Reporting Performance And Progress

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Once the project data have been collected, the project manager can use it to update the project plan. An example of an updated project plan using Microsoft Project 2000 is illustrated in Figure 9.6.

The project manager has a wide variety of software tools at his or her disposal, and these include project management software, spreadsheets, databases, and so forth.

In addition, project reporting tends to fall under one of the following categories:

• Reviews—Project reviews may be formal or informal meetings that include various project stakeholders. These reviews may focus on specific deliverables, milestones, or phases. The purpose of a review is to not only show evi dence that the project work has been completed, but also that the work has been completed according to certain standards or agreed upon requirements. For example, the project team may present the project plan to the project sponsor. If the scope, schedule, and budget are agreed upon, then the project plan is accepted and the project may proceed to the next phase. In addition, review meetings provide a forum for surfacing issues, problems, and even opportunities that may require stakeholders to negotiate or make decisions.

• Status Reporting—A status report describes the present state of the project. In general, a status report compares the project's actual progress to the baseline plan. Analogous to a balance sheet used by accountants, a status report may include, for example, a variance analysis that compares actual schedule and cost information to the baseline schedule and budget.

• Progress Reporting—A progress report tells us what the project team has accomplished. This report may compare the activities or tasks that were completed to the activities or tasks outlined in the original project network.

• Forecast Reporting—A forecast report focuses on predicting the future status or progress of the project. For example, it may include a trend analysis that tells us when the project is most likely to finish and how much it will cost.

Many project management software tools, such as Microsoft Project 2000, provide a variety of canned reports or templates. The categories of reports found in Microsoft Project 2000 are illustrated in Figure 9.7.

Figure 9.6 Updated Project Plan

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Project Management Made Easy

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