How to Write a Project Management Report

Project Management Report

Depending on the size and importance of the project, the project manager must systematically present project management report on its implementation to interested parties – colleagues, clients, and investors.

What are the reports for? Thanks to them, it is possible to quickly and objectively assess the state of work execution, and reschedule certain points related to the project budget, work deadlines, etc. At the same time, according to statistics, 25% of organizations sometimes or never create documents to determine the scope of projects.

Projects are rarely implemented from the first planning without making clarifications and amendments. Adjustments are made to daily tasks, among which unforeseen circumstances may arise through the fault or no fault of the contractors or the project manager.

To solve difficulties at the first stages of their occurrence and not to allow them to significantly affect the overall course of work, reports are written. They can be weekly, monthly, quarterly, summary, forecast, etc.

Plan for drawing up the report

Reports may be different depending on the type of company’s activity, corporate requirements, etc. But several points unite them. In particular, any report should consist of:

  • a list of tasks.
  • the current task.
  • recent achievements.
  • analysis of the general state of the project.

This means that it should be written in such a way that the interested parties, upon receiving it, immediately understand:

  • whether the planned works are going according to plan.
  • whether the sequence of works is maintained.
  • whether the budget is used rationally.
  • are there any difficulties?
  • whether the person who prepared this report has objective information regarding its confirmation.

Remember that the report is the face of the company and based on it, the client can conclude the team is about specialists. Therefore, be sure to avoid mistakes. It will be better to ask your colleague or a professional essay writer to check your writing. It allows you to get quality reports and form a positive image of the company.

It is best when such a report is concise, and its volume does not exceed 1-2 pages.

This allows you to get valid, important information and not waste time, both for team members and interested parties and customers.

Types of reports and their features

If the project is solid, then it can include several types of reports that will sound weekly or monthly. Let’s consider the most popular types of reports:

1. Analysis of time use report

If you systematically analyze the time spent on performing other tasks, you can better plan your hybrid work schedule, and successfully manage your team or resources, and accordingly, your potential income will be higher.

2. Current status of the project report

If you analyze step by step how the work is progressing, and what difficulties arise, you can easily understand whether the initial conditions of its planning are met, and what scale, terms, and risks are associated with it.

3. Analysis of shortcomings report

Deviation reports allow project managers and other stakeholders to reduce the chances of task failure, analyze what factors led to it, and change its management. Such reports will become a kind of hint when planning subsequent projects to avoid similar mistakes.

4. Resource usage report

The ability to competently manage resources allows you to make the work process successful and efficient. If you systematically analyze costs and the amount of work remaining, you can rationally distribute work to all team members and use other resources correctly.

Report submission forms

It is not enough to include all the required information in the report. For better perception, you need to choose the optimal form. So, how to make the report accessible and understandable:

  • Add visibility. Information in the form of tables, graphs, and charts is perceived more quickly. Especially if there are high successes to brag about.
  • Use clear labeling. Each company has internal notations, thanks to which employees quickly analyze the state of affairs of the project. It can be color markings, special fonts, signs, etc.
  • Do not exaggerate. It is better to report that the work is delayed than to have a double regression in the next project.
  • Conclusion and forecast. Be sure to summarize everything written above.

When can a project management report be considered successful?

You can report to the client and stakeholders every week, but it will not produce the expected result. Therefore, you should make sure that your report is not only competent and objective but also convenient. This is especially important in large companies, where managers receive dozens of reports on various projects every day. So that your report does not get lost among others, prepare it by observing the following points:

  • If there are difficulties, then analyze them from a practical point of view. The manager must know whether funds are needed for their elimination and why, who will be responsible for failure to implement the action plan and why these difficulties arose.
  •  List the stages of work execution – completed, active, and planned.
  • Financial indicator. Indicate what part of the budget has already been implemented in the project, how much is left and whether it will be enough.
  • Enter the time spent.
  • Cost efficiency ratio (The budget of each project is calculated according to the actual cost of the work).
  • Analysis of customer complaints or comments, if any. Don’t be afraid to write about it in the report, especially if you see a way to solve them.
  • Analysis of human resources for the performance of a certain amount of tasks (having a task management software can help).
  • The number of project items that were completed on time.
  • The value of the project.
  • Articles of current expenses.
  • Number of errors (brief analysis of all errors that occurred during work on the project).

How can project managers benefit from Reports?

