Overview with tools, template, software, best practices and alternatives
Why do Field Teams do Reports?
Field teams are teams that work outside the main business office that act as complementary force to those who are working internally in the business site. Usual industries that have field work are journalism, marketing, healthcare, and education.
Reports are generated by the field teams to have an internal communication with their team members in the internal business site. Field team members include information on the events that have transpired outside the business site, including the team’s achievements, goals, and problems.
Achievements are included in the field report so as to provide the status and progress of the team to the mother site. This way, the main site will be able to adjust its current and future plans on the business or the project. It also gives the mother site the cue if the external team has already done the field task adequately.
Field reports also include the plans of the field team, which can be short-term or long-term. Short-term plan may include goals that can be achieved within the day or within the week, while long-term goals focus on longer time period such as monthly or quarterly. The plans made by the field team help them as well as the team in the main office navigate the direction of the project or the business.
The problems that have encountered by the field team are also included to the field report. This is to coordinate with the team in the business site, allowing both groups to devise a plan to solve the issue. Even potential or foreseeable crises are also written in the field report. The rationale is to generate a strategy that will help both teams prevent the incoming problem, reducing the stress the team has.
Field reports also present information on the strengths and weaknesses of the team, given that they are outside the main business site. Such information may include their means of adaptation in the given locale where they were assigned. Another is the incapability to certain circumstances, such as a journalist’s exposure to bad weather, can be included in the report.
Updated information is contained in the report. Such reports should be factual and well-organized for the report to be well understood by the reader. For instance, marketing agents should be able to include accurate and organized information on the sales they had for a specific time period. Health care providers can also include the number of patients they had for a week while field educators may include the number of student who attended field classes within the same time frame.
Above all, reports done by the field teams allow the group to collect data, draw conclusions, and make logical decisions. Moreover, field reports may disclose information, which may not be previously known by the team.
How do Field Teams usually do Reports?
Field teams have to make their report complete and accurate as much as possible.
For journalists, they may include information on the categories of the news they provide, such as health, entertainment, sports, life and culture, science and technology, and politics. Sorting the news into categories will help them present the report in a more organized fashion, as compared to reports that contain random topics. Their report will also be more comprehensive and readable to their reader.
Healthcare providers usually conduct medical missions outside the institution or the hospital. They usually have these missions in remotes areas or locales, usually in the province. Healthcare providers can include the status of the team, which may also involve possible problems due to weather changes. In addition, the healthcare team can also provide an update on the number of patients they had in the medical mission as well as the quantity of medications given to the patients.
Field educators or those teach children outside a formal school can also include the locale of their class, their target students, the topic they are going to teach, their objectives for the day, the materials they plan to use, their teaching strategies and activities, and their means of evaluation. They can also include the outcome of their field teaching, such as their students’ tests scores or subjective information about their students’ participation.
For marketing teams, they can include information on their marketing plan, including their marketing strategy, the manner on how they will generate their prospect list, the number of prospects they are going to contact in a day, the number of pending deals, the number of follow-up calls, the number of sales closed, and the number of new clients to orient.
Typical questions/metrics/topics that are usually covered in reports Field Teams are doing
Reporting for project managers covers the following:
- What things do you consider as your strengths and weakness for the day?
- What news category are you reporting today?
- Where will the medical mission take place?
- How many patients have you assessed and treated today?
- What are the cases you handled in the medical mission?
- What medications have been used today?
- Are the supplies still complete for tomorrow?
- Where did you conduct your class today?
- Who were your students today?
- What topic did you teach today?
- What were the objectives of your lesson?
- What materials did you use in the class?
- What teaching strategy did you apply?
- Did the class meet the objectives?
- What is your overall marketing plan?
- What marketing strategy did you apply?
- How did you generate your prospect list?
- How many prospects did you call?
- How many appointments did you have?
- How many prospects are for follow-up?
- How many sales did you close today?
- Do you have a schedule of your pending appointments?
- How many clients are you going to orient?
Advantages & Best Practices of doing Reporting for Field Teams
Field reports present a number of advantages.
The reports made by the field teams allow them to run their tasks and hit their objectives. Field reports provide connection between the field team and the team in the office. The reports provide up to date information about where the field team members are and what events have transpired in their area.
Some field reports include information presented in various forms, such as videos, images, and audio notes. These articles help the field team have a concrete idea on the status and progress of the field team even though they are in separate locations. The reports also allow the main office to set a schedule for the field team and release tasks right away.
Field reports also provide synthesized and organized information to the team in the main office, allowing the latter to have good comprehension of what is happening in the field team. Aside from collection of real time data, the reports also present complete and accurate information, which allows the team to make crucial decisions.
Essential information about the field team’s achievements, plans, and problems are also included in the field report. This way, the team in the main office will be able to track and monitor the field team’s status and progress. The goals formulated by the field team can also help the other team to direct the overall path of the whole team. In addition, the problems raised by the field team can serve as cue to the main team if the field team can return to the main office.
Overall, field reports serve as internal communication between the field team and office team, allowing them to efficiently coordinate with each other for the success of the project.
Problems & Pitfalls Reporting for Field Teams usually has
While field reports show a number of benefits, they also have some pitfalls.
Field teams are away to the main office as they have to cover a specific project that requires exit from the office. Some of these teams may be assigned to remotes locales just to carry out a task for a big project. Working far away from the main office exposes the field team to external threats such as weather changes and possibility of being abducted by dangerous people. This halts the field team from accomplishing their goals.
Field reports are usually sent to the internal team using the internet as field teams are considered remote to the main office. Since the field team may rely on the internet, poor or absent internet access can be a big problem for the group. Without a stable internet connection, the team will not be able to send the report to the team in the main office, which can lead to missing important information. This can adversely affect the integrity of the team’s task in the long run.
Reports for field teams can also be time-consuming, which eats the time of the team. Field teams have to set-up their site in the locale, perform their tasks, and coordinate with the other team verbally. These activities already consume most of the time of the field team. After an exhausting day carrying out the delegated duties and responsibilities in the field, the team has to make a report to update the internal team. Since the team has limited amount of time to generate a report, team members of a field team might miss pertinent information, compromising the integrity of the data.
Why Teamreporter is great in doing Reporting for Field Teams?
Teamreporter is an application that is designed to replace status meetings with scheduled report mails. It is free to use for small teams with four members and signing up just takes less than a minute.
With its easy to use and automated system, Teamreporter will be able to generate reports coming from the field team and send it to the main team. Teamreporter will send e-mail notifications to all members of the team, asking them to send pertinent information about the team’s status and progress, which includes the team’s accomplishments, plans, and problems for the day. This information provides updates to the internal team, allowing it to track the development of the project assigned to the field team.
Teamreporter is also highly adaptive to various kinds of workflows, procedures, and environment, which makes it a great asset in the arsenal of the field team. The team members can modify the questions in Teamreporter, as well as the schedule of the e-mail reports. This feature of the application allows various teams to use and adjust it according to their internal operating procedures and protocol.
Since field teams can connect to the office team and provide real information via Teamreporter, the office team can receive both positive and negative updates. One example is the presence of threats in the field team’s environment. The field team can inform the office team about their current environment, which can help the latter team to apply their contingency plan or pull-out the field team and transfer them to safety.
Overall, Teamreporter bridges the field team and the office team, allowing them to work as a single force and help each other to hit their goals.
Get Teamreporter - Free!
Teamreporter is free for small teams (up to 4 members)