Reporting is essential for understanding how your organization is performing against a whole range of metrics. In particular, this applies to creating reports as part of your project portfolio management (PPM). The Project Management Office (PMO) relies on the power of these reports to get a better understanding of the projects that your organization is running and the return on investment and overall value they bring to the business. That’s why your PPM solution needs to have strong project reporting tools to be able to handle the creation of several different types of reports.
A project management solution, then, should offer powerful reports that are easy to create and navigate, allowing your project managers to manoeuver your resources in the way that gets the most from them.
The fundamentals of project management involve juggling multiple tasks at once. And with the volume of data that businesses are now using to generate insights into their processes, an essential part of the jigsaw is a project management solution. Microsoft Project Server and Project Online is a useful tool that allows project managers to analyze data, manage resources and, importantly, create reports in order to bring different projects to successful completion.
There are several important types of reports in project management:
- Status reports
This kind of report details what stage a project is at, if it is to budget and on time. This is one of the most common types of project reports that project managers have to produce. They are usually produced weekly or monthly depending on where the project is in its cycle at the time of reporting and how much there is to say. For example, if your tasks usually take place over a week there wouldn’t be much point producing daily status reports. Because you produce these types of reports frequently, it’s useful to build a template and automate as much of the procedure as possible.
- Risk reports
For most project managers, risk reporting takes place monthly. Particularly relevant for a risk review meeting, the report will include a summary of the risk profile of the project—describing the level of risk and how you intend to manage it. Again, employing a good template for this type of report can save hours when the time comes to produce one.
- Resource reports
This is the report you produce that details who is doing what and when. A report like this summarizes resource allocations instead of going through the entire project plan by hand. Most PPM solutions that have in-built Gantt chart creators and integrated timesheets will be able to create a resource report for you. By creating these kinds of reports, you can see who is supposed to be working on what each day and allows you to more easily see if there are any resource imbalances.
Microsoft Project and Project Online have a selection of methods for creating these kinds of reports. Microsoft’s solution allows you to:
- View sample reports with the Project Web App for basic reports
The Project Web App for Project Online comes with several sample reports that can be great as a starting point. The project overview dashboard provides high-level information about projects like start and finish dates, risks, issues, and task lists. Project overview provides information like percentage completion, number of assignments and tasks. And resource overviews provide information about the number of hours worked and the number of tasks per resource.
- Use Excel 2013 or Project 2013 to create reports
The old veteran of project management, Excel, has several business intelligence (BI) features. For example, Flash Fill enables:
- The formation of data columns via a simplified process
- Quick analysis which enables the selection of a range of data instantly
- Different ways of displaying that data
- Timeline controls and slicers enabling more specific information from PivotTable reports or PivotChart reports
- Use SQL Server Reporting Services to create reports
Reporting Services is a reporting platform available on SQL Server. Often, Reporting Services are created by IT admins and shared across platforms such as SharePoint.
Now, these reports from Microsoft offer some good functionality, but they can be limited if you want to create powerful and, importantly, visually appealing reports. Tempus Resource uses practitioner-based reporting capabilities and drag-and-drop interfaces to make reporting easy, flexible and powerful. Tempus Resource can connect to Project Server and Project Online to take your Microsoft solution to the next level. It does this by replacing spreadsheets and simplifying the project management platform, making it easier to use and taking your reports further.
The solution also provides second-to-none what-if analysis and scenario planning that enables you to see the effects of any changes you’re considering making. You can measure the effects of delaying, splitting and canceling projects and proposals, and easily take that data and produce visual reports that can be instantly understood. When it comes to the importance of reporting across your project portfolio management, the Tempus Resource platform gives your PMO’s reporting abilities a significant leg up.
To find out more about how Tempus Resource can help your project reports and a whole lot more, get in touch with us today.