Guide To Project Reporting
As a project manager, there are many different tasks you face throughout the duration of the project. From setting clear objectives in the beginning to ensuring your project remains on track throughout, the workload is never ending. One thing you need to do effectively is put together reports on the progression and performance of the project. This can be a lot easier said than done.
Less is more – You could put together a 15-page report on the progress of your project, but whom is that really going to benefit? A streamlined report is always key. Ask yourself whether there are any pages you could do without. You need to be clear and concise when reporting on your project.
Engage your stakeholders – You need to have strong relationships with those closest to the project if it is going to be a success. This is why you should engage your stakeholders when putting a report together. From the contract managers to the cost planners, find out what they are looking for and what they expect from the final report. This will ensure you are on the right track. You should also gather as much data as possible. This means asking questions to all of your sources.
Get straight to the point – Anticipate the details that your audience is going to need, and streamline the information so that you only offer what is required. It is important to keep your presentation succinct. Think about the number of projects senior managers receive updates on. They aren’t going to listen to long-winded explanations.
Use graphs – You will be able to better display the effectiveness of your project through a graph, as opposed to presenting a slide with a lot of numbers. Instead, you can effectively tell a story by displaying a graph that has a few key points next to it. This also helps to retain the attention of your audience. There are tools like handwriting to LaTeX to turn your text into usable images and graphs.
Understand your audience – Understanding your audience is so important when putting a project report together. Your approach when presenting to senior leadership needs to be significantly different when compared with how you would brief your team. Don’t use acronyms, as you will only need to provide clarification later on.
Prepare answers for questions – You should anticipate the type of questions that your audience will have, and jot down some answers for them. Of course, you can reduce the number of questions by providing relevant and accurate information to start with.
Take a training course – If you feel like you are really struggling to report on your project effectively, why not take one of the project management courses that are available? You may feel like these courses are only for beginners, but that is certainly not the case. The best type of project manager is one that never stops learning, and there are always new trends and techniques to discover. By taking a project management training course, you will receive professional assistance on the best way to go about reporting, so you never have to doubt your approach again.