates. Some of these strategies may include learning how to:

1.  Talk about technical concepts in everyday English (for those non-techie clients)
2.  Express road blocks, what solutions they may have come up, which they may or may not have tried, the results and having the bravery to open a conversation about that.
3.  Identify ways to field questions they can’t answer at the time they are asked.
4.  Identify questions that development teams can ask themselves to better prepare for status updates.  
5.  Articulate how features map to the customer/end user experience when needed. (Status updates are a perfect place for the developers to showcase their knowledge of the client’s business which helps building consultative skills.)  
6.  Weave in or highlighting user stories when required.
7.  Share context to avoid vague or hard to identify tasks.  
8.  Address issue resolution, technical debt, backlog and more.
9. Trouble shoot, identify, discuss and brainstorm roadblocks, preventing escalations and midnight firefighting scenarios. (As noted in some motivational feedback below…)
10. Whenever appropriate, cultural tidbits in working with and impressing US or North Americans are included as the cross-cultural training element.

Course Curriculum

Deliver Impressive Status Updates Round 1

Participants will benefit from the prework -individual or team work between sessions that build skills, critical thinking and practice of concepts learnt in sessions. 

This course has the option to be delivered in two phases.

Round 1 is an intensive learning and coaching intervention that prepares groundwork for using critical thinking, team collaboration skills, and consultative expertise in day-to-day standup meetings, leading to an elevated team experience as well as stakeholder buy-in.

Round 2 builds on concepts in Phase 1 through targeted interventions in addition to tailoring coaching topics as per team need.

No more than 6 individuals per batch/cohort allowed.

To see best results, add the Manager's Coaching Cafe. When adding the Manager's Coaching Cafe, Managers also checkin (have their own status update meetings) with Jennifer to report areas of improvement as well as areas of continued improvement. Adding in Manager's Coaching Cafe elevates the outcome of the program tenfold.

Session #

Topic

Duration

1

Goal Setting, Status Updating Rounds

1 hour

Prework

Prework for next session

.5 hr

2

Status Updating Debriefs & Best Practices

.5 hr

 

Prework for next session

.5 hr

3

Balancing Details with the Big Picture

.5 hr

Prework for next session

.5 hr

4

Group Learning/Practice/Remote Working

1 hr

Prework for next session

.5 hr

5

Approaching Blockers, Questioning Skills

.5 hr

Prework for next session

.5 hr

6

Brainstorming & Sharing Ideas

.5 hr

Prework for next session

.5 hr

7

Status Update Rounds, Goal Check in, Debrief Program

1 hr

Prework for next session

.5 hr

8

Retrospective, program completion

1 hr

Deliver Impressive Status Updates Round 2

Participants will benefit from the prework -individual or team work between sessions that build skills, critical thinking and practice of concepts learnt in sessions. 

Have teams demonstrated self-managing, how to articulate comprehensive status updates, elevated team collaboration, time management, and project management from Round 1?

In most cases, Round 1 is enough. However, as some teams request a deeper dive, a refresher or a more tailored intervention after 4-6 months, we can include an additional 4-6 week program. The outline below is a sample 6 week outline that was  tailored based on the team's need to do a deep dive into identifying, solving, discussing and tackling blockers in and out of standup meetings.

Session #

Topic

Duration

1

Orientation/Blocker Brainstorming

1 hour

Prework

Prework for next session

.5 hr

2

Adding Context to Blockers

.5 hr

 

Prework for next session

.5 hr

3

Opening Blockers to Discussion

.5 hr

Prework for next session

.5 hr

4

Context to Timeline

1 hr

Prework for next session

.5 hr

5

Context to End User/Colleagues

.5 hr

Prework for next session

.5 hr

6

Program Retrospective and program completion

.5 hr

...Our Dev Team Learnt to Say On Point Status Updates...

“We noticed a striking difference in our team communication and process after having our teams take this course. We noticed that their status updates are more on point meaning that our clients ask less questions and do not need to extract information. Our development team takes individual and collective initiative to share more relevant information related to the technical and business goals.” 

Managers of Software Teams
Kochi, India

...How Saying Better Status Updates Elevated Our Team...

“We have learned how to articulate our status updates keeping in mind project timelines, dependencies with other team members and other business outcomes. Due to this, we have also become more of a self-managing team meaning the developers of various levels are driving the meetings, meaning our Project Manager and other managers are not calling on us or asking us for more details. We have noticed we have learned how to articulate most of the points that were being asked of us to provide before. Our Project Managers and clients have gained more confidence and trust in our technical abilities because of our ability to communicate as a team more impactfully during our standup meetings.” 

Senior Software Developer
India

Get to know a little about your facilitator

Jennifer Kumar

Hello everyone, I am Jennifer Kumar. I have over a decade of experience coaching US client-facing professionals in India who manage teams and projects in virtual environments. I understand some of the cultural missteps that professionals like you may encounter, as I have also lived and worked in India for over 10 years (I was born and raised in the USA). In addition to having on-the-ground experience working between cultures, I have a Teaching Certification in ESL from the University of Arizona and a Coaching Certification from the International Coaching Federation.