A friend of mine just asked me what I thought of the 'One Page Project Manager' status reports. Since I hadn't heard of this I did some research and I'm pretty impressed. I like efficient use of graphics. Here is an example I pulled from this blog:
There's a lot of info here so you might be better off going to the link of the blog itself so you can zoom in better. By efficient use of two dimensions, major deliverables can be identified, the owners determined, the due dates displayed and the status shown in color codes.
The owner of this system sells books and has a great website.
The only problem I see is that there is so much info on the sheet that it needs to be printed out on a plotter. Which isn't bad if you then place it on the walls of the war-room and stand around it with the stakeholders going over the elements.
The system is different from the status report I've been using for a while that goes onto two letter sized pages. I use the journalistic approach so that the most important information is on top of the first page and the reader can find what he or she wants by drilling further down into the report.
My reports are big on words, small on graphics but I don't have to explain how to read them to my customers.
Here is an example of one of my status reports:
Which style do you prefer?