Overview with tools, software, best practices and alternatives
What is a Report from a Team?
A report from a team is a document that contains relevant information and updates about the status and development of the team and the business. It aims to provide knowledge to its readers – the other team members, the team leaders, and the team’s affiliates.
Who does the Report?
The report is done by the members and the leaders of the team. The team secretary may also be delegated to do the overall report of the team. This can be done by compiling the reports of the team member and generating a data summary. Team leaders can also make their own reports, which can be submitted to the executive leaders of the business or organization.
Why do Teams do Reports?
Teams generate substantial reports for the following reasons.
Team members and leaders comply with the chain of command, in which subordinates make reports and submit them to their superiors. Reports can be done via paper, e-mail, phone call, or SMS. By doing this method, the superiors of the team will become equipped with adequate knowledge about the status and development of the team and the business.
Communication is the primary reason why teams make reports. This is to communicate what has transpired within the team and the business in a specific timeframe. With the completeness and accuracy of information in a report, members, leaders, and other superiors, will be able to compare and contrast ideas in present and previous reports, make inferences and conclusions, and make logical decisions.
How to do Reports from a Team / Ways to do Reports from a Team?
Reports from a team feature significant and supportive ideas about the endeavors, activities, status, and development of the business team and the project itself.
In writing a report, the team should make sure that the information contained in the report is complete, accurate, factual, and update. This is because the information serves as the baseline of the team’s future plans, strategies, actions, and evaluations. This approach also makes sure that the team is on the right track in the business.
Reports from a team should not be too long nor too short. A very long report can be overwhelming to the readers while a very brief one may lack essential information. Generally, the report should contain core information such as the team’s achievements, issues, plans, strategies, activities, and outcome evaluation.
Advantages of Reports from a Team
Reports from the team are beneficial to the business group for the following reasons.
First is communication. Communication is highly essential in every business as it facilitates the provision of knowledge to every member of the business team. Without communication, a business will never succeed. Reports contain salient information that business team members need in order to function independently and perform their job well.
Another advantage of reports from teams is to present new, additional, or corrective information. If the data in the previous reports seem insufficient, the data in the new report will be able to fill the gaps, allowing team members and leaders to analyze information, make conclusions, and choose wise options.
Disadvantages of Reports from a Team
Even though reports from teams can be supportive in a multitude of ways, sometimes they can have a negative impact to the business team.
One disadvantage of doing reports from team is that it can be tedious or time consuming. Instead of focusing on regular tasks and responsibilities, team members have to collect and organize information in a report, which will be submitted to their superiors. Team members who have lots of things or errands may also view it as a punishment.
Virtual teams do a report online, as part of their responsibilities, as members are dispersed in different places and time zones. This requires the use of a stable internet connection, which allows virtual team members to pass on information to and from the other members of the group. But then, the problem is poor or absent internet access will not allow members from spreading information.
Best Practices for doing Reports from a Team
Reports from teams help the members and leaders to be fully knowledgeable, updated, and wary on the standing and development of the team and the business project itself.
In writing the report, the completeness, accuracy, factuality, and freshness of the report can be ensured by writing information down as it happens. Team members and leaders can use a notebook or notepad, where they can initially write the specific thing that happened within the day or within a particular period of time. This way, they will not forget the information to be included in the report.
Verification of data is also important to ascertain that the report from the team is complete and error-free. This can be done by comparing data from previous reports and checking them with other members of the team. This will minimize errors in the reports and will ensure consistency of information as well.
Organization is another element, which is important in report writing. Team members and leaders may use bullet points in listing the information in the report, as the readers, especially those who are good at scanning and skimming, will be able to decipher the message the reporter wants to convey. Also, teams can also use headings and sub-headings to divide information into parts. These can also guide readers as they go through the report.
Qualitative and quantitative data can be included in the report. It should be kept in mind that qualitative data, which is descriptive in nature, can be presented using paragraphs and bullets while quantitative data, which includes numbers and figures, can be shown using tables, graphs, charts, and diagrams.
How Teamreporter helps Teams at doing Reports
Teamreporter is an application that uses scheduled report mails to reduce the number of status meetings a team has. Teams with up to four members can use the application for free and signing up for an account just takes up to less than a minute.
Team members and leaders can send and receive information to and from other members of the team easier and faster with Teamreporter’s automated and user-friendly interface. Teamrporter will send e-mail notifications to the members of the team, asking them to send information, such as their accomplishments, plans, and problems. Based on their reports, Teamreporter will generate a data summary, which will be sent to the team the following day.
Team leaders can also benefit from Teamreporter that can get a clear oversight of the team’s status and progress. The reports can also help them evaluate teams and their members, allowing them to determine members who have good performance and those who need more assistance. Also, leaders can use the report data when they make their own reports or training modules.
Teamreporter is flexible, as members and leaders can adjust the schedule of the report mails and the questions in the application’s interface. Also, users can change the list of members who need to send information and those who will receive reports. Moreover, Teamreporter can be used with a web browser or e-mail, along with the existing applications that are used by the team.
Alternatives to Reports from a Team
While reports from teams can be clearly supportive to the business team, there are other alternatives that the business team can take into account when doing business reports.
Aside from paper-based reports, team members and leaders can report important information thru phone calls. These are guaranteed to be fast ways to inform other members of the team regarding an important or urgent matter. However, phone calls may not be possible in remote areas with no signal reception. Also, phone calls have no documentation, unless the information passed on via the phone call is documented on paper for data verification.
Reporting applications can be used in place of paper-based reports, as they have unique interface, which allows team members and leaders to send and receive information easily and swiftly. Some applications can be downloaded to the computer or smart phone. With the applications’ easy to use interface, reporting will no longer be a tedious or time-consuming task for the team.
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