project management reporting

4 Tips for Project Management Reporting on SharePoint

August 7, 2018 by

No matter what project management tool you are using, one of the most important capabilities you will have is the ability to quickly and easily report on project data and share that information with the relevant audiences in a format that works for them.

 

Download your free SharePoint project template with reports, metric tiles, and dashboards! 

 

Having accurate, up-to-date, and accessible project reports is critical to understanding how a project is progressing and helps the team to make better, more informed decisions. Since project reports provide the visibility to deliver necessary successful projects, I wanted to put together some reporting best practices to help kick-start your reporting efforts!

The examples we are using in this blog are based on SharePoint project management reporting and BrightWork, but these ideas could be applicable to project management reporting in general.

 

4 Tips for Project Management Reporting on SharePoint

1. Focus on high-quality project data

You know the saying: “garbage in, garbage out,” and of course, that is going to be true with your project portfolio management as well.

On any project, you will have many people updating and looking for information in the project site.  Therefore, you need to make sure that all the data entry points are grooming the data as it is entered.  Make sure there are processes in place to make sure that folks are keeping it fresh.

The project sites, forms, and any other deliverables should be set up to guide the project managers and team members to give updates in accordance with your local guidance and practices.

Here is an example of a form for entering an issue that collects all relevant information that can then be updated with status as it’s worked on.

project management reporting - issue form

What you want to do is make sure the project management solution acts as a template that guides the user.  Whether it’s a team member updating a task or a project manager creating a status report, they should be prompted to put in all the relevant information.

Aligning your project reporting requirements will make it much easier to report across projects at the portfolio level.

 

2. Use the right project report for your audience

Everybody working on the project is busy! 

So you want to have a certain number of reports that give you what you could call the “one-liners” about all your projects, such as this simple project status report providing high-level details about the project health and status.

These are particularly useful for senior executives, who need to know what is going on across lots of projects, but may not be too caught up in the details.

project management reporting - projects in troubleOther reports should be more detailed because of course there are some who need to get into the weeds and look at the trees, not just the forest.  Nevertheless, keep in mind you will have folks who can’t or won’t do that regularly.

 

3. Leverage high-level project portfolio reports

Spilling over a bit from the point above, we’re looking at those “one-liner” reports.

It’s great to have a single page where you can roll up information from all of your project portfolios in one place, instead of having to poke around through the all the different project sites to pull together an update.

Maybe you could even have some filtering going on as well, for example only reporting on projects that have a “yellow” or “red” health indicator.

project management reporting - high-level reports

 

 

4. Use automated reminders and notifications

In a perfect world, folks are coming to your SharePoint project management site and checking those updates on their own when they are supposed to. But let’s be realistic, that won’t always be the case!

So you could set up some sort of automatic notifications and alerts, helping to ensure that nothing falls through the cracks.

project management reporting - email reports

 

For example, you could send team members the following prompts:

  • Monday: review their open work and upcoming tasks.
  • Friday morning: update the progress they’ve made that week.

 

On Friday afternoon, all project sponsors and stakeholders receive an automated report of that weeks’ accomplishments that is correct!

 

Make it easy with BrightWork!

When it comes to getting users to adopt a solution, ease of use is incredibly important.  Project management software is no different!  Here are a few examples of how BrightWork enables easy project reporting in SharePoint.

Team members want to spend their time doing productive work and contributing to the success of the project.  They don’t want to spend hours completing admin work for the sake of it.  So when it comes to updating their work, make it easy for them!

With BrightWork, a team member only has to update an item once, and all reports and dashboards are updated.

project management reporting - update

Further, we have a customer who had a very simple requirement when it came to project status reports.  He laid out his requirement as follows: “We need project managers to be able to create a status report in 3-5 minutes or less, or they simply won’t do it.”

 

project status report

 

 

Image credit

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in September 2015 and has been updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.

Billy Guinan

Billy is a Demand Generation Manager at BrightWork, where he helps customers successfully manage their projects and portfolios using SharePoint.

Billy is a graduate of the Villanova School of Business and holds a Master’s degree from National University of Ireland, Galway. Outside of BrightWork, he enjoys reading, trying to golf, and walking his pug named Nova.
Billy Guinan

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