Project Reporting

Patti here.  The reporting capabilities within MS Project Online, Project Web App, and MS Project are extremely valuable for analyzing project information. There are a number of existing reports that can be accessed within any schedule, as well as the capability to create customized reports. We’ll go in to more detail at the free Webinar on January 15th, but we wanted to provide a brief overview to introduce you to the basics.

With the right project information, project reports can answer questions such as, “Is everyone fully utilized? Is there room to shift work around? Where can I find extra time in my project to make up for delays, will my project complete on time? Within budget? Are there trends throughout all the projects in my organization? What about John Doe, I know he is already working on a few projects, does he have time to take on another one?”

Depending on a number of factors such as the nature of your projects, your organizational structure, and the audience you are creating reports for, there are several levels of reporting information you’ll want to consider and become familiar with. Typically these are referred to as Project, Program, or Portfolio level reports. According to the Project Management Institute (www.pmi.org) a project is a temporary endeavor undertaken to create a unique product, service, or result. A program is a group of related projects, subprograms, and program activities managed in a coordinated way to obtain benefits not available from managing them individually. A portfolio then is the projects, programs, and operations managed as a group to achieve strategic objects. This structure is a key concept in project management, as well as project reporting. Think of it like a hierarchy, there are the projects, the groups of projects (programs) and then all the projects regardless of similarity (Portfolio).

Burndown Report

Regardless of whether you want to report at the project, program, or portfolio level, you have many different types of reports to choose from. There are budget reports, resource utilization reports, schedule reports, and many more. MS Project does a great job of providing project information on one project, however if you require program or portfolio level reporting Project Online has some more robust capabilities. Check out this Burndown report (first example) from MS Project showing the number of tasks completed vs. the number remaining. It also show the hours worked vs. hours remaining on a project.

Assignment Work by Resource Report

With Project Web App, you can view the overall health of all the projects within your organization in one central location, and analyze the distribution of tasks across the project team. The second sample report shows the amount of hours each team member is assigned throughout the life of the project.

Portfolio Cost Report

Portfolio reporting is also a breeze in Project Online, the third sample is an example of a portfolio cost report.

 

If project reporting interests you and you would like more information, please join us for this month’s free webinar on Thursday January 15, 2015. We’ll demonstrate some common reports, and discuss best practices for getting the most out of your project schedules.