How to generate individual reports in real-time with integrated project reporting
What is the purpose of reporting in project management?
With project management reporting, you want to be able to present all current information in compressed form as a basis for decision-making for a defined target group. You document the progress of the project as well as the achievement of individual interim results or stages.
Who are the project reports intended for?
Basically, you make the project reports available to all project members, for example for download on a project server, so that everyone can inform themselves about the current status of the project.
Furthermore, you should always send the report directly to certain people in the project. These active reporting channels should at least roughly already emerge from the project organization and should therefore be planned in the course of the project planning.
As is customary in the organization of a company, reports are made "from bottom to top". The work package manager reports to the sub-project manager/team leader, who in turn reports to the project manager, the project manager to the project client or the steering committee. The larger and more important the project is for the company, the more reporting levels or hierarchies are passed through. Under certain circumstances, stakeholders from the project environment can also be involved (customers, media, etc.).
Why are project status reports with integrated reporting important?
The so-called project status reports are based on a target-performance comparison of the individual controlling aspects and serve to identify specific target groups, such as
- the project team,
- the contracting authority, or
- the company management
to inform them about the status of the project and give them the opportunity to steer the project.
What are the project reporting advantages of using software with integrated project reporting?
Integrated project reporting offers you many advantages. You profit above all through:
Clearly defined reporting structures
The basis for a functioning reporting system is the planning of adequate reporting structures, which are best defined at the beginning of the project and agreed with all parties involved.
Immediately clearly visible deviations in the course of the project
As part of the documentation, deviations in the course of the project are documented in the form of an ongoing target/actual comparison and become apparent in real time.
Easy control over the course of the project
As a project manager you retain control over the course of the project and can protect yourself accordingly.
How do you best use the project reporting software?
For the successful use of a project reporting software, certain conditions must be met in the company.
Most implementations fail because the company-specific requirements are not clearly defined. This requires that methods and techniques (PM procedures), processes and procedures and the organizational structure of project management are clearly defined, established and described.
In order to ensure the uniform and clear creation of project reports, you should therefore choose a modern project reporting solution that provides your employees with a common thread for the creation of project reports in the form of templates.
When choosing a project reporting tool, you should pay attention to its user-friendly structure. Thus, a project reporting example can also be provided, which your project employees can use as a guideline for creating their own project reporting.
What should you consider when choosing project reporting software for multi-project management?
Especially in a multi-project management environment, integrated project reporting can give you as project manager and your employees a good overview of the project status.
Agile project management - as well as hybrid project management - can make it difficult for you to lead a project due to the prevailing flexibility and dynamics of the execution of individual work packages. Here a project reporting solution can support you and simplify or at least basically enable you to control projects by preparing relevant parameters - such as time, costs and quality.
What are the key success factors when choosing a project reporting tool?
What you should be aware of when choosing a project reporting tool:
It should be possible to create reports intuitively and without much training.
Ideally, not much needs to be written. It should also be possible to insert graphic elements (screenshots etc.).
One-time data entry
Data should only be entered once to obtain the necessary user acceptance. Multiple entries prevent the use of the tool and damage the actuality of the data.
The project reporting tool should be easy to use by everyone working on a project.
The management must give project reporting the appropriate relevance and also plan resources for this. Quality, completeness and timeliness of reports should be demanded from the highest level.
How can you establish a project reporting process?
A structured and sustainable project reporting is based on a uniform project management process, which was defined by the company management already in the initial phase of the project.
Normally this is considered the final task of a project planning process. If this deadline has been missed, it is nevertheless not too late for a subsequent introduction. However, under the following conditions:
- There should be a project order, which should be agreed between the project client and the project manager was voted on.
- A work breakdown structure must be created and all work packages already defined.
- The resources to complete the work packages should be allocated.
- Dates and milestones must be defined for the time schedule of the project
- Project resources (people, funding, equipment, materials, etc.) should be planned on the basis of the work package description.
- Roles and tasks must be described and thus the project organization established.
What questions should you ask yourself when choosing the right software?
Before you choose a project management software that includes project reporting, you should answer the following questions:
- What do you want to achieve with the project reporting system?
- What information is relevant to you and how should it be presented to the individual target persons be processed?
- From which data should the information be consolidated? Are the sources reliable?
- Who would you like to address the reporting to?
- Who provides the necessary information?
- Is the information useful and is it actually used by the recipients?
Provided that project reporting is done in a uniform form, it will influence the selection of your project management tools.
How does the project reporting of Can Do support you?
In addition to numerous dashboards, Can Do also offers a range of standardized project reports. The rights system regulates which data is available to which user. Furthermore, it is possible to create individual reports and entire report servers. The report data can be exported directly to Excel, PDF or other applications. All data is available in real time.