Understanding Project Reports

One of the jobs of a Project Manager is reporting the status of a project to the various stakeholders. Once you get the hang of generating these four reports, you will be in a good position to accurately report the status of your projects.

1. Status Reports

Project Managers get requests for the status of their projects all the time. The Status Report is the most common project report and you’ll find yourself regularly working on them. The time period varies depending on the company expectations, project complexity, or communication requirements but the cycle is usually is daily, weekly, or monthly.

Since this report is the most common, you need to establish a template that covers the basic requirements so you can quickly update the contents on the required cycle. Some Project management tools allow for automating the reports, which can save you a lot of time on complex projects.

2. Risk Reports

The risk report includes a risk profile summary of the project. You should include the detail for the risks that have the greatest potential to create problems for your project. You should include a statement on the risks, summarizing how you are managing the risks, and prioritize the risks from greatest to lowest.

Most Risk Reports are generated monthly, and the report is normally the output that comes after a Monthly Risk Review meeting held with the project stakeholders.

3. Executive Reports

High-level reporting are tailored to the audience reading them. Executive Reports usually have less detail that the information on your Status Reports. Executives want to understand the status of your projects, they just don’t have the time to read about all the detail. Make sure you share just the information important to them, like issues needing their help, budget summary, key milestones, and overall timelines.

4. Resource Reports

The Resource Report will show the breakdown of which team members are allocated to which project tasks on specific days. This report can also be used to identify over allocation of resources, or resources that shouldn’t be assigned together for personality reasons, etc. Most software solutions offer integrated time tracking, which will save you effort in mapping resources and may even automate the reporting.

5. Budget Reports

Every project has a budget, and you should be prepared to provide a summary of the assigned budget and the amount spent to date. This will allow stakeholders to understand a summary of the spending and if you have been able to control spending.

Once you master these five main reports, you are well on your way to establishing the required minimum reporting for your projects.


2 thoughts on “Understanding Project Reports”

  1. Good overview Troy. I am PM with a 2 way radio company and unfortunately it isn’t always black and white with these reports.


    1. You are correct. Like a lot of things, these reports are never approached as “you always…”, but more like “it depends…”. Every organization has their way of doing things and it can be very specific or unique to that organization. As you acknowledged, this posting is an overview of the types of reports usually requested from the Project Manager. Thanks for the feedback!


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