How to Write a Project Management Report

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Project management reports provide a progress update on a specific project.
Project management reports provide a progress update on a specific project. (Image: business report image by Christopher Hall from Fotolia.com)

Project management reports provide a progress update on a specific project. They are generally written at project milestones, but may be requested by the client or a supervisor at any time. Project management reports are important because they allow the project manager to assess the progress by comparing it to the original plan. This allows the manager to communicate and explain any changes, delays, problems and positives to all stakeholders. Project management reports need not be lengthy, but should address all aspects of the project.

Provide the projects' identifying information: the name of the project, the project number (if there is one), the client's name, contact persons if the client is a business or organization, the project start date, and the address at which the project is being executed, if applicable. Also state the name of the project manager (PM), the name of the person writing the report if the author is someone other than the PM, and the date on which the report is being written.

List the names of all parties to whom the project management report will be distributed. Include all contractors, employees, supervisors or client contacts who will receive a copy of the report. Include “File” at the bottom of the list to indicate that a copy of the report has been placed in the project file.

Evaluate the current project scope compared to the original project scope. Note any changes that have been made and include both the name of the party who requested the change and the name of the party who approved the change.

Evaluate the current project timeline against the planned timeline. Explain any delays or gains and state how they will affect the overall timeline. State whether delays are currently resolved or unresolved. For unresolved delays, explain the plan to overcome the issue and state when you anticipate the issue to be resolved. If the completion date has changed, provide a new completion date.

Compare the current budget to the original budget. Consider both cost (the amount the vendor pays in labor and materials to complete the project) and price (what the client will pay upon completion of the project). Remember to include changes in cost or price caused by scope changes. Attach an updated project budget if applicable.

Compare the current risk environment to the original risk assessment form. State which risks have been eliminated and which are still present. List any new risks that have arisen along with their potential budget and timeline implications. Offer a plan for avoiding or responding to new risks.

Sign the document. If the document is more than one page, initial each page. Some company procedures also require that the supervisor and/or client sign off on all project management reports.

Tips & Warnings

  • Don't forget to include the good news! Include all cost and time savings in the report.
  • Document any supplier errors that affect the timeline or budget. You may be able to back charge suppliers for lost time or money.

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