Writing a project report is an essential but often overlooked contributor to your project’s health. While it can be time-consuming to collect and organize the relevant data that the project generates, this process can be optimized and automated and reward you greatly.
In this post, we’ll explore the basics of project reporting and share useful templates and tips to create dazzling project reports in less time.
What is a project report and its types?
A project report is a document where you share details about different areas of your project. Depending on the report type, your audience, and your intention, the details you showcase might differ.
The different types of project reports could be broken down by time— daily, weekly, monthly, or quarterly— or a number of other factors like risk, budget, and project management style. Bottom line? They simplify the process of gathering and disseminating information about key information on the project. For instance, a typical report might include:
- Resources you’ve used so far
- How project time is being spent
- How you’re doing against KPIs
- Major expenses
- Workload and team availability
What is the purpose of project reporting?
Reporting gives you, your team, and stakeholders the ability to track project progress against the original plan. The main goal of a project report is to improve decision-making, to help you make sense of your project data, and decide what your next step should be. This in turn can impact your budget, timeliness, and project success.
It also plays a vital role in your stakeholder engagement strategy, as it keeps everyone informed on the progress of projects they’re interested in. Those are just a few of the reasons why project reporting has become the most common activity among PMOs (Project Management Offices).
5 unique project report templates
As we stated earlier, we can split project reports into different types and categories. To contextualize this, here are five monday.com templates for project reports, each with unique structures and the freedom to customize them for your needs.
1. Project status report
Probably the most frequently used, a project status report offers a general overview of the current status of your projects. A project status report answers the question: “How likely is it that we complete this project on time without overrunning costs?”
These reports analyze whether you’re meeting project goals and key performance indicators, how much money you’ve spent so far, and the major highlights about the current period. With our single project template, creating a status report is easier than ever.
This template helps you streamline your project timeline, set exact deadlines for tasks, complete project time tracking, and monitor all the stages of your project in one place. You can also easily turn this board into a data dashboard and use it for your reporting.
2. Resource workload report
Resource workload reports help you visualize what your team’s working on, when they’re working on it, and how much work is left. These also reports help you understand how your assets are being used and make sure your actions are aligned with the overall objective.
Our resource management template helps you organize all your assets, locations, and people into one place and track every action with accuracy. You can also manage your resource allocation initiatives and make sure you don’t assign the same resource twice in multiple tasks.
3. Portfolio report
Portfolio reports take a look at all your projects and consolidate all the data into a single document. These reports take a look at high-level milestones, status, variances, progress, and major highlights of your portfolio strategy.
With our portfolio management template, you can track unlimited projects on a single board and get a quick snapshot of their health and profitability.
4. Task list/Time-tracking report
Time-tracking reports, also known as timesheets, help you measure how your team is spending their time, where they’re spending most of it, and spot potential bottlenecks before they start snowballing.
With our team task list template, you can bring in your entire organization, assign tasks to peers, and measure the project progress at a glance. By adding a time-tracking column to your board, you can also track and monitor time spent by each team member — information you can later turn into a report.
5. Expense report
Often, project expenses are a “silent killer.” At a glance, a particular project might seem healthy until everyone starts reporting expenses only at the end of the time period. Expense reports that are accessible to everyone and encouraged to update them in one central place can make a big difference, and potentially save you time and unpleasant surprises.
With our expense tracking template, you can proactively manage your cash flow regardless of your accounting skills, or lack thereof. Enjoy automations and reminders that take the work out of reminders for payments that are due.
How do you write a project report?
While your project reporting process can get as elaborate as you want, but the three-step process outlined is a great way to get started quickly sacrificing quality.
Step 1: Define your theme
Decide which of the many report types you’ll use and what’s the main theme for such reports. Consider:
- Frequency: How often will you send this report?
- Audience: Who’s the main reader?
- Objective: What are you trying to accomplish?
Step 2: Find the major highlights
As we stated already, your project reports shouldn’t include all the information, data points, and events of your project. An effective project report is more like a summary — it focuses on the information that’s relevant to the reader and ignores anything else.
For instance, if you’re putting together a resource workload report aimed to inform your direct manager, including points like profitability or expenses are probably essential for them but designs and logos for a presentation may not be.
Step 3: Add a narrative
Finally, it’s important to make sure your report isn’t just a bunch of numbers and graphs without a story. At the end of the day, your report will be read by people, so be empathetic and create something meaningful.
Contextualize the final report based on past, present, and future events as well as who you are presenting to. Explain to them:
- What you will do
- How you will do it
- Your strategies and rationale
By following this simple process, you won’t only create outstanding reports, but you’ll also delight your clients, stakeholders, and leaders.
How to create insightful reports with monday.com
Did you know that nearly 40% of teams spend more than a day a month putting together reports? With the right project management software — and a bit of creativity — anyone can create dazzling reports in way less time.
First things first: monday.com isn’t just another “project management software. We offer a genuine Work OS. Instead of providing you with a “fixed” platform, we give you tons of LEGO-like building blocks so you can design a digital workspace that fits your exact needs— in fact, more than 127,000 teams trust us to manage their projects.
Some of our top features include:
- Automations: automate up to 250,000 human actions in just a couple of clicks.
- Data visualizations: visualize your project data with different views, including Timeline, Gantt, and Kanban.
- Advanced reporting: create custom and beautiful reports with speed.
- Integrations: integrate some of your favorite tools and apps and centralize your info into a single source of truth.
- Collaboration: bring in all your teammates and collaborate in one place.
In terms of reporting, here’s a quick overview of everything you can track and report with monday.com:
Ready to create a project report?
Whether it’s for project stakeholders, your boss, or a client, a solid report will strengthen your relationships and keep everyone happy — or, at the very least, informed. If you’re tired of collating reports manually and want to tap into the power of automation, then monday.com might help.
To start, we suggest you try our fully customizable project tracker template — it’s the first step to creating better project reports.