If you have been assigned a project for which you must report systematically, then you need to understand what project management for individuals is. Its the management of processes, resources, and people. You should clearly understand the current stage of the project and the prospects for its development. To have the necessary information at hand for the project duration report, you need to have an active monitoring dashboard.

What it helps:

  • Track already completed stages of the project.
  • Analyze how many tasks are performed daily.
  • Carry out a general analysis of time expenditure on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis.
  • See overdue tasks that can be adjusted in time to avoid a general delay in the development of the project.
  • Make a list of completed tasks and those remaining. Here you can analyze how to redistribute working time, what factors affect the efficiency of execution, etc.

Tools for drawing up a project management report

To prepare a professional report that will satisfy not only the management and investors but also yourself, you need to master some tools. In particular, this is a centralized monitoring panel, Databox tools that will help track progress and risks, and a Trello reporting tool.

Using these platforms, you can easily display all the necessary information in one report, sorting it by time. In addition, the indicators will be updated automatically, which greatly simplifies your task and allows you to avoid mistakes.

Things to take into account when drawing up a project management report

Writing a report is a complex process where many points and nuances need to be taken into account. For example, among those to whom it is addressed, there may be people who are unfamiliar with the project’s activities. Therefore, information should be as accessible and simple as possible. Remember that the report should not be about your organization, but about what successes it has achieved in a specific time.

Be ready to confirm any information from the report with relevant documents at the request of interested parties.

Why are systematic project management reports so important?

Reports are a tool without which no successful project would be possible. Their formation is mandatory in any IT company.

1. Attracting investors

If you are planning to expand your business, it is thanks to the reports of the successful implementation of projects that have been carried out in the past that you will be able to inspire their trust. After all, an investor will never invest in a business that does not have a stable business model, stability, and consistency in its activities and profits.

2. Communication with company founders or shareholders

A timely report on successful activities will allow Investors to be confident in the stability of the company. And this means that the project is successful and can receive further investment and has prospects for development.

3. Ability to expand the company’s activities

If you are aiming to enter foreign markets, then you should know that corporate reporting is the main point of cooperation with any investors and partners. Thanks to the report, they can assess the company’s activities and threats, analyze the perspective, and understand its social responsibility.

So, summarizing the above, it can be concluded that a successful project management report should include financial and non-financial information, characterize the prospects of the project, scope of the project and risks or issues , and provide several options for their elimination. This is how you can convince a manager, investor, or potential investor that this project has a future.

10 points to remember while writing a project management report

  1. Reporting always improves the bottom line.
  2. To make the presentation of the material as accessible as possible, the report can be divided into several sub-reports by topic.
  3. The use of non-financial information, which will demonstrate the transparency and efficiency of conducting activities.
  4. Clear financial schedules with a complete analysis of tasks.
  5. The report does not have a stable form and order of content. Therefore, use the form that will be as accessible as possible for your interested persons to understand.
  6. Do not miss the reporting deadlines. This will negatively affect the management’s attitude towards you and your professional performance.
  7. Always familiarize yourself with the progress of work to avoid misunderstandings later.
  8. If this is your first project, don’t be afraid to ask experienced colleagues for advice.
  9. Ask yourself questions about the given information and answer them. Be prepared for the supervisor to have questions as well.
  10. Do not be afraid of mistakes. If your report does not pass the first time, this will be a good experience for future reports.

What to do if there are force majeure circumstances

We analyzed what a project management report is, what it should be, forms, and methods of submission. However, it is worth considering other situations that may arise during work on the project. In particular, those that do not depend on you as a project manager. So, how to act if there are force majeure circumstances:

  1. Certify them immediately with an appropriate document.
  2. Make sure that exactly these force majeure circumstances and their validity period were written in the contract in advance.
  3. Notify interested parties about it in time, perhaps even with an extraordinary report.

How to properly report in case of difficulties with the performance of work

If you are preparing a report on the current implementation of the project and you know for sure that you have encountered difficulties, then be ready to indicate to management:

  • At what stage did the problems appear and what provoked them?
  • How did it affect financial costs?
  • How did the difficulties affect the deadline for the project as a whole and specifically at this stage?
  • Who caused this situation and will bear responsibility?
  • What solutions do you offer and at what cost?
  • How do you plan to adjust the work to complete the planned work on time?
  • How will you insure in the future so that similar situations do not arise?

So, now you know what a professional project management report should look like, what information it should contain, and what it should convey to stakeholders. Therefore, easily apply the acquired knowledge in practice and achieve professional success.

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