We all know that the struggle to write a project report is real! This becomes one of those complex processes that can build or ruin an entire project. Creating a project report can still be difficult, no matter how great your project idea is or how excellent the project performance is.
You have to face many risks, such as incorrectly analysing data, taking the wrong path and making bad decisions and conclusions. That concern will always stick when making a report.
So, if you're standing on the edge, knowing that you need to create a project report, you're at the right place. In this post, we'll learn about project reports, including their benefits, how to make them, and the types of project reports. Let's roll!
The definition of a Project Report
Between the to-dos and lines, lots of tracking, metric measurement, and trend analysis to ensure projects are completed on time and successfully. So, as a project manager, how do you make sense of all that data?
According to Simple Learn, a project report is a written document that summarises all necessary information related to the project. This document contains objectives, goals, analysis and recommendations. This report aims to help turn a business plan into a productive venture, including properly planning and implementing the project implementation strategy.
The project report must be detailed. Why? Because you can't jump into a project without setting goals, strategies, big picture and costs. In simple terms, a project report is a window into what happened and what the whole team should do. This report prevents the Project Manager (PM) from making mistakes in project management.
The importance of a Project Report
Without a project report, the PM and team end up in the dark. As a result, it is too easy for the project to fail simply because of poor insight and impaired decision-making.
The project report must meet the needs of the five stages of the project management process so that data collection is appropriate and the process of interpretation and application is correct. Overall, here are the reasons why this report is essential:
- Shows the team what they are doing, so they can focus.
- Help predict threats and develop measures for recovery appropriately.
- The report makes it easier to control the cost and budget apart from the budgeted cost.
- Reveal what's not working, so the team can investigate and determine the appropriate course of action.
- Provides a 360-degree view of the project's progress so the PM and team can choose the right course of action.
The elements of a Project Report
However, there are a few core elements to include for the project's progress:
The main thing that needs documentation is all the resources you have mapped in the project plan. The status of the resource should be clear, such as availability and demand. Resources can include project management tools and human or material resources.
2. Timeline and targets
It's vital to give everyone an overview of your project timeline. The timeline and targets serve as an overview of the project schedule so people outside the team know about it.
Making timelines and targets must be realistic. Write honest work schedules and work results. Include any unattainable goals of the project.
3. Notable changes
Changes that occur when the project is running are essential points that need documentation. It's best to use a template that's easy to edit.
4. Team performance
Use goals and targets to define quantitatively whether the team is performing well or otherwise. Consider the obstacles they faced throughout the project. In addition to quantitative, you also need to consider qualitative. You need to look at the personality skills of the team.
5. Funding and budgets
Budgets and funding are sensitive issues in projects. Project managers might need to have accounting skills to handle budgets and project funding. In real-time, provide a clear overview of expenses, estimated expenses, and budgets.
6. Risk management
This is the final part of the project report. The PM needs some hindsight in his day-to-day work to summarise all the risks. Provide an overview of the predicted risks and prepare a plan B. Remember, always have a plan B, and adapt it routinely.
8 types of Project Report
According to the Project Manager page, there are eight types of project reports. The PM must make these eight reports in one document. However, not all reports have these eight elements.
- Status report
- Progress report
- Risk reports
- Board/executive reports
- Cost-benefit analysis
- Resource reports
- Variance reports
- Gap analysis report
How to write a Project Report
The question is how to write a report correctly. There are six steps you can adopt to write a project report. Here are the steps:
1. Set the objective
First thing first, you need to determine the final goal of the report. For example, you need to explain something to the team or persuade upper management. Because the two are different. Goal setting makes it easier to stay focused when writing project reports.
2. Understand the reader
Status reports are different from formal annual reports, right? So when writing a report, keep the reader in mind. With this method, the reader would become more receptive to your ideas. Customised graphics, language styles, and data to report forms with the audience. Consider their communication style and style.
3. Know the format
The report format is essential because the form of each report is different. For example, whether the annual report, financial, risk report or status report is undoubtedly different. Confirm with upper management if any templates are available. If there is, use the format, as it will save much time.
4. Collect all the data and facts
To support your arguments in the project, you need to collect all the data and facts. Use a combination of sources, such as citing case studies and interviews similar to the project.
5. Report’s structure
The report has four crucial elements: summary, introduction, content and conclusion. The details are as follows:
Summary: This section is written when you have completed the report. The summary contains a short text that covers the contents of the report.
Introduction: It contains the context for the report and its scope. You also need to outline the structure of the content and mention the methodology you used in the project.
Contents: This is the longest section of the report. The content must include the six items.
Conclusion: This part arranges all elements of the report clearly and concisely. Also, mention the following steps and actions you want to convey to the reader.
6. Edit and review
This part should not be missed. Take the time to review the report, so it's fun to read. You can also ask for workmates' opinions, which is more objective.
Creating a project report is at the root of every project management process. Reports are essential to evaluate the feasibility of ideas and plans and to prove that your strategy is successful. Yes, we know you have dozens of things to do when running a business, but creating project reports should always be one of those things. Try to apply this guide when creating your project report.