Establishing Your Communications Plan

Reports are instrumental in effective project management. As a part of the initial project planning, you'll determine the requirements for reporting, including:

Report recipients. Who needs to see the reports? Stakeholders throughout the organization and within the project team need to see certain reports tailored to their areas of responsibility. For example, you might generate one report for your team members, another one for team leads and resource managers, and yet another for executives and customers.

Specific content of the reports. What type of information is included? The reports can focus on any aspect of the project, for example, tasks, resource allocation, assignments, costs, and so on. Reports might focus on past successes or current progress. They might provide a forecast of upcoming tasks, costs, or workloads. They might present a high-level summary. They can point out areas of risk or current problems that need resolution. Frequency of report publication. How often should you generate reports? Regularly scheduled project meetings or status reporting often drive the generation of reports. Certain important issues that are being closely watched might warrant report generation more frequently than usual. Be sure to strike a balance between providing up-to-date information often enough and overloading a stakeholder with too detailed or too frequent reporting.

Establishing your communications strategy for a project helps you effectively communicate realistic progress and estimates. You can point to unexpected changes that present risks. You can avoid larger problems and understand root causes. Specifically, with reports you can:

• Check progress on the schedule.

• Check resource utilization.

• Check budget status.

• Watch for any potential problems looming in the future.

• Help stakeholders make decisions affecting the project.

Using the appropriate Microsoft Project views and reports on a regular basis for progress analysis and communication is a key component of effective project management. By implementing a communications plan, including regular presentations of reports to stakeholders, you can keep interested parties aware of crucial information and trends.

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Project Management Made Easy

Project Management Made Easy

What you need to know about… Project Management Made Easy! Project management consists of more than just a large building project and can encompass small projects as well. No matter what the size of your project, you need to have some sort of project management. How you manage your project has everything to do with its outcome.

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