Creating project management reports is second nature to project managers.
Ever happened to stop by your project manager’s desk? I am sure you would have almost always found him battling with report generation.
And if you talk to one, you can hear them fussing over the number of revisions, data massaging, frequency and format changes for the same datasets being requested over and over by different stakeholders.
The situation has improved to quite an extent but not at levels I would have personally liked.
- we are still caught up with too much “adminocracy”
- not using the project management & collaboration tools to their full extent
- sticking to conventional report formats
- losing focus over –“what’s actually needed” vs. “what all can I have in a report”
“Ad hoc project management reports have been an acceptable part of a Project Manager’s KRA. It shouldn’t be. Period!”
The need is to rather identify the right set of reports that would benefit the project & meet the expectations of all stakeholders involved.
“Smart thing would be to define these reports at the beginning of the project itself and get sign-off on them. With their desired frequency, of course!”
This would prevent distractions, last-minute requests & efforts that would drive focus away from more impactful items on the to-dos.
So which project management reports must one choose for meaningful representation of critical success factors of a project?
The ones that come to my mind are:
- Executive Dashboards
- Project Overview
- Task Progress
- Time & Resource Management Report
- Bugs & Issues Report
Project Sponsors and Business are the most important stakeholders of all. Their reporting needs must be catered to in the most impactful manner possible. Truth is told:
One, they are the ones with their hands on the plug.
Two, keeping them engaged, preventing their anxiety is in the best interest of the project.
At the same time it is important to understand “them” and what is it that they look for in project management reports. Or the end of your status meeting would be something like this: