Project management reports refer to the high-level overview that contains critical project-related data in an easy-to-understand format. These focus on various aspects of a project and highlight the current status, possible or existing problems and their solutions.
Discover the main types of project reports that can provide real-time information to your teams.
1. Project Dashboard/Health
A project dashboard or health report lets you know how the project is going and what the team can do to improve performance. Usually, you present this report to the client or other stakeholders. Thus, they can view information such as progress and profitability.
It also helps determine if the project is on track and what you can do to get it back on track.
A project dashboard report should contain the overall portfolio, including project health (project status in green, yellow, or red), milestone progress for a given project, project profitability comparing to budget and cost, and progress of the project according to schedule.
2. Project tasks and status
If you’re into project management, this is the most common type of report you need to prepare. You may need to produce this report on a weekly or monthly basis. It aims to show how far the team has gone to achieve the goals of a project.
If you need to prepare such reports regularly, it is best to automate the process to save time and effort. You can use data from your task management tool to populate the report.
You can also use a standard template for the report. This will help you avoid the work of creating a status report every time from scratch.
3. Availability of resources and skills
Resource availability reports are essential for every project manager. Using this report, you can assign and delegate tasks to the right team member. It indicates which team member is busy and when.
If you are planning to create a schedule for a new project or if you are looking for an idle person to delegate tasks, check availability in this report. You can also locate members working at full capacity who might need help.
So you can ensure an even distribution of tasks for greater efficiency and faster results.
4. Project Risks
Every project involves a number of risks. Therefore, your risk report should contain all perceived and actual risks related to a project. You may need to submit this report once a month.
However, encourage your teammates to log all the risks they can think of in real time. This will help you gather all the data in one place when you need to create a report.
In addition to listing all risks, your report can only include high-level risks in detail and a summary of how you plan to manage low-level risks. You can record the risks in a spreadsheet, but it is better to use a project management tool.
5. Budget and expenses
You need to create a budget report for different purposes. The budget report you do at the end of the project for your client is the most common. Moreover, you can create an expense report several times when the project is in progress.
This will help the team determine if project expenses are out of control. In such cases, you can control the cost immediately and not be surprised if the expenses exceed the budget limit at the end of the project.
A budget and expense report should include the estimated budget for each task or segment of a project and the actual cost. Make sure to record all expenses in real time to avoid problems when merging all expenses while creating the report.
6. Time tracking
Many clients make payments based on time spent on a project. For them, it is mandatory to generate time reports after the completion of the project. The report shows how much time team members have invested in project-related tasks.
This report will also show the total time spent on each task and the time invested by each team member. Other than that, you can use time tracking to improve your team performance and individual productivity.
After analyzing the time spent by teammates on various tasks, you can easily find out who can do the job more efficiently. Later, you can assign people tasks that they can do quickly and efficiently.
7. Bugs and issues
While it’s not possible to have a problem- or bug-free project, you can certainly work to keep the number to a minimum.
Preparing a detailed report on identified bugs and issues will allow you to find quick solutions to these issues to deliver the project on time. A bug or project issue report should contain crucial information such as issue or bug number, date identified, issue raised by, description, priority, resolution, and status of the bug.
Regular updates to these reports during the lifecycle of a project will minimize distractions and avoid customer frustration. It will also save you the risk of project delays and penalties.
8. Gap analysis
The variance report is a great way to know if a project is on track. In this report, you analyze and compare the difference between the estimate and the result of various aspects of a project. In this report, use a standard statistic to measure both data.
This report will help you determine if you are ahead of plan, short or on schedule. You can compare your budget, resources, scope, or schedule in the report.
However, project managers typically choose this report to analyze a project’s budget, expenses, and work trends. The time required to generate these reports varies from project to project. Although clients may need this report at the end of a project, you may want to create it periodically during the project lifecycle to get better insights.
What report do you want to create next?
Now that you know the types of reports you can create for projects, along with their features, you can easily choose one according to your needs. If you use a reporting application, creating reports won’t be difficult or time-consuming.
The good thing is that most project management platforms also work as reporting tools.
The 8 Best Reporting Tools for Project Managers
About the Author