Chapter 17. Reporting on Projects

Because communication is such a large part of project management, you run reports all the time. Along with pictures of schedules, reports are a mainstay for presenting project information to others. They’re also handy when you want to see what’s going on. During planning, reports show you where your schedule needs work to get dates, costs, and resource workloads where they should be. Once the project is under way, you can use high-level reports to see whether the project is on track. If it isn’t, more detailed reports help you find the problem spots.

Savvy project managers are proactive and run reports to find tasks that are slipping (not progressing as they should) or are starting or finishing late. These tasks are warning signs of impending project delays. Correcting those problems early can keep the project on track, without the Herculean efforts typically required when time is running out.

Different audiences want different information. For example, teams like to see how much they’ve accomplished, but they also want to know what still lies ahead. You can use built-in Project reports to build to-do lists or show resources their assignments laid out week by week. Likewise, you can prepare assignment reports to show managers how their folks are doing and when it’s time to find them more work. Executives usually don’t care about the nitty-gritty. They want a high-level view of progress, and how it compares to the plan. They get concerned if project ...

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