Overview with tools, software, best practices and alternatives
What is a Weekly Report?
A weekly report is a kind of report that includes information on what have become known within the week. The information contained in a weekly report includes the achievements, plans or goals, and problems.
Who does a Weekly Report?
A weekly report is done by team members and they submit it to the team leaders. There are cases in which team leaders also prepare weekly reports, which are to be submitted to higher superiors such as project managers and executives.
Why people do Weekly Reports
People do weekly reports so as to make other members of the team aware of the activities of each team member. Such reports serve as tools to document positive weekly events such as a new breakthrough or milestone. Also weekly reports act as a journal or a diary where members can include what happened within the week. Moreover, people do weekly reports to list down their plans and goals for the following week or weeks. Even problems that happened within the week are included in the report. Problems that have been resolved can serve as future references in case they recur. Potential problems can also be listed down for the team to anticipate and devise a plan to prevent it.
How to do a Weekly Report
In writing a weekly report, it is important to follow the format the team or the company uses. However, if the team or the company does not have a standard format for the team members to follow, it is essential to devise one. Some firms utilize memos for weekly reports, whereas other companies make use of standardized special forms.
Big things that have happened within the week are included in weekly reports. However, some reports are not entirely read and some reports are just filed for reference. To put emphasis on the weekly report, the title or the subheading can be written in big and bold letters.
Weekly reports include accomplishments, plans, and conflicts within the week. It is not necessary to write the days of the week to separate the entries, but it can still be done to show what have transpired on a daily basis. Also, team members can present the report in tabular form, with the days of the week in the left row and the achievements, plans, and conflicts occupying the rows. All inputs are now in grid form. Alternatively, team members can write the weekly report using bullets, for easy readability and comprehension for the part of the reader.
Advantages of doing Weekly Reports
Doing weekly reports have a number of advantages to the team.
First, weekly reports act as a blend of a diary and a logbook, since events and details are written down. The entries in the report can be helpful in the future if something needs to be discussed or clarified.
Another reason why weekly reports are beneficial is they provide a summary of what have happened within the week. Team members will not have to discuss the things that happened per day.
Weekly reports are also the balanced document between daily reports and monthly reports. Daily reports are sometimes not in favor to staffs with a very hectic schedule, in which their time is limited for them to prepare and finish a daily report. Also, monthly reports are prone to incomplete details since several things that happened in thirty days should be included in it. Weekly reports reflect the balance between the two reports as it direct as the daily report and can be compiled as reference in making a monthly report.
Disadvantages of doing Weekly Reports
While weekly reports mediate the features of daily and monthly reports, it also has some cons.
Weekly reports are done and submitted on a weekly basis. Some team members may forget some of the things that have occurred within the week if they failed to at least note them down daily. Incomplete reports may adversely affect other activities of the team such as planning, strategy implementation, and evaluation of outcomes.
Some reports also indicate the events that happened in the earlier part of the week and do not reveal the events that occurred at the latter part of the week, which may reflect laziness on the part of the team member.
Best practices for doing Weekly Reports
A good weekly report has an executive summary. While the reader goes to this part as their begin reading the weekly report, it is still recommended to place it at the last part.
In addition, the flow of the report should be consistently clear from the beginning to the end. It separates the weekly report from other reports. The introduction should contain what is to be told to the reader. The body should give them what they should know. The conclusion should summarize what have been told to the reader.
Determining the purpose of the report makes an ideal report. It has to be defined what the report tries to accomplish. Also, using a language that is comprehensible to all readers is encouraged. Jargons should be minimized.
Weekly reports should also possess a decent length which meets their objectives. Questions can be anticipated so it is advisable to provide responses. In addition, weekly reports should be direct to the point and not redundant.
How Teamreporter helps at doing Weekly Reports
Teamreporter is a program that replaces status meetings with scheduled report mails. It supports small groups of up to four people and sign up just takes less than one minute.
The program helps in doing weekly reports in its simple and automated way. It prompts team members via e-mail, asking them to submit information on the accomplishment, plans, and conflicts within the week. A summary, which is based on the members’ responses, will be generated by Teamreporter and will be forwarded to the members on the next day. Regardless of reporting daily, weekly, or monthly, the application suits any workflow, as it can be customized to follow the workflow of a team or a company. Plus, Teamreporter can also be integrated into other apps that the team is using.
Overall, Teamreporter is an efficient way of gathering and sharing information within the team, letting members communicate efficiently as a team.
As a program that can be used by four people in a small group, Teamreporter allows the members to report to each other on daily basis if preferred.
Alternatives to Weekly Reports
Weekly reports are efficient means of documenting the accomplishments, plans, and conflicts that have transpired within the week. Also, it facilitates communication between the team members and team superiors.
While these reports can be done weekly, other alternatives to weekly reports are daily reports, which are done on a daily basis. Some teams agree to prepare and submit bi-monthly reports, which are submitted every two weeks. There are some companies that collect reports on a monthly basis.
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