Project reporting is an essential task for any project and the most frequent report is project status. The project status report should include current project status, key risks, project metrics and work done, work in progress and work to be started. It should be targeted at the intended audience and contain the level of detail appropriate for that audience.
Project reporting is an essential task for any project and the most frequent report is project status. The project manager will normally write the report and deliver it as a written email update or presentation or perhaps a combination of both. The information will be from the project team and must be current and accurate. Consequently a project manager must ensure that they are fully in touch with project status.
Purpose of Project Reporting
The project report format needs to address the key goals for project reporting:
Current, accurate and complete information on project progress and the project’s RAG [Red, Amber, Green] Status*
Barriers to successful project delivery and what the project team is doing to remove those barriers or prevent them from having an impact
Understanding of business impact and change
What actions stakeholders need to take, if any
* RAG Status is a simple way to indicate the project status using a traffic light metaphor:
Red = project is either very delayed or significantly over budget or both
Amber = project is delayed or over budget or both
Green = project is on track to deliver as scheduled and within budget tolerances [i.e. +/- 10%]
[The actual definitions should be agreed or well-defined beforehand and this RAG status is useful for dashboard style reporting of multiple projects, especially for senior management.]
Project Report Format Example for Project Status
The project status report should include current project status, key risks, project metrics and work done, work in progress and work to be started. It should be targeted at the intended audience and contain the level of detail appropriate for that audience. The frequency, method of update [written, verbal or both] and who gives the project report should be defined beforehand. The following is an example the project report format being used.
Project is on track to successfully deliver as planned. Slight delay to sign-off of test report but this will not impact final delivery. The project will now move to the deployment phase and the relevant experts have already started these tasks. Current risks are being managed and no final risks have emerged to delay the Go Live date.
Training schedule being delayed by the list of department users not being scheduled. Mitigation is to divert a project team member to accelerate tasks to define list of users to be trained
Deployment of system to multiple countries is delayed by expert resources not being available as scheduled. Mitigation is to arrange backup people with vendor who will be on call in the event of a resource problem
Project schedule is on target with 0 days time delay. 80% of project schedule is now complete
Project cost is on target. Total project cost variance is -5% and 90% of the budget has been spent
Acceptance test phases one and two were completed as scheduled
Test Report has been produced and is in final approval
Test environment has now been taken down and will be prepared to support the production use of the new system
Work in Progress
Deployment has started with the installation and configuration of the production environment
Training material has been finished and is available for online and classroom training
Identification of training needs and scheduling of training has just started
Work to be Started
Technical installation report for the production environment will start next week as scheduled
Preparation of the production training environment will begin following completion of the production environment
Project closure report and release of resources will start next week
Project Report Format Example for Project Status
This audience requires the right level information, which needs to be succinct and focus on the few things that matter rather than everything that can be reported. In particular, the audience will want to know if the project is on track and whether it needs any help with any risks or issues.
In the final analysis the presentation, content and level of detail needs to be determined for the audiences. However, a project will want to “standardise” on a report format to simplify the production and delivery of project information and in particular to not have multiple reportsScience Articles, report formats and potentially giving different or confusing information dependent on which report is read. Following a single report format and adjusting the level of detail for the audience will help to achieve consistency and clarity for all concerned.