How to Simplify Your Project Reports

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Here are 5 simple steps to speed up producing your project reports.
Step 1: Create a circulation list
Your reports need to go to the same group every time, so create a list of key stakeholders who are your report recipients. Store their names, email addresses and other contact information in a central location so that you can always find it when you need it. This will save you from hunting around for addresses each time you are sending out a report.

If you have multiple reports to issue, create a circulation list for each one.
Step 2: Use real-time information
The most time-consuming part of preparing a project report is gathering the information to go in it. You have to contact each of your project team members and ask for status updates. Then you collate these to form your project report. Unfortunately, a lot depends on how quickly they get back to you and as project team members are typically very busy, it can take a while before they give you the information that you need.

Using software, such as, which captures status information in real-time, will save you hours each month. You won't have to get updates from your team members as everything you need is already available for you online.
Step 3: Use templates
Don't reinvent the wheel each time you need to send out a report. Use templates to streamline preparing your reports. Simply delete the old information from the template and update it with what's new.

Share templates with other project managers as this will save you a lot of time as well. Store all your templates somewhere central so that you can easily access them when you need to.
Step 4: Use dashboards
Dashboards are customizable online screens that provide an instant, graphical overview of your project data. You can see status information at a glance and they are updated with progress as it happens. You can drill down into the detail if you spot something that needs investigating.

Give your project stakeholders direct access to view their own personal dashboards and save yourself lots of time researching, producing and emailing documentation each month. An added bonus is that each stakeholder can get project information that is tailored to their needs, as it is really easy to create customized dashboards based on what each individual would like to know.
Step 5: Issue direct from your software
Create your reports and email them directly from your project software. This saves you from having to download or print reports, log out of your software and then issue the reports manually to the key stakeholders. Instead, use the reporting features available to cut out that step and send the updates directly from your enterprise tools.


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