Podcasts, Video and Demonstrations
Busy business professionals driving in their cars or waiting in airports or train stations tend to prefer to listen to or watch presentations. Reading in these situations can be tedious. Additionally, documents can be dry and devoid of emotion that communicates excitement about the project. Alternatives to writing weekly written status reports include recording short audio reports.
For example, project managers may instruct team members to leave detailed voicemail messages, no longer than five minutes, regarding project progress. Additionally, using free recording tools, such as Audacity, team members can record a short message that describes their progress for the week, which they send to the project manager by email.
WordTalk, a free text-to-speech plugin for Microsoft Word, allows users to produce audio files from text. For busy project managers, hearing the text read aloud provides an easy way of getting a timely update. These podcasts, in .WAV or .MP3 format, can be downloaded and played on mobile devices such as an iPod, smart phone or MP3 player as well.
Innovative team members use webcams to record weekly videos of themselves talking about the project outcomes. They can also download and install free software application recording tools, such as Windows Media Encoder, to quickly create short files that demonstrate product functions. Then, the project manager assembles these MP3 files using a free tool, such as Windows Movie Maker, into a single report for sponsors, stakeholders and other team members.