Project Management by Red and Green Light

When I was working as a software engineer we usually held a status report meeting once a week. As the project leaders wanted to know if everything goes well or not we used simple red light/green light reports. Every team member listed on a simple sheet the ongoing tasks and used coloring to show the actual status:

  • Green means everything is on track,
  • Yellow shows us that there are some minor problems and
  • Red let the alarm clocks ring.

If I would have been the project leader I could always sleep without any concerns. As being an optimist for me everything looked either green or at most yellow, but never ever red. In my eyes only a pessimist could spot the red tasks.

Here my two simple advices for project leaders who base there status reports an red lights/green lights:

  • Use bright yellow, medium green and dark red.
  • In addition name the status/the color.

As there are 8% of men suffering some kind of color blindness this could easily affect one of your team members. Think about it.

Related articles:
Colorblind People are Wise Persons
How the World is seen through Colorblind Eyes