Performance reporting is an important activity in project communication management. It involves collecting and disseminating project information, communicating project progress, utilization of resources, and forecasting future progress and status to various stakeholders, as decided in the communication management plan. Fundamentally, performance reports are comparisons of project performance to the project performance baseline. These performance reports include:
- Status Reports
- Progress Reports
- Forecasting Reports
- Trend Reports
- Variance Reports
During the process of performance reporting, the work results of other processes are also analyzed and combined into performance reports. They are typically done in tabular or graphical formats. These reports can be a text based, visual based, or most often a combination of both. The various formats these reports can take are Bar charts, S-Curves, Histograms, Tables etc.
Understanding the definitions of these report types and the differences between them is important to be able to manage stakeholder’s expectations well, but before that, we need to look at the various inputs, that these reports takes into account. They include:
- Project management plan
- Work performance information
- Work performance measurements
- Budget forecast
- Organizational Process Assets
1. Project Management Plan –
The Project Management Plan provides information on project baselines. The project deviations, which are reported in performance reports, are compared against the project performance baseline. The performance measurement baseline typically integrates the scope, schedule, and cost parameters of the project, but may also include technical and quality parameters.
2. Work Performance Information (WPI) –
This is the information that is obtained from project activities, which is then collected on performance results such as –
- Deliverables status
- Schedule progress
- Cost incurred
3. Work Performance Measurement –
Work Performance Information is used to generate project activity metrics to evaluate actual progress compared to planned progress in Project Management. These metrics include –
- Planned versus actual schedule performance
- Planned versus actual cost performance
- Planned versus actual technical performance
4. Budget Forecasts –
Budget Forecasts provide information about the funds that are required to complete the remaining project work, as well as total fund estimates for the completion of project work.
5. Organizational Process Assets –
The Organizational Process Assets that is used during the reporting of project performance includes, but is not limited to –
- Report Templates.
- Policies and procedures that defines the measurement indicators to be used.
- Organizationally defined variance limits.
Now let’s us move on the types of reports.
Status reports: This gives the current state of a project at any given time. This kind of report describes where the project stands at that moment with regards to the performance measurement baseline. Using this, managers can also get the current snapshot of project with respect to the scope, time, cost ,and quality parameters.
Progress Reports: This reports describes what has been accomplished since the last time/last report.
Forecasting Report: This report states what is expected to happen on a project. This report predicts the future performance and expected status of the project in various parameters. This helps in tracking and allocation of resources for better utilization.
Trend Report: This report shows a comparision between the current performance of the project and the last performance of the project during same time duration. For example, it can be compared monthly, quarterly, semi-annually or annually. This report examines project performance over time to see if it is improving or degrading.
Variance Report: This report shows a comparision between the planned progress and actual progress made.
Earned Value Report: This report integrates project performance on scope, schedule, and cost measures using earned value management techniques. Usually the components of this report are merged into status reports.
Overall, the elaborate reports may include –
- Analysis of past performance.
- Summary of changes approved in the reporting period.
- Current status of risks and issues.
- Results of variance analysis.
- Work completed during the reporting period.
- Work to be completed during the next reporting period.
- Forecasted project completion.
- Other relevant information to be reviewed and asked by stakeholders.
- Achieve PMP Exam Success, Margaret Chu, Diane Altwies, Edward Walker, JRoss Publishing, 3rd Edition
- PMP Exam Prep, Rita Mulcahy, RMC Publications Inc, 6th Edition.
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