In the field of project management, a project management report is irreplaceable in efficacy.
A project management report, in short, provides a team and its stakeholders with an overall summary of the project and its current position.
In its most ideal form, a report like this is no more than two pages long. It is a quick assessment of the point at which a project is at, what needs to be done, and what needs to be addressed imminently. This kind of report encourages the things which are necessary for a project to be successful. It promotes transparent communication, consistent organisation, and double-checking of progress. These reports are there to help you make sure your project stays on the timeline, yes; but they are also there to help manage potential risk and understand what may be letting your team down as a whole too.
A project management tool can also double as a record book. If you need to look back on previous decisions that have been made or actions that have been taken, you suddenly have a plethora of project management reports which contain all of this information in extreme detail. The timing necessity of project management reports can vary with the size of the project. Most medium-sized projects stick with monthly reports, but larger and more complex projects often up the ante to weekly or sometimes even daily reporting.
So, What Detail Must be Included in a the Report?
Since you now know how important a project management report is, now we need to understand what goes into it. In all honesty, the specific contents of individual reports do differ depending on the project and sector. However, most projects contain some variation of the following information:
- The latest and upcoming project aims and goals
- Task lists and who they are delegated to
- Upcoming and recently achieved tasks
- An overall update on the project
- The ‘health’ of the project, and how on track it is
The main goal of a project management report is to distribute a clear and transparent view of where the project is in relation to its projected timescale. It is important to include the below assessments and summaries in an effective project management report:
- A general assessment of how ‘on track’ the project is. Is it ahead, behind, or on schedule?
- A list of tasks just completed and upcoming. Are the completion of these tasks on track?
- An overview of total costs at the moment and projected upcoming costs. Is the budget on track with this?
- An overview of current project risks and project status. Is there anything that needs to be done to rectify any of this?
- Any immediate action points or added steps should then be addressed.
Our Top Tips on How to Write a Project Management Report
Josh Zeller, a project manager at Bestaustralianwriters and Bestbritishessays, noted, “It is really important to remember that no one wants to read pages upon pages of boring or pointless information.” This report should be succinct and well designed, only including what is necessary.
- Try to be simple and succinct with the words you use and how you use them. Don’t overload the report with technical wording and too much data.
- Include visual representations of progress. Whether this is a picture of a project and where it is at or a chart of progress, visual aids always enhance a report and make it easier to digest than pages of dense paragraphs.
- Be transparent when writing this report. There is no point in writing a project management report if the truth is going to be sugar coated. Project management reports should contain honest data and accurate progress; which can be fixed afterwards.
- Make action points obvious, even highlighted, in the report. These are the most important parts of the report, so make sure they stand out.
An accurate and well-designed project management report can save you months of hassle and miscommunication; while also helping you catch problems during the stages in which they can be rectified. Use these top tips to make your report the best it can be.