3 Key Role-Based Project Reports
Everyone involved in a project needs to see slightly different information based on their specific roles and responsibilities on the project.
Team members prefer to focus on their tasks on a particular project, while senior executives will hone in on the high-level status of many projects.
Make project reports useful to everyone involved in the project by getting rid of clutter and providing them with the right project reports, with relevant data, at the right time.
For the rest of this post, I will look at three main roles in a project team and the key project reports each audience is likely looking for.
3 Key Role-Based Project Reports
1. Senior Executives
A common challenge for senior executives is having to trawl through multiple channels to get status updates regarding projects across the organization.
Unless a standard tool is in place, the information they receive is often of varying quality and timeliness.
Frequently, reports are received when it’s too late to save a failing a project.
Senior executives need accurate, real-time high-level portfolio dashboards to get visibility into the health of many projects at once.
When it comes to the information they might be looking for in a project report, a handy acronym to remember is “S-I-R”:
- What’s the Status?
- Are there any open Issues?
- What are the current Risks?
View ‘All Projects’ in a SharePoint report
A status report with the above information should provide a good sense of what is happening on the project.
Stakeholders don’t necessarily need to be presented with the nitty-gritty detail of every project. However, that information should be easily accessible, just in case they need to drill into the report for more information.
Project homepage with more details
2. Project Managers
The responsibility of a project manager is to deliver the project successfully. Project managers need a clear set of project reports to easily track the status of a project and re-plan.
When it comes to tracking project progress, project managers need a set of dashboards showing items like overdue work, as well as with issues, risks, KPIs and metrics on dashboards.
These project dashboards should be easily editable, so the project manager can re-plan to keep the project running smoothly.
Project managers also need to save time when creating reports.
A project manager should able to create a status report within 3 to 5 minutes, or they just won’t bother.
Project status reports
With a tool like BrightWork, sharing reports with the team and stakeholders via email takes just a few clicks.
3. Team Members
Team members sometimes struggle to understand what the point of the project is and what is expected of them. Often, they have no easy way to keep track of their assigned work and when it is due. This is especially challenging for individuals who are juggling multiple projects and day-to-day tasks.
For team members, reports should support their three primary responsibilities on a project:
- Find their work
- Do their work
- Update the progress of their work.
Reports like”My Work” show team members all the work that is assigned to them on single or multiple projects.
Ideally, these work reports can be filtered for different views, such as Open Work, Work Due Soon, and Overdue Work, so team members can prioritize their task list.
‘My Work’ report
It’s also important that team members can easily update the progress on a project, and more importantly, flag a risk or issue as soon as it arises.
Having accurate and up-to-date project reports is critical to project success. If you want stakeholders to read reports and act on the information, consider tailoring reports for different audiences.
Reports should cut to the chase and enable the users to do their best work by providing the most relevant information.
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in September 2017 and has updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.
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.