Project management reports are regular updates provided to all project stakeholders to summarize the current status of a project. These reports contain key information on the progress of the project and any challenges that the project is facing. Though reporting requirements may vary depending on the type and complexity of the project, there are some basic guidelines to follow to write a project management report.
Information Every Project Management Report Needs
Basic Project Info
Each report should have the following information at the beginning:
- Project name and/or number
- Names of the project manager(s) and project sponsor(s)
- Start date and expected end date of the project
- Client name and description
- Date of the report
Key Sections to Include
Project management reports are used to update stakeholders on all aspects of a project at a glance. These are some basic sections that every report should contain:
- Summary. The summary allows the reader to get a quick update on the overall progress of the project without reading the whole report.
- Progress. This section should include all details about the project’s progression as it relates to the planned schedule, milestones, and achievements.
- Budget. Stakeholders need to know if the project is under or over the budget.
- Resources. Let stakeholders know if the project is lacking resources, or if resources have been overallocated to any areas of the project.
- Risks. Explain any issues that have arisen or risks that the project faces. Describe actions taken to address them.
- Quality. Provide an update on any quality testing that has been done and any issues that were found.
- Actions. Describe any key actions taken or decisions made since the last report. This can also include information on accomplishments since the last report.
- Schedule. Include information on the planned accomplishments and milestones for the next report.
Tips for Writing a Project Management Report
- Be concise and focus on the results. Don’t include the details that stakeholders don’t need or want to know. Most project management reports can summarize all the relevant project information in one page. Make the information easy to scan and digestible by using bullet points and lists instead of wordy paragraphs. You can also use project management software that provides reporting templates to help you create an easy-to-read and visual report.
- Write for the appropriate audience. Make sure you know who will be reading the report and write it in language that will be easy for everyone to understand. Avoid technical jargon and complicated explanations.
- Always refer to the project plan in the report. Key metrics are all defined during the planning phase of a project, so use those metrics as a baseline for writing a report to provide context.
- Make it clear if you need anything from stakeholders. If there are any project requirements, make it very clear what is needed, when it is needed, and who is responsible for providing it.
Writing project management reports is a vital skill for project managers to have. Keep it simple, stick to the facts, and include all key information related to the project’s metrics in each report. No matter what type of business or project you need to write a project management report for, if you follow these basic guidelines then you will be off to a great start!