Overview with tools, template, software, best practices and alternatives

Why do People do Reports for Controlling?

The controls team is established to manipulate the delivery of the project’s products outputs. This team has two forms with regard to project management. The first one is event driven, which entails that the control exists secondary to a particular occurrence that has taken place. The second form is time driven control, which pertains to a regular progress feedback.

Controlling reports allow the control team to compare and contrast information, analyze and interpret data, make inferences and conclusions, and make rational decisions. Also, control teams generate controlling reports to present new important information or change in data, which allows the team to adjust its plans and actions immediately.

Control teams also make reports to present the team’s achievements, plans, and problems on a regular basis. Achievements can be a source of inspiration and motivation to the team members who feel frustration when they do not meet their goals. The team’s accomplishments can also boost the control team’s momentum. Problems are also presented in the controlling report for the team to know the existing and potential threats the group is facing and is going to face. This way, the team will be able to think of ways to solve actual issues and prevent potential issues.

Virtual control teams can create reports so as to provide information and update to other members of the team in other parts of the world. By writing a controlling report, the members of the virtual control team will be able to work as if they are in a single workplace. The report will give them information on what is new on the team and the project.

Chain of command is one reason why control teams write and send control reports. Team members will forward essential information like the team’s achievements, problems, and plans to the team leaders. Then, team leaders will send the updates from the team members to more superior leaders of the team. Conversely, team leaders can also pass down reports from the superiors to the team members.

How do Teams usually do Reports for Controlling?

Reports for controlling provide vital data on the activities, performance, status, and progress of the team and the project.

The controlling report should be factual, complete, accurate, and updated. This is to ensure that the team and its members always get the newest information within a specific time frame. Also, reports containing these characteristics allow control teams to formulate plans, establish strategies, implement actions, and evaluate outcomes.

The controlling team can indicate essential information on the team’s issues, plans, and achievements in the control report. With this information, the team will be able to discuss its future goals while solving and preventing actual and potential issues. Moreover, the team members will be able to inspire and motivate their teammates with the team’s achievements that are included in the controlling report.

Reporting for controlling should be organized as much as possible, as the control team is responsible for steering the product or output delivery. To organize data, the team can utilize bullets, which helps readers read the information on the report more effectively. Aside from making bullets, an organized report may also contain sub-headings, which serve as guide for the readers.

Quantitative data on the controlling report may also be presented using tables, graphs, charts, and diagrams. This is to facilitate faster appreciation and comprehension of data, unlike a plain narrative output. These tools in presenting data can be effective in showing the link between the past and the present report, as well as the connection between the present and the future.

Typical questions/metrics/topics that are usually covered in a Report for Controlling

  • What are the available resources to the team?
  • What are the actual threats that you see? How are you going to solve them?
  • What are the potential problems that you foresee? How are you going to prevent them?
  • Do you have other concerns or issues?
  • What are your achievements for today?
  • What short and long term goals do you have in order to meet the company’s objectives?
  • What strategies and actions will you implement to meet the plans?
  • Were the strategies and actions previously implemented successful?
  • What are your strong and weak points when it comes to managing the team?
  • Do you see any open opportunities for improving your management skills?
  • What are the feedbacks of your subordinates on how you handle them?
  • What is the trend in your performance? What is its implication to your future performance?

Advantages & Best Practices of doing Reporting for Controlling

Reporting for controlling is advantageous to the team for the following reasons.

Communication is the primary benefit of a control report. It connects the members of the team with the reports and updates on their status, progress, and performance. The control report also connects teams, such as virtual teams, which has members from various locales and time zones. Aside from updates, the team members can also communicate urgent information to the team, along with new and changed information.

Control reports help the team in its business plan. The reports have assessment cues, which help the team formulate concrete plans, develop efficient strategies, implement effective actions, and evaluate outcomes. From these activities, the team will be able to determine if it is able to meet its goals within a specific timeframe or not. If the goal is not met, the team may identify the cause of not meeting the goal and adjust the project plan accordingly.

The team’s momentum is set to be boosted by the achievements listed in the control report. Accomplishments are positive points that need to be shared to the team, allowing other members to achieve something with their own and unique ways. Positivity is contagious.

Problem identification is another advantage of reports for controlling. Team members will be able to spot existing and potential threats to the team, allowing them to discuss the possible ways to solve actual problems and prevent potential problems.

The trends in the control report will also give the team an idea on where the team is heading. An increasing trend signals that the team is able to meet its goals while a decreasing trend is a sign that the team is not achieving its targets. By seeing these trends, the team will be able to develop strategies and plans that will help it achieve a rising trend.

Disadvantages & Pitfalls at doing Reporting for Controlling

Reporting for controlling can be advantageous in several ways, but there are also times in which it can be a shortcoming to the team.

Control reports can be time consuming as it has to indicate essential pieces of information, such as problems, achievements, and plans. Also, information like strategies, actions, weakness, strengths, opportunities and threats can be also included in the report. This suggests that team members should review previous reports to update information as new or changed. This can be time-consuming as team members have their regular tasks and duties.

Online control reports are easy sent and distributed to the members and leaders of the team. However, these online reports have one issue – reliance to a stable internet connection. Poor and absent internet access will disable teams from sending information to other team members and leaders.

Some teams only focus on the present or current updates on the project, which means that the past and future aspects of the business can be neglected. This may compromise the team’s performance as the present performance of the team is linked and comparable to its past and future performance. Failure to include past data may lose the team’s baseline data while not including the future aspect may lose the team’s preparedness to threats.

How Teamreporter helps at doing Reporting for Controlling

Teamreporter is an application that uses scheduled report mails to reduce the number of status meetings of the team. It can be used for free by groups with up to four members and signing up just takes up to less than a minute.

The application’s interface is easy to use and automated, allowing the team members to send and receive pertinent information to their teammates. Teamreporter will send them e-mail notifications, asking the team members to send essential information, such as their plans, problems, and achievements. Based on their replies, Teamreporter will generate a data summary, which will be sent the next day.

Team leaders can also benefit from Teamreporter as they can have a complete oversight of the control team. They will be able to know immediately what is happening to a particular team or team member, enabling them to check if a member is performing well or is in need of further assistance. The information from Teamreporter can be used by team leaders in evaluating team members as well as in creating training modules for the team.

Teamreporter is flexible as team members can change the questions and schedule of mail reports in the application’s interface. Aside from that, users can also adjust the names of members who will receive mail reports and those members who need to send reports. Teamreporter can also be used in conjunction with other applications that the team is using. Also, the application can be used with an e-mail or web browser. This means that Teamreporter can be used by the team in any workflow.

Learn more about Teamreporter

Teamreporter is free for small teams (up to 4 members)