Overview with tools, software, best practices and alternatives

What is Reporting?

Reporting in business is a process that describes an event or situation in detail. It is a kind of delegated task, in which team members observe and analyze a situation and make the output known to the entire team.

Who does Reporting?

All team members, from leaders to subordinates, perform reporting.

Why do people do Reporting?

Reporting is done by the team in order to provide a means of communication to the team, promoting overall growth and improvement of the team. In general, business reports are done by the team members to apply theories and strategies of business and management to a specific situation. Writing business reports also help the team identify achievements and problems, as well as to set plans for the future. By reporting information such as issues, team members can prioritize actual and potential conflicts. In addition, the team opt to report information so as to provide strategies and recommendation for future action.

How to do Reporting?

Writing business reports is done to cover objectives and topics for the business, such as accomplishments, plans, and conflicts.

The first thing to consider in reporting is the purpose of the report. Whether the objective is about quality control, hiring procedures, investigating competitors, or proposing budget cutbacks, it has to be mentioned in a sentence or two in the report.

The audience is the other element to determine for the report, which can be the upper and middle management, other company departments, existing and potential clients, the government, competitors, and the team members. Being able to identify the audience for the report allows team members to effective convey their message using appropriate tone and language. Also, suitable type of information can be included in the report.

Most business reports present three significant information and those are there accomplishments, the plans, and the conflicts.

Achievements are included in the report, since they reflect positive points attained by the team or the team members within a specific timeframe. Another information to include in a report is plan, which guides the team in executing their tasks. It refers to the team’s algorithm considering the timing and resources utilized to meet the team objective.

The team’s problems are also indicated when reporting information and they can be actual and potential. Actual problems are the current conflicts faced by the team while potential problems are issues that are foreseen to become obstacles to the team’s success.

What are the advantages of Reporting?

Reporting stands as a fundamental part toward the team’s awareness on about the team and the project. It presents a number of advantages to the team.

One positive thing about reporting is its ability to maintain communication among the team. By writing reports, team members will be able to share and exchange information with other team members. It provides update about the status and progress of the team and the project. Moreover, it keeps all team members connected and updated all the time, keeping them at par with each other as they perform their tasks to meet the team’s objective.

Reporting helps the team set its next move during the course of the project. With the inclusion of the team members’ achievements and problems, the report itself will aid the team execute necessary modifications to the set plan in order to remain parallel to the team’s and company’s objectives. The accomplishments noted in the report also serve as inspiration to the team members who do not feel satisfied with their current performance. Also, seeing the achievements of other team members fuel the team’s motivation and can trigger a raise in their performance.

Overall, reporting keeps the team updated all the time on the necessary information about the status and development of the project and the team while allowing team members to adjust their plans in accordance to the objectives of the team and the company.

What are the disadvantages of Reporting?

Reporting facilitates communication within the team about objectives and strategies, risk management, as well as the team’s overall performance; however, it also presents some disadvantages.

Reporting as a task is one con that can be noted by the team members. For some team members who have an already hectic schedule, they may view reporting as an additional task they need to accomplish. Some team members may have already experienced exhaustion on the magnitude of work they are doing. Adding report writing as part of their responsibility may eventually lead to becoming burned out.

Some reports may become one-sided in such a way that it only contains positive remarks coming from the team members. Other team members emphasize the strong points within a specific timeframe while the weak points are not addressed. Such single-sidedness in the information included in the report may compromise its accuracy and completeness.

Ideal information is presented in reports, including accomplishments, plans, and problems. However, some reports tend to have unrealistic recommendations. While team members include all ideal goals, strategies, and actions, some of them tend to become unlikely to happen in the long run.

What are the best practices in Reporting?

Reporting is an efficient method to inform the entire team on the status and progress of the project, making it a strong means of communication within the team.

The inclusion of pertinent information from researches, interviews, as well as personal knowledge about a specific topic are considered as good practices in business reporting. Some reports include researched literature about information inside the company. The literature may also include data coming from external sources. In addition, interviewing key people as well as using questionnaires and surveys can serve as excellent ways to provide pertinent information about an issue. Sources should also be noted in the report, along with the conclusions and recommendations based on quality information.

Detailed information is also essential in reporting. It does not necessarily mean that a report should include almost all information that transpired within a specific timeframe; the report should include the salient points covered in a specific period, as well as supporting details. With regard to the information included in the report, completeness and accuracy still stand as key elements to the integrity of information disseminated to the team members.

How does Teamreporter help in Reporting?

Teamreporter is a reporting application that is designed to replace status meetings with scheduled report mails. It is entirely useable with an e-mail or a web browser, with only less than a minute to set-up.

Teamreporter helps in reporting information by notifying team members thru mail, asking them to send information about the accomplishments for the day, the things to do the next day, and the obstacles impending progress. Based on the responses by the team members, Teamreporter will generate a summary of information, which will be sent to the team members on the following day.

With its user-friendly and automated interface, Teamreporter allows fast exchange of information among team members, updating them on the team’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. Moreover, status meetings can be lessened since reports are already being done using the application, eliminating the need to spend funds.

Overall, by sending relevant reports to Teamreporter, team members will be able to receive information about the team’s status and progress, allowing them to redirect their path accordingly.

What are alternatives to Reporting?

Reporting serves as a managerial to every business team and it aids the group in identifying issues, setting plans, and solving problems. This process also assists the team in making crucial decisions on a specific issue.

A team will not be able to function in an optimum level if it is not equipped with knowledge about its status and progress. This could mean that there is no direct alternative to reporting. In addition, reporting helps monitor all the activities of the team, including the operational procedures executed within a specific timeframe.

It cannot be possible for an organization to survive challenges and move forward if reports containing the team’s progress, plans, and problems are not shared within the group. Hence, reporting is a significant factor to the team’s success.

Possible formats in reporting updates to the team include handwritten, typewritten, or digital reports. Handwritten reports are used if there is slow or absent internet access and it provides the fastest availability of information for the team’s benefit. Typewritten reports are printed, allowing better comprehension of information thru a more legible text. It also allows organization of ideas thru editing on a computer or smart device, which saves more time and effort as compared to the handwritten version. Typewritten reports can also become digital reports if they are sent thru e-mail. E-mail reports only need an internet access to reach all team members at once and it is viewed as the most efficient way to report information to the team.

Learn more about Teamreporter

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