How to prepare a project management report
A project management report is an essential project management tool.
It provides a summary overview of the project’s status that you can share with stakeholders, clients and team members. Ideally, the project report is just a page or two long. And it ensures everyone can quickly assess what’s on schedule, and what’s lagging behind or is overdue.
Good communication, management, and organization are central to effective project management. Regular project management reports help to ensure your project stays on track. And you can also use project reports to manage risk, as well as monitor budgets, and timelines.
Furthermore, the project report can double up as a record-keeping tool for past decisions and actions.
The frequency of your project management report depends on the project’s size and complexity. Monthly reporting is a minimum requirement for most projects, and many produce weekly status reports.
It’s also good practice to produce project management reports throughout the entire lifecycle of the project.
What information needs to be included in a project management report?
The report’s purpose is to update all project stakeholders on progress and identify any major issues that might have arisen..
The detail may vary from project to project, but all project management reports should include the following information:
The aim is to provide a high-level snapshot of where things are at. Project stakeholders want to be able to see at a glance the project’s status. Make sure your project report clearly identifies the following:
An assessment of the project’s progress against the project plan: Is the project ahead or behind schedule?
A rundown on tasks completed and what’s next in the pipeline: Is overall completion of tasks on track?
A summary of actual costs against budget: Is the budget over or underspent?
An overview of project risks and any issues identified: Has the project’s risk profile changed requiring action?
Plus, any action points or to-do items that need attention.
Tips on how to write a project management report
Keep it short and simple. Project stakeholders don’t want to get bogged down in too much detail. The report should provide an accessible overview of the project’s status. A weekly 20-page document will simply go unread.
Be concise, and avoid technical jargon. Not all stakeholders will be familiar with the project’s acronyms or technical terms. Make it an easy read for everyone by using everyday language.
Make it visual. Charts, graphs, and diagrams will bring the data to life, making it much more accessible. In Teamwork.com, project management reports are color-coded to show the status of whether it’s completed, active or late. This makes it easier for project stakeholders to see at a glance where things are at.
Be honest about progress. If the project is behind schedule or is over budget, it’s best to be upfront. After all, the sooner a problem is identified, then the sooner it can be resolved and the project can move forward.
Highlight any action points. Make it easy for project stakeholders. If a client, team member or stakeholder needs to do something, then clearly identify what’s required, by who and when.
Project Management Reporting: Conclusion
A well-prepared project management report is an excellent tool for keeping everyone updated. Plus, it will help you to effectively manage the project and keep it on track.
For more information and advice on project management, check out our project management workbook.