Progress, Plans & Problems (PPP) methodology

It works great because it keeps everyone in the team informed.
Emi Gal, CEO of Brainient – Progress, Plans and Problems


What exactly is the PPP methodology?

Progress, plans, problems (PPP) is a management technique for recurring (daily, weekly or monthly) status reporting. A person reports 3-5 achievements, goals and challenges from the reporting period. It is used in organizations in situations like employee to manager, team member to team or CEO to board, investors and advisors reporting.

The goal of PPP reports is to bring everyone on the same page regarding what’s happening in your team.

Progress is your accomplishments, finished items and closed tasks for the period ending. What have you done?

Plans are your goals and objectives for the next reporting period. What are you going to do next?

Problems are items you can’t finish. Quite often problems need help from someone else, not just you. The reasons can be waiting behind other team members, external factors or just unexpected happenings. Any problems you are facing?

PPP reports communicate three essential facts about a project: progress, problems and plans. There are both informal and informative.
Cleve Gibbon, CTO at Cognifide – The Power of P

PPP reporting has been used successfully in companies like Skype and startup accelerators like Seedcamp as their internal reporting process. Here’s how Emi Gal from Brainient uses it for investor updates.

Weekdone takes care of the tedious process of chasing everyone, making them send you their individual done items and compiling this into an understandable report.

You can cast a wide net to get help with your problems. They are then fully up to date on how you’re doing, and they know what your next efforts will be.

Updating people any other way takes time and effort away from what really matters: building your company.
Colin Nederkoorn, co-founder and CEO of Customer.io – Monthly E-mails to Advisors

Here are some tips what a good PPP report looks like:

  • Write the report in a way you would like to see it coming from your other team members, so that you would read it.
  • Make each item understandable by others, not just you. Keep the items short but rich in information.
  • If needed, use facts, numbers and background information. External web links can be helpful.
  • Have a maximum of 5-7 items in each category, not more. Up to 5 is ideal. Nobody reads long reports.
Implementing PPP in your team is seamless and takes just a few minutes per week from everyone, even less by using a tool like Weekdone. At the end of the day you’ll get a stronger team that focuses on what’s important.

Source: Wikipedia en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Progress,_plans,_problems