Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Are you tired of filling out those boring old Red Amber Green reports?

Introducing THE FIRM REPORT!

Last week I was talking with a co-worker about the status report we have to file each week. It’s called a RAG Report. He asks why it is called a RAG Report. I explained to him that RAG stands for Red-Amber-Green and we spent some time discussing the various merits (or not) of completing that type of report. The intent is clear – show red, amber or green to quickly convey a message about the state of the project, but in practice, the sad thing is that the simple color system easily lends itself to a situation in which an executive will simply look at the color and ignore the rest of the detail that has been painstakingly crafted and tuned by the highly developed creative spin tactics of the project manager (or lead).

So, that conversation got me to thinking that maybe a RAG format had outlived its useful(less)ness. Being the hard working, creative mastermind that I am, I started trying to work out a new alternative to the Red-Amber-Green… and now I am proud to give you…

(drumroll please)


The FIRM report embraces a new model for rating project health:

F = Fonzi
I = Isaac (your bartender)
R = Radar O’Reilly
M = Mr. T

Here is how this works:

If you get a Fonzi, that means “AHHHHHHEEEY”  -  things are very, very coolamundo!

If you get an Isaac (portrayed here with his classic “Double Issac” hand gesture), this means things seem to be more or less okay, but it would probably be a good idea to head down to the Lido deck and start having at the Mai Tais (yes that is the plural… I looked it up) post haste.

If you get a Radar you should be remembering all those times in the TV classic M*A*S*H (ATTN Gen Y… TV Land is your friend) when Radar (IMHO, the greatest PM ever portrayed in film or TV) cocks his head ever so slightly, and says “CHOPPERS!” This usually happens about 20 seconds before anyone else hears them. In other words, there is some seriously bad stuff in the air, some of which is bound to be missing a few limbs, and they are headed your way Sport!

Finally, we get to Mr. T… as in “I PITY THE FOOL!” which means… Dude, you are simply screwed, and no amount of gold around your neck is going to save you from the fact that someone is going to be taking you sweet, sweet iconic 1980's van away very soon.

More on this in the next episode of Project Potion… and I’ll be posting a status template for you to test your job stability with very soon. 

Stay tuned!

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