Performance Reporting: What It Is, Why You Need It & How to Do It

Working as a project manager in a company will require you to handle a lot of task and responsibilities on a daily basis, prioritizing them and making sure that everything is done on time and in the correct manner. Apart from managing all of those tasks and responsibilities, you will need to regularly inform the upper management and all the other stakeholders about the progress of the project. Put differently, they will want to see performance reports, defined here.

Proving you have made the right decisions during the project will help you claim funding for the next one. If you haven’t been allocating the budget the right way and if the stakeholders aren’t happy about that, chances of you getting funding for the new project are rather slim. This is something you most likely clearly understand, especially if you’ve been working as a project manager for a long time now.

Even if you’re new to all of this, you’ll absolutely need to understand performance reporting perfectly and do your best to learn exactly how to create the reports for the stakeholders. After all, it is what your future projects depend on. In other words, not creating great reports will result in failure when trying to secure funding for your next project, because the stakeholders won’t be willing to work again with people that can’t accurately represent the necessary data and explain how the budget was allocated and spent.

The reports need to be quite insightful, contain high quality data, as well as precise and detailed analyses, and an easily understandable presentation. So as to understand how to actually create one of these, you’ll first need to get acquainted with the term “performance reporting” in general, as well as figure out why it is so important, after which you’ll be ready to proceed towards learning how to create the perfect report. Getting the answers to those questions, which you’ll do if you read on, will certainly be quite helpful in understanding the entire process.

What Is Performance Reporting?

If you’re new to this whole world of project management, then the most significant thing you’re wondering is – what is performance reporting in the first place? Clearly, going into details about this without knowing the basics is not the best idea. So, performance reporting is basically the process of documenting and defining the projects in a certain company, while using a reporting system, covering the scope, schedule, quality assurance, costs and more, to measure their success.

To be even more precise, every company has goals when working on a specific project, and those goals are often, in addition to performance in general, connected to the budget, the schedule, the quality of the work being done and much more. Thus, performance reporting helps check if you’re on the right track and if you are meeting the set goals and objectives in a timely manner. Ignoring the necessity of this concept will probably lead to you struggling to complete a specific project without even knowing which aspects of it are lacking and which ones you may want to pay more attention to.

Why Is It Necessary?

Ignoring the necessity of performance reporting is certainly not a good idea. There is a great chance, though, that you don’t quite understand why it is so necessary, which is completely normal if you’re new to this world. Yet, even though that’s normal, understanding why this is necessary is of utmost importance, because that will help you figure out just why you should never ignore the concept.

By helping you to track your activities and your progress, performance reporting leads you towards identifying all the strengths and the weaknesses. Using your strengths and working on your weaknesses will certainly lead to a more successful project overall, which is exactly what you want. Furthermore, benchmarking your performance compared to your competitors is another thing you can do with this type of reporting, thus getting the opportunity to increase your competitive edge by identifying where you’re falling short and working on that.

Read more on the benefits of this concept:

How to Create a Report?

Creating the perfect report, of course, won’t be easy, especially not for new project managers. But, just because it may not be easy in the beginning, it doesn’t mean you won’t get to do it perfectly. Basically, you just need to understand which steps to go through. Defining your objectives, writing an executive summary while keeping your audience in mind, proofing the report and making it visual… Those are some of the most significant things to remember when creating it.

If all of that sounds too complicated, here’s some good news for you. Creating a performance report has become quite easy today, given that there are tools you can use for help. So, do some research on those and select the best tool to help you complete this process successfully.