PURPOSE & TIMING
In Leader Responsibilities 6 we discussed how Leaders are to Analyze Results & Reflect with the Team. This lesson pairs with Team Responsibilities 6: Report and Analyze Results. Evaluation should be a regular practice throughout the course of a project or activity, and as you work towards fulfilling objectives. And we see that teams and leaders all have responsibilities within this process. There are various ways you can do this in team settings. Maybe you set aside time within your team meetings to check up on the status of a project, and give updates. Written reports are also a way to track progress, communicate issues, and consider solutions.
So, like with the Organizational Charts and Project Proposals, we want to share a resource with you that will help you practically apply these lessons with your team(s). This Project Report template is what we use with our teams and you can adjust it to your own needs.
Often we can start to feel frustrated by tasks that seem disconnected from both purpose and people. Even if they seem like more work in themselves, reports can serve as a communication tool and a time to (re)focus.
Regular reporting during projects helps teams stay on top of timelines and to-do’s and is a good opportunity to remind everyone WHY the team is doing what they are doing. As such, this project report template starts with PURPOSE. The WHY behind your project should fit in with your overarching purpose and objectives. What you write in this section generally stays the same over the course of a project, but that in itself helps remind you of why you started it in the first place.
Next, the Project Report helps you present what has been accomplished and how that relates to your overall targets. You are able to set some upcoming goals and action steps and then communicate any hindrances or issues. Remember that it’s not only the leader’s responsibility to fix problems; the team can be empowered to propose solutions and adjustments. Armed with this information, a leader is able to support and encourage a team while providing additional insight or re-casting vision.
Doing final reports and evaluations when you've completed a project can help you and the team identify what was effective and what might need improvement. We can balance celebration with continued growth and development.
Timing: How often do teams report?
Some aspects of reporting might be incorporated into every meeting you have. If you meet daily or weekly, the reports might be shorter or more focused on a particular aspect. If you meet less frequently, you might need longer meetings and then set aside more time for reporting.
With written project reports, timing also depends on the duration of the project. Something that requires a quick turnaround will need quicker and more frequent communication. For a long-term project or activity, you might be fine with bi-monthly, monthly, or even quarterly reports. We generally have teams submit project reports bi-monthly for active/ongoing projects, and then other financial and team reports are monthly.
Some organizations have annual reports that cover the whole spectrum of activity within the organization — in many cases these are legal requirements to operate. Some organizations have semi-annual or annual performance reviews to evaluate the people, not just the projects.
For events and other special activities, we’d recommend treating the preparation stage like a project with regular reports and updates, and then follow up with feedback/evaluation forms or surveys to gather more input and perspective used in your time of analysis and evaluation with the team.
Project Report Template:
Click below to download the free resource:
Questions to ask yourself (to evaluate how you evaluate):
How important is it for you to accomplish your objectives?
Do you know what your specific goals/targets are?
Do you know what the current status is?
What process do you have in place to track progress and evaluate results?
How well are you doing implementing and maintaining the process?
What are ways you can be more effective in reaching your goals and completing projects?
Have any questions about how to incorporate reports into your processes? Contact us at email@example.com