Reporting is a formal and informal way to communicate the status of a project. But many project leaders find project reporting dull paper-pushing. Worse, reporting often causes anxiety as your pulled away from managing to relaying information to your stakeholders.
There’s a way to take the pain out of reporting, and online project management tools can help. They offer features for you to generate the reports easily and efficiently. Some of the things you want in your online reporting software include:
- One-click status reporting
- Planned vs. actual progress views
- Compatible with different formats
- Portfolio views
All those features assist with your essential reporting needs, such as:
- Project status
- Resource workload
- Expense tracking
There are, of course, more than one type of project report. There are four that are most common to leading a project. They are:
- Status report
- Risk report
- Board/executive report
- Resource report
But no matter what kind of report you need to produce, there are ways that your project reporting software can help make your job less stressful. Take a look at the following five tips and see how reporting can go from being a chore to a great communications tool.
Set Up Reminders
One of the ways to cut the stress is by having your project management software take up the busy work so you don’t have to. That’s where automation comes in to free you up. By setting up reminders you can get emails for personal notifications as well as reminders and notifications for your team.
Reminders and notifications can be scheduled as you need them, so you’re not constantly being pulled away by unnecessary interruptions, and only receive those alerts that are crucial to your work at the time.
You can also share reports with your team as well as stakeholders, which builds a great platform to facilitate collaboration. Notifications are collected in your project management software and distributed by email. The comment thread and whatever notes and documents you add to these narratives are saved, which allows you to view the whole conversation in one place.
You want to encourage a collaborative culture with your team, because such an environment helps you achieve you goals faster. The basis for good collaboration is to:
- Use online tools
All of these collaboration tools can be applied to project reporting, which also helps to remove the brunt of the responsibilities for getting the work done off your shoulders. While the buck stops with a project leader, no one likes a micromanager, even the stressed-out micromanager.
The easier it is to customize your reports, the less of a headache you’ll have generating them. You want software that can filter your reports so you only see that project data you need at the time. This way you’re not pulling hair out of your head by trying to find the signal in the noise.
Also, your reports can provide a bird’s eye view for easy understanding while at the same time giving you access to deeper data if you care to explore it. Not to mention you can make your reports better by customizing them to the audience your communicating with. One report doesn’t fit all and shouldn’t.
Milestones mark a specific point in the lifecycle of your project. Sponsors are going to want details, but they’re also going to ask for you to keep them updated on the progress of these milestones. By reporting on the percentage of completion of the project milestones you involve your sponsor and they’re more likely to offer you help rather than block you with questions.
Reporting on milestones is also a great way to boost morale with your team. Have a little celebration of some sort after completion of a milestone. It’s more rewarding and offers a greater sense of achievement than merely checking off a task, and that results in a happier more productive team, which is certain to reduce your stress level.
Sometimes too much data can be hard to immediately comprehend, but you need that information easily digestible at a glance. You can sweat over how to pretty-up your spreadsheet, but a list of figures is a sure cure for insomnia.
That’s where charts and graphs can add a needed spark to your reports. They can be created in a click of your cursor from the dashboard on your project management software.It’s one of the tools you have to have on your project dashboard.
Leading a project is always going to create tension, but sometimes that friction brings out the best in yourself and your team. Sometimes it just makes things worse. Either way, the more you can smooth out the process the better the project.
With the reporting tools in the award-winning ProjectManager.com you’re able to manage your project, team and sponsors better. This online project management software has a dashboard that creates real-time reports and allows for better collaboration. See for yourself by taking the free 30-day trial by clicking on the banner below.