Performance Reporting

October 12, 2009

To report performance you have to asses the performance of your project first and that’s a very vital task for a project manager. You must be absolutely certain of where you are, to make sure you are on the right track. If not, you need some mid-course corrections and make sure you stay on course. The stakeholders need to be informed of the status/performance of your project appropriately.

The Performance Reporting

The process is about collecting and then distributing information about the performance of your project. Typically status report, progress made on the project and forecasts about what’s expected by the next reporting cycle or a little longer time line are the information required.

Typically the inputs include project management plan, that’s the original map. You would need to look at work performance data as well as work performance measurements. You will need to look at budget forecasts too as that’ll provide the financial anchor. Organizational process assets also are a valuable set of tools as they provide you guidance about lessons learnt. This is a set of documents that is more like the collective wisdom of the organization over a time period.

Once the raw data has been collected in the form of desired inputs, you need to process them to format the collected information into the right kind of formatted reports. Performance reports to suit the various communications profiles of the stakeholders has to happen. Besides you’ll need to update the organization’s process assets. It can so happen that you have no choice but to raise a change request to the project owner, quite possibly an external customer who ordered the project. This would be the time to request a change too. You need to be very careful as, in general, nobody likes changes that may affect the timeline or the project costs. You also have to be absolutely careful that you have taken care of a complete set of changes. You would not like to go back to the customer, internal or external, for few other changes in the next reporting cycle.

Tools and Techniques

You will possibly need a few formal tools to distill all the input into report formats you need for your specific organization. Your performance reports have to have a set of information on the lines of an analysis of past performance, current status of risks and issues, how much of the work has been completed as well as what needs to be completed by the next reporting period. Changes that have been approved also is a vital set of information.Beside the actual work done and what’s expected to be done the other information provides a perspective. Additionally, as any good pro-active manager must, you need to include any issues that need to be reviewed. You must draw attention of stakeholders involved to such issues, obstacle, foreseen problems etc. Tools that help in processing the input data include variance analysis, communication methods, forecasting methods and reporting systems.

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