When talking about reports, the image that comes to most of our heads is hundreds and hundreds of pages filled with words, numbers and charts. In fact, most of us do not like to either prepare or to read reports unless they contain the exact information we are looking for. However, this image of reporting is a little outdated as with the new technology available, they have changed and are able to bring a lot more to the table.
Since the computerization of the office, the changes in reports can be summarized in three words – automatic, on time and insightful. Nowadays, the reports are mostly automatic as various project management software does exist for the sole purpose of generating them for the team. Because of that, reports are also usually live, meaning that the needed report can be accessed at any time and it will provide up to date information. The insight that reports can create for the team is also greater, as a computer can quickly analyze and cross-analyze the important data to provide information that may not be visible at first.
Because of these changes, the reports are a lot cheaper, diverse and accessible to all levels of employees. Meaning that they can provide much more value to the team. Employees using a personalized project dashboard can access the most important information in seconds and make crucial decisions in order to adjust the course of action and to better the team or the project itself. When used, the modern reporting tools provide employees with great power and ensure that the project runs as smoothly as possible and mistakes are noticed and corrected instantly.
The importance of modern reporting tools have not been overlooked in the electronic scrum and Kanban tools as well. In their quest to provide the best project management experience, these tools often include not only the most popular reports such as burndown chart, representing the tasks yet to be completed, or lead and cycle time reports, tracking how much time does it take to complete a task, but also a wide variety of other reports. This is done in order to guarantee that each of the team members have the information they need at all times.
With all this at our fingertips, all that is left to defeat in order to take the full advantage of modern reports is our lingering perception. Modern reports are visual, timely and very concise in providing only the information most valuable to the end user. When these reports become a part of our daily routine, they help us to correct mistakes sooner and avoid our project getting off the tracks more easily. Therefore it is crucial for project success to identify the reports valuable to your work and to not forget to use them.