Overview with tools, template, software, best practices and alternatives
Why do Teams do Reports?
A team is a group of people with a complete set of complementary skills required to complete a task a meet a common goal.
Team members do reports in order to establish communication within the team. Communication is vital in any kind of team. Without team, a team will not function properly and it will not be able to attain its goal.
As a vehicle of communication, team reports primarily provide updates to the group about the status and progress of the member, the team, and the project. The report also reveals new information, which may not be present in the previous report.
Teams also generate reports in order to present their position in the project’s timeline. It is important for a team to determine if its plans, strategies, and actions are effective enough to meet its goals. If the team fails to meet its goal, it has to consider re-checking that plans, strategies, and actions that it has set.
Team reports also help in the team’s decision making. With information on the team’s accomplishments, problems, strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats, the team will be able to formulate a good plan, as well as develop effective strategies and actions to meet their goal. The team will be able to weigh the pros and cons of the issues that they are facing and use them as bases for their decisions.
Reports are also done by virtual teams, groups that work asynchronously. Since the members of a virtual team are dispersed to various locations and time zones, writing a team report will connect the members together, as if they are working as a synchronous team.
How do Teams usually do Reports?
In writing team reports, team members have to ensure that the data is factual and up to date. This is because they are providing new information to their teammates and team leaders. Team members can include follow-up information to the previous report, which can be additional information, forgotten data, or data for correction.
A team report should be organized and coherent. A report that has a systematic flow of information is easier to comprehend, allowing the reader to absorb the information the writer wants to convey. In addition, the report should not be too short, so as to eliminate the tendency of have missing or incomplete data. The report should not be too long as well, as the reader might find it boring to read.
Completeness and accuracy of information are two major points in writing a team report. A report that is complete and accurate effectively presents the big picture to the entire team. In addition, the team will be able to make stronger analysis, draw conclusions, make inferences, and elicit crucial decisions given the complete and accurate information in the report. Moreover, queries, clarifications, and amendments will be lessened if the report does not lack details, saving time of both the team member and the reader of the report.
Usual information presented in a team report includes the achievements and the problems of the team. In addition, the observation or assessment of the team is also featured, as it lays the foundation of a good plan, strong strategies, and effective actions that the team will use in the future. To add, the team’s strengths, weaknesses, threats, and opportunities are also included.
The team can also present information, especially quantitative ones using tables and graphs. These will help the team present information in a synthesized manner and the readers to comprehend the information more efficiently.
Typical questions/metrics/topics that are usually covered in reports Teams are doing
Reporting for Scrum Teams covers the following:
- What are your achievements for today?
- What are the team’s strengths and weaknesses that you see?
- What are your short-term and long-term goals?
- 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?
Advantages & Best Practices of doing Reporting for Teams
Reporting for Teams is highly beneficial to the team for a number of reasons.
Team reports act as a channel of communication in the team, in paper or electronic form. These reports allow the team to know what is happening to the team, the project, or the business. The reports help the team decipher if it is close to the goal or not, or if the team is meeting its goals or not. The team report can also serve as follow-up information to a previous report, which may provide additional data or correct erroneous data from earlier reports. Also, the report, as a form of communication, facilitates harmonious relationship among team members, allowing them to work more productively.
The reports also help the team analyze their position in the industry they are in, and help them construct plans, develop strategies, and list actions, that they will implement to meet their goals. Also, team reports help the group to draw evidenced-based conclusions, make inferences, and make critical decisions for the team’s benefit. Also, the information in the report should be complete and accurate, which prevents queries, clarifications, and amendments.
Team reports are also capable of presenting trends in the team or the project, with the help of text, tables, and graphs. These techniques allow the team determine increase and decline of the team’s output within a specific time frame. By providing them these information, they will be able to discuss ways that will boost their performance.
Disadvantages & Pitfalls at doing Reporting for Teams
Reporting for teams can be advantageous in many ways, but there are times that it can be disadvantageous to the team.
Writing a team report can be time-consuming as detailed information on the team’s achievements, problems, and plans should be included. Sometimes, the report has to include assessment cues, plans, strategies and actions, as well as evaluation of previous goals. The team’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats are also included. If a team member has to include them in the report, the time intended for the other duties and responsibilities might be compromised. This might adversely affect the performance of a team member or the team itself.
Virtual teams have dispersed members in different places with various time zones and writing a report is very crucial to the teams’ success. The reports highly benefit the team as it is one of the core components of their communication. Without a report, a virtual team may struggle and fail to attain its goals. A disadvantage of writing a report in virtual teams is the high dependency to a stable internet access. Poor or absent internet connection will disable a virtual team from sending and receiving reports among the members, interrupting the communication within the team.
Why Teamreporter is great in doing Reporting for Teams?
Teamreporter is a business tool or application that helps business teams reduce the number of their status meetings by utilizing scheduled report mails to its users. Signing up just takes up to one minute and it is free to use for teams with up to four members.
Teamreporter has an easy to use interface. It is automated that team members can easily send and receive information or reports to and from other team members. Teamreporter sends e-mail notifications to the team members, asking them to send information like accomplishments, plans, and problems. Based on the replies of the team members, Teamreporter will generated a summarized response, which will be sent to the team the following day.
Teamreporter is a flexible communication tool for teams as they can integrate it with other applications that they use in the project. The application can be used via e-mail and web browser and users can modify its queries. In addition, even the schedule of the report mails can be adjusted but the users, boosting Teamreporter’s capacity to help them, following their own workflow and work environment. The application’s list can also be modified so that it can send and ask reports to and from specific people.
Team leaders can also benefit from Teamreporter. They will gain a clear insight on the status and progress of the team, highlighting their performance. In addition, team leaders will be able to identify top performers of the team for recognition. Those who were not able to attain their goal can be motivated and inspired to do better. Also, the results of the reports can help team leaders devise strategies that can help them when they train their team.
Overall, Teamreporter helps every team become successful in whatever they do.
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Teamreporter is free for small teams (up to 4 members)