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Spotlight Daily Progress Reports

Posted on December 19th, 2013

In any project, software development or otherwise, communication is key. It’s of crucial importance, but is often overlooked, that ending the day with communication increases both productivity and accountability. Spotlight’s Daily Progress Reports feature allows users the option to fill out reports on a daily basis.  Using these simple, yet comprehensive reports, distributed workers recount what they’ve done for the day, and detail what they’ll accomplish the following day.

Similar to a scrum (where team members discuss their projects for the previous and upcoming days) but with some very important differences – the Daily Progress Report ends the team member’s day by communicating with their manager.  By mentally cataloging and physically recording the details of their workday, the Daily Progress Report accomplishes several key actions:

  • Creates a sense of accountability in the team member by submitting the Daily Progress Report to their manager
  • Mentally prepares team member for the following day’s work by outlining anticipated tasks and workload.
  • Prepares managers for the following day’s scrum by reviewing the team members’ Daily Progress Reports
  • Constitutes a written history of performance for each distributed team member

In addition, the Daily Progress Report function is customizable.  All reports for the day are viewable in the inbox of the Report Center, and are optional by default, but can be made mandatory if desired.  If a team member doesn’t fill out a Daily Progress Report, the system will actually block usage until the progress report is completed. Daily Progress Report can also be created, submitted and accessed via mobile.

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Vincent Serpico:  Good morning, everybody. Welcome to this week’s webinar, where we’re going to discuss the Report Center and the powerful features of reports in Spotlight. Let’s go ahead and get started.

First thing I need to do is go ahead and change my status. Let me go ahead and change my status to “Spotlight Webinar.” We’ll be on this webinar until about 10:15, Arizona time. I am in a meeting. Always be sure to update your status.

Spotlight has a feature called “Daily Progress Reports.” The idea behind Daily Progress Reports is that team members fill out reports on a daily basis, recounting what they’ve done for the day, and what they’re going to do tomorrow.

This might sound similar to a scrum, where you have your morning meeting with your team and everybody talks about what they did the previous day, and what they’re going to do today.

Similar to a scrum, with some very important differences, the Daily Progress Report, number one, ends the team member’s day by communicating with their manager. This is very important.

In any software development project, in any project, communication is key. It’s very, very important that you end your day with communication.

Also, by submitting a Daily Progress Report each day, there’s a sense of accountability created in the team member by submitting this report to their manager.

Also, by creating a Daily Progress Report, the team member mentally becomes prepared for the next day. Your most successful CEOs of Fortune 500 companies will do journaling at the end of the day, recounting what they did, and planning for tomorrow. This is very similar.

Also, a Daily Progress Report allows the managers to prepare for the next day’s scrum by reviewing the Daily Progress Reports for the next day.

Instead of coming to the scrum saying, “Yesterday, you said you were going to do this. What did you do?” they read the Daily Progress Report and say, “I can see what you’ve done. Now, let’s discuss what you’re going to do today.”

Finally, the Daily Progress Report is a written history of performance for each and every team member.

Let’s take a look at the Daily Progress Report. I see I have one new report, which I have not read. I’m going to open it right now, and take a look at it. Let’s see what Norman did yesterday. Norman did a lot of work yesterday. Excellent.

Today, he’s going to be working on documentation assignments, design bugs, and continue with task. Excellent. His progress looks good, and I’m going to let him know. “Looking good, Norman.”

I can go to the inbox of the Report Center, and view anybody’s report for the day. Let’s take a look at what Dan worked on. Looks like Dan was very, very busy yesterday.

We get to see what everybody worked on, at any given day, and scroll through the history of all your team members, and get an idea of their progress.

The Daily Progress Report is optional by default. However, your Daily Progress Report can be mandatory if you so choose.

What we’re going to do is we’re going to Project Settings, Daily Progress Reports. What you’ll see over here is a check mark next to the team members who must fill out their Daily Progress Report.

What happens if they don’t fill out a Daily Progress Report? The system will actually block usage until the progress report is completed. The progress report screen will display. When the progress report is submitted, then the team member will be allowed to use the system again.

You’ll notice there is a field over here for recipients. Recipients means that once your Daily Progress Report is submitted for the day, an HTML version will be mailed to anybody on this comma‑separated email list.

Note that the recipients on the email list do not need to be members of Spotlight. What is this used for? Maybe you have a peripheral stakeholder, a peripheral executive, client, somebody who wants to be apprised of what the team members are working on.

Finally, your Daily Progress Report will be submitted via mobile. You’ll be able to check the reports via mobile, and you’ll be able to create reports via mobile.

Any questions?

That’s a very good question. The question was “What is the difference between the daily report from the team member, project manager, and team lead?”

This is pretty much role‑based. If my role is a team member role, I’ll be filling out a team member report. If my role is project manager, I’ll be filling out a project manager report, and be able to see project manager reports, as well as team member reports.

If I’m a team lead, same thing. I’ll be able to fill out team lead report, and see team member reports. My role is a super user, so I’m able to see all reports. If my role was a team member, I would not see these reports, and I would not see these reports.

I’m going to wrap up unless there’s any other…That is a good question. Team members cannot see other team members’ Daily Progress Reports. The idea there is that these reports are meant for your managers.

During the scrum, we all get together as a team. We all discuss what we did yesterday and what we’re doing for the day. The Daily Progress Report is a report you submit directly to your manager, and your manager reviews it. It’s almost like a daily progress review.

Thank you very much for the questions. Thanks very much for attending. We’ll see you next week. Bye‑bye.