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Report Performance is one of the processes being done by a project manager in every project (according to PMBOK). Performance metrics have to be reported to a project control board in order to allow them to take necessary actions in time (add resources, terminate the project, etc.).

The question is whether the PM has to report performance to the project team as well?

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Naturally. People want to know how they're doing as a team, not only individually. Besides, when you need to take corrective actions towards the team, they need to know the reason why.

They can also help the PM when things go not as wished and they'll feel good when things are going as planned.

Overall, transparancy builds trust. Hiding information from your team will create tension.

That said, you still need to "manage" your communication. For instance, if bad performance is due to a single person (for whatever reason), and it is deducable from your performance report, you have to take care that the rest of the team does not start picking on him/her before you had the chance of starting something corrective. So instead of just forwarding the info to them, you better discuss the report during the weekly status meeting so that you can put things into their proper perspective (and at the same time get input for improvements).

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    Great Response. Be as open as possible, but take into consideration HR and Business related limits – Meade Rubenstein Mar 24 '11 at 15:34
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    I would add an answer, but you said everything I had to say. Great answer! – Alexis Dufrenoy Mar 24 '11 at 17:10
  • +1 Refernce to PMBOK, Manage Communication. This process is part of the PM Process. – Arturo Caballero Mar 24 '11 at 17:40
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I have a story related to this. Some years ago, I worked on a project team for a particular PM for about a year and a half. At the end of that year and a half, she left the organization. Shortly after that, I was asked to help locate some documentation. I found it, but along the way I found a folder full of "Weekly Status Reports" that she had submitted about the team and its progress. I had never seen these before and had no idea that they existed.

I started glancing through the Status Reports and found some real "surprises" in there. Needless to say, I was pretty unhappy about some of what I found. As a team member, I would have appreciated the opportunity to clarify and even correct some of the information that was provided there.

So if you're providing a written performance report about your team to anyone else, I would recommend also letting the team look at it. If they see or hear about one of these reports from someone else and have disagreements about it, it will not be good for your relationship with the team.

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    I got a similar experience during my military duty in the 90s. I was part of the staff of a bootcamp where others military units came for training. And the group leader of each group which came to train had to fill out an evaluation document at the end of their stay. None of the soldiers part of the staff knew that, but one day I saw a couple of these documents. As I understood when I asked a officer about it, the higher hierarchy of the camp was actually hiding these documents from us conscripts because they didn't want us to know most of these officers were really pleased... – Alexis Dufrenoy Mar 24 '11 at 17:36
  • That's funny :) – Marcie Mar 25 '11 at 11:16
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"Report" performance to the project team is perhaps too formal, but I would certainly discuss performance with the team and let them know the highlights / lowlights and general trend. The team will, individually and collectively, have a view on how the project is going, so if you hide the performance from them, they will make up their own version of the truth. This may be a long way from what you are reporting, so when someone informally asks a member of the team how the project is going, they will get an answer that doesn't reflect your view.

The other reason to keep the team in the communication loop is that if the project is going well, they will be boosted by that knowledge. If it is going badly, they may be able to offer suggestions for getting it back on track, and in some cases these may be far more radical than you would have felt able to ask for.

Either way, if you want the team to act as mature participants rather than just resources, they deserve to know what is happening.

  • @lain9688 - Great answer and ultimatum. If you want adults, treat them like adults :) – jmort253 Mar 26 '11 at 9:10
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Of course.

+1 for Stephan's answer, highlighting two important things:

  • 'Manage your communication': As a manager, your duty is to make the team feel as one as possible.

  • Respect: Programmers are highly motivated by respect, not only by money (I read a great post about it somewhere... but I couldn't find it now). Offering the feeling that they're on the right path will make them feel a lot more motivated to keep the good job. If they have no feedback if they're doing good, they'll miss this feedback.

It doesn't need to be a 'formal weekly reporting', as highlighted by ILM. I'd say that as much as informal - but realistic - as possible, the better. However, after the informal chat, a mail to remind the topics discussed is always welcome.

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