The project steering committee should be informed of project progress regularly to enable appropriate and timely decisions based on project needs and status. The project should have an agreed system of project reporting. Effective project governance relies on timely and accurate monitoring and reporting of project progress and performance.
The audience, content and frequency of reporting will depend on the needs of the project, issues arising and project cycle phase. The project manager should agree the reporting arrangements with the project sponsor/ project steering committee. The project manager should then establish this reporting as part of the management activities for the project. Table 3 below sets out the nature and scaling of reporting that may be required for projects.
Table 3 Project reporting arrangements
The project status report may cover a variety of issues that are relevant to the project but report should contain the answers to these questions:
· What progress has been made on this project since the last status report?
· What is the next stage/task to be done on this project?
· What issues or risks to completion need to be discussed?
Project status reports might include:
· project details and description;
· budget/financial status;
· schedule status;
· milestone status – progress against the schedule for each major milestone, including:
– detail of milestone;
– indicator to advise whether the milestone is on track for completion by the due date or delayed/changed;
– planned completion date;
– actual and/or forecast completion date;
– reason for variance;
– impact of (non) achievement of milestones for the remaining period of the project.
· description of project works/activities completed in the current period and works/activities proposed for the next period;
· budget/expenditure status – progress against the budget with respect to planned expenditure, actual expenditure deficit/surplus, forecast expenditure deficit/surplus and revenue against planned output delivery, if appropriate;
· risk status – specifying any changes to the major risks identified since the previous report, and modification to the strategies put in place to manage them; any new major risks that have arisen since the last report, as identified in the risk register;
· issues status – including areas of concern, specific problems and any action/decision that needs to be taken by the project steering committee or project sponsor/senior manager, as identified in the issues register;
· scope/project variation status – including details of changes to project scope during the project development phase, details of procurement variation and details of project variations during the delivery phase;
· safety issues, incidents;
· stakeholder engagement activities and progress;
· reports of implementation of the communication plan and any attendant information or issues; and
· any other relevant information.
The project manager will attend project steering committee meetings and present the project status report and answer concerns, receive feedback, gain clarification where required and take appropriate action. Project managers should also ensure there is a direct correlation between reporting systems adopted by the project team and the enterprise reporting system. This will ensure that data sets used for reporting at all levels are consistent and accurate.