Project reporting plays a key role in any winning project.
Project Report Recipients
Project reports summarize and communicate project progress and issues to the various stakeholders. Reporting the progress of your project accurately and regularly allows for better quality decision-making. All concerned will have up-to-date information on which to base their judgements and everyone will be working from the same page.
Who are the people that will depend on project status reports? These can include:
- project sponsors
- steering committee members
- project team members
- projects office
- external project consultants and suppliers
- line managers
- end users
- affected public
- government bodies
Your stakeholder and communication management plans should identify which groups require project reports for your particular project. You will also need to specify who will need which project reports and how often. Stakeholder requirements will vary —one size does not fit all!
Project Report Contents
What should you cover in your reports? The level of detail will vary according to stakeholder needs and their level of involvement in the project. Your project status reports could include information on performance and issues in the following areas:
- milestones achieved
- deliverables completed
- costs incurred
- effort expended
- unresolved issues
For each project progress indicator, the report should compare the actual result with the expected result. We find a visual display, such as a "traffic lights" indicator, provides readers with a quick indication of project status and areas for concern. You can find out more about the "traffic lights" method and how to calculate project performance in our project resource kit, A Guide to Project Management.
Some project management software packages save you the effort of manually producing project status reports. With these packages, project progress reports are generated automatically from the project data that is entered into the package. For example, Project Master automatically generates a one-page project status report at any stage of a project. Use project status reports to keep your project team and your key stakeholders in the loop. Pay close attention to what is reported. By taking heed, you will be able to take corrective action on a project that is going off the rails before the project fails completely.
For a ready-to-use and customizable project reporting template, check out our down to earth project management guide. Whether you are new to managing projects or have some experience, you will find plenty of valuable tips for making your next project a success.
Our simple one-page project reporting template calculates and reports your project's performance in five key result areas. Download today.