Project Reporting is easy: "The project's fine, don't worry".
And the reporting of project status is sometimes rather like that - subjective and unsubstantiated. But perhaps we should be more objective and factual in our project reporting.
Good project reporting is factual. So, does saying "this task is 90% complete" qualify as objective project reporting? Maybe - but it depends upon what basis the 90% complete claim is made. Just the opinion of the person doing the task? And was "it's 90% complete" also a claim in last week's project status report?
And so what if it is 90% complete? That could be good or bad depending upon how complete it should be by now. Since good project reporting boils down to comparing actual status vs plan, good project reporting relies upon a good project plan. Knowing you're bang on plan is misleading if the plan is all wrong.
Good estimates are the foundation upon which good plans and schedules are based. In turn, estimates will only be any good if
So good project reporting cannot be implemented in isolation, there are many prerequisites and co-requisites.
And is reporting percent complete useful? Maybe, but things can stall at 90% complete for a long time and impair the value of the project reporting.
Good project reporting is black and white - a thing is either done or it is not done. Good project reporting is also forward looking - not just what work has been done, but how much work is left to be done.
Breaking the work up into small tasks that are either done or not done helps greatly. Never report percent complete of a task. A task is either done or it isn't - end of debate. By all means report that 90% of all tasks are completed in your project status report.
This comprehensive project management training course shows how project status reporting should be done and covers those things that are necessary to enable good project status reporting.
The course shows how to track project progress, what data the team leader should gather and what information the team leader should report to the project manager. Reporting by the project manager to the project sponsor is covered. Examples of project reporting templates are given. Case studies illustrate how factual, numerical reporting can be an effective management tool and can give early warning of project problems (and thereby make it more likely problems can be fixed).
Project reporting cannot be taught in isolation: it is merely one facet of an integrated project management process. The course shows how if things like estimating, planning, risk management, time recording and task status recording are done properly then project reporting can become relatively straightforward. Without good planning and control (etc) status reporting becomes a matter of opinion and painful reality can be hidden and ignored until it's too late. The course highlights the benefits of proper project reporting.
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