I’m a big fan of short, concise, summarized communication. Twitter’s revolution of 140-character messages inspired me to create a similar management reporting format that I have found to be very effective.
Each week, I ask each of my direct reports to provide a weekly report with the following information. (I outline it here so you can follow the same framework):
Format: 3 to 5 Twitter-style bullet points, no more than 140 characters.
What are you working on?
What do you need?
What are you worried about?
Take these write-ups, combine them into one packet, and circulate them to your team. It requires just a few minutes to review each one and keeps information circulating. The last question is always the one that I learn the most from. It’s a very powerful question and really helps you to understand what is driving your employee's priorities and gives you context for their needs.
In the spirit of short messaging, I’ll end this article now.