Information that is presented in clear and concise form can have an incredibly positive impact on project management. This is why the creation of a detailed report can be determining for making sure that the project implementation has taken place in the best possible way.

Creating a project management report that is detailed enough and easy to understand isn’t one of the simplest tasks. A small detail that has been underestimated could potentially lead to problems in the future. Visibility is the key to successful reporting, guaranteeing that all important parts and pieces of the project have been attended to in the best possible way.

Some of the Common Problems and Challenges

Now that we’ve identified visibility as a factor determining for the success of project management reporting, it’s important to figure out why challenges exist and where these stem from.

The selection of the wrong software is one of the first and biggest challenges. It may force team members to navigate through a big number of needless updates and notes. The reporting feature itself may be cumbersome to utilize, which interferes with progress reporting and makes many individuals neglect some of the crucial steps.

Picking a good and intuitive program can easily help an organisation deal with this problem. Individuals that don’t feel reporting is a cumbersome task will be much more willing to log the details in a comprehensive manner that will be to the benefit of everyone involved.

Choosing the right software may be a time consuming task. Corporate priorities will need to be identified and project managers will have to figure out what’s crucial for collaboration, task assignment, monitoring and visibility. Once these initial criteria are determined, project management systems will need to be analysed side by side to figure out which one provides the biggest number of features that the company’s project managers and teams will benefit from.

Project Management Reporting

Reasons Why Project Reporting is so important

If you’re still wondering whether you need to do project progress reporting and how it’s going to benefit your organization, take a look at the following benefits:

  • A formal document: the report is a formal document that provides management with information about execution. This information shows just how well the team has handled the task, whether any problems were incurred and if any modifications will be needed in the future.
  • It serves as an audit: the report lists all the actions that have been taken as a part of project execution. Project managers and their superiors can use this information to do a performance audit and assess the effectiveness of a team or a certain corporate practice.
  • Reference for projects in the future: when all of this information is presented and archived in the best possible way, it can serve as a reference for work in the future. Some of the best practices and common mistakes can easily be identified before new strategies are determined and implemented.
  • It can be used to request more funding: a progress report contains data about all aspects of project implementation, including the financial parameters. Superiors can figure out whether funds have been utilized in the most efficient way and whether requests for additional funding are reasonable.

What It Takes to Create the Best Progress Reports

To ensure visibility, you have to incorporate all of the essential information in a progress report. Certain practices have already been identified as successful and you can rely on those to create comprehensive documents that shed enough light on implementation and can be used as references in the future.

As a team, you’ll need to decide how often progress reporting will need to take place. This is probably one of the most important decisions that will have a direct impact on visibility. The decision will often depend on the complexity of the project and its phases. In some instances, reporting once per month will be sufficient. Other teams will need weekly or even daily progress reports.

The first and the most important piece of information to include is whether the team will be capable of meeting deadlines. This assessment is based on the amount of work that has already been done and the additional implementation tasks that will need to take place within a certain timeframe.

If there are any problems standing in the way of execution and necessitating a longer time period, these will need to be identified and also listed in the report.

Determine what the key performance indicators (KPIs) for the particular organization and project are. These will also differ from one industry to another. The best project management software options give you access to numerous metrics that you can easily track and use this data in the creation of a progress report.

Here’s an example of how KPIs differ and why it’s so important to determine the factors to track way in advance. For a banking company, some of the performance indicators that will need to be tracked could include customer retention, asset quality and assets under the management of the institution. For a company that operates in the retail field, KPIs could include sales per square foot of retail space, capital expenditure and the expected ROI for new stores in the chain.

Tracking a very huge number of KPIs will in no way help with transparency and visibility. It’s not possible to determine how many performance indicators each company should track but giving the report structure and a direction will both be essential.

Effective communication is all about finding the balance, giving a sufficient volume of information while keeping it user-friendly. As already mentioned, choosing the right project management software is the first step towards management success. Identifying the right KPIs and making sure that all project managers are on the same page will also contribute to a higher level of visibility.