Reporting the status of a project is quite important. But detail is not always key here. For years the "traffic light" has been used to indicate the status of a project. Your project can be red, amber or green. But what does that mean? "Green" seems to signal: good to go. Everything is running smoothly, no need to worry. "Amber" indicates there might be some issues or delays, but nothing that can not be handled. Red, on the other hand, causes quite a stir. No one likes seeing a "red" project status. It is a clear sign that there are serious issues. Changing the status to red is a very useful tool in your project manager toolbox as it is sometimes the only way to bring issues to light so that others can give assistance and remove roadblocks.

Nonetheless it is not a popular choice and depending on the work environment it sometimes seems that it has become a kind of sport to "hide" the true status. But if you crack open that juicy green orb, red may just be revealed.