Sunday 24 April 2022

Top 5 types of project reports


Most companies have a lot of reports. Sometimes there are two or three for each member of the project team. We all know that every report takes time to collect data, time to process it, time to read it, and even time to make decisions. But we also know how this time is not always justified. Your job as a project manager is to figure out what stakeholders really need to know and not waste time. And the Top 5 types of project reports can help you with this.

If we were to print all the reports that go through our hands, the trees on our planet would run out in a couple of days. Notice how many reports are automatically sent to the Trash by email client filters or manually deleted as soon as they appear in the Inbox. But in fact, the labor costs and budgets of our projects are sent to the basket.

Focus on what really matters to you and to your readers using the following types of reports:

Report #1: Project Status Report


The status report on the project is necessary... specifically to report the status of the project. It should be detailed enough to assess the "health" of the project, but not too detailed so that the readers of this report do not fall asleep over it from a lot of unnecessary details. This report should answer the following four questions:

  • What is the situation with the project at the moment?
  • What will be the next steps for this project?
  • What circumstances can prevent the successful completion of the project?
  • What are the key metrics of this project?
  • Free Status Report Template

Report No. 2: Risk Register

The Risk Register or, in a more compact form, the Project Risk Overview is another vital report you will need. Risks always live in the environment of the project and are just waiting to knock it off course. The risk register contains the results of risk identification, data on their analysis and response plans for the most significant risks.

A review of project risks can be included in the Project Status Report as one of the key metrics. For example, you can specify the total number of still existing risks and classify them according to the degree of negative impact on the project. This will give the recipient of the report a clear picture of the overall status of risks for your project.

Report No. 3: Register of Urgent Issues

In the Register of Urgent Issues, you inform how the work is going on with the risks that have occurred, as well as with unforeseen circumstances and issues that require urgent solution. For example, you may have a risk of leaving a key employee's team. After he has moved to another job, you have to solve the urgent issue of replacing him. At the same time, your management must make a choice between hiring a new employee and reinforcing the team at the expense of another project, after which you can plan your further actions.

The Urgent Issues Register should show what actions are BEING ACTIVELY taken on each of these issues, as well as the priorities of these issues in terms of the scope of impact on the project. Priorities can range from "minor" to "critical" and guide everyone on what needs to be done first and what needs to be done second to keep the project within a given framework.

Report #4: Executive Summary

Summary for management – very different from the above reports, it is even written "in another language". Summary for management is a high-level report, the task of which is to provide management with a clear understanding of the status of the project, the benefits that it will bring, the compliance of this project with the developed strategy, the impact of the project results on the overall state of affairs in the company. This is what primarily interests senior executives who do not have time to delve into the details of each individual project.

Make this report objective, support the data with facts. Don't be afraid to paint an extremely realistic picture. Managers are well aware that things do not always go as planned. They just want to be sure that you have a plan to bring the project back within the established limits.

Report #5: Everything You Want

This does not imply a frivolous attitude. On the contrary, it implies an extremely adequate reflection of reality. And the reality is that it's hard to find the "perfect" report that best fits every company, project, circumstance, or audience. As a project manager, your task is to select the most relevant aspects of each of the possible reports and create the report that suits the conditions of your project the most. Over time, you'll understand what information in the report will be most relevant in order to get the actions and reactions your project needs from its readers.

Make sure your report is easy to create weekly. It is worth spending more time thinking through the goals and purpose of the report than on filling it out.

Increase your efficiency with these Top 5 reports, or any other, using the Ten Step Library templates.

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