Friday, April 07, 2006

Project Reporting - 1



Project Reporting is one of the key areas of project Management as well as Project Office Management. In the communication plan, PM specifies how the project communication should be done., Different stakeholders of the project have different information requirements about the same project., So as PM, you group your stakeholders, and then you define the level of information requirements and the frequency of information requirements for each group. We can formally update our stakeholders through project meetings and project reports.

In this post, I will share little bit of my experience in Project Reporting.

As a PM, no point of you writing pages and pages of lengthy reports to prove the project board that you are in total control of the project. When updating my project stakeholders, I have always been successful by using simple but comprehensive predefined templates for Project Reporting.

Some of the benefits of using pre-defined Project status reporting templates:

  1. You will not miss important points because the template itself defines the sections for all the key areas.
  2. Your stakeholders will not have to read lengthy boring reports and understand something totally different to what you are trying to say.
  3. You will make less mistakes in report writing as it keeps you focused on subject matters, You will not go out of focus.
  4. You can easily provide required transparency of the project to readers.
  5. Every week they read the same format of report so it becomes very user friendly and familiar to them.
  6. You can maintain a company wide common templates for all the projects

Not only the template, the information you fill there should be accurate and clear.

I have few PM friends who creates different status reports for different stakeholders. internal They produce different status reports for internal people and different reports for the customer 2 reports contain total different views of the same project status ( they are not my colleagues) I do not agree with this., We have to provide maximum level project transparency to the customers and to all the other stakeholders., No point of creating different pictures for different parties., Remember .. “Bullshit can take you there but will not keep you there..” so one day everybody will get to know the truth about your project., Your credibility lies on the accuracy of your project reports. So the Rule No : 01 -Do not report false information to your stakeholders under any circumstances.

So how do you define a good report template to update your customers and key stakeholders? Its too much to write in this post …:( , So in my next post I will discuss “How to define a proper Project Report Template”

3 comments:

The Project Management Podcast™ on 9:16 AM said...

Thushara,

One of the listeners of The Project Management Podcast has submitted a PM Status Report template, which I have made available for download at http://pmpodcast.blogspot.com (look for Show 27). It's about as simple as it gets.

However, I disagree with your statement, that you should not give different status reports for internal and external stakeholders. I have to do that at the moment. Both status reports contain the same information, but in the internal status report I also include additional information about the communication problems I am having with the external customer. This makes my management aware of any project issues that are caused by customer behaviour and that they can respond accordingly when the customer calls. To me, this is simply good communications management.

Thushara Wijewardena, PMP on 4:54 AM said...

Uhh.. Something is misunderstood here.. Any way Im sorry if my explanation is not so good, You are obviously right in updating internal users about the communication problems etc.

What I meant was that …..Lets say project is 10 days behind the schedule; I have seen some PMs update the customer’s status report as the project is on target and internal report as project is 10 days behind the schedule and create a critical issue. They think they will not make the problem transparent to the customer as customer will have negative feelings, or the project owner will have negative feelings., and then they try to catch up the deadline with remaining days by Project crashing or some other way., Im saying that’s wrong. Information should be accurate.

Definitely its understood that different stakeholders have different information requirements of the project and you have to update them accordingly

Im sorry if my article mislead anybody.. Hope this will clear it

Thanks for visiting my blog

razor said...

ok Yogi. Not only are your blogs really long but your comments too your blogs are really long too..:D

As a developer/designer i dont know much about PM but here's my 2 cents on what i gud project manager should be like.

1. get to know your team - their weaknesses and strengths. also get to kno them personally. however keep work out of friend ship. knowing their weaknesses and strengths wil allow u to kno when and where to use them during the project.

2. be tech savy - be familiar with the capabilities of the tools that your team is using. from sql server to visual studio. u dont have to learn to code. simple know what tool like visual studio can do. when PM gives unrealastic requirements to developers its really frustrating. also when PM isnt tech savy there's times when we can use that to our advantage. theehhee.

 

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