Overview with tools, software, best practices and alternatives
What are Reporting Systems?
Reporting systems refer to the methodical procedure of providing and receiving information and updates to and from the members of the team. These systems are upheld by teams to ensure that the achievements, problems, and goals of the team are known by the members and leaders of the group.
Who uses Reporting Systems?
Various teams use reporting systems to run businesses and activities. Business teams report updates to the members and leaders of the team to provide information on the plans, strategies, and actions of the group. Healthcare teams can also utilize reporting systems to keep members aware of the health status of their patients or clients. Even government officials can use these methods to inform members the status and activities of the government.
Why do Teams use Reporting Systems?
Teams use reporting tools for the following reasons.
The first reason is communication. Reporting systems establish structure in the communication channels of the team. Such structures allow the team members and leaders to be informed about the status and development of the team and the project itself. Moreover, strong communication links allow the members of the team to have continuity in its activities, allowing it to reach its goals successfully.
How to use Reporting Systems / Ways to use Reporting Systems
Using reporting systems offers critical and allusive information about the performance, activities, status, and development of the team, the project, and the team’s affiliates.
The contents of the report should be complete, accurate, recent, and organized. With these elements, the team members and leaders will be able to comprehend the entire report, which allows the entire team to formulate goals, develop impactful strategies, and implement appropriate actions. Reporting systems may also involve new and corrective information to the previous reports. This allows the team to have an updated database, which helps them employ appropriate measures in the future.
The team’s achievements, issues, and plans can also be included in the report. The achievements of the team serve as motivation and inspiration to the team whole the issues faced by the team serve as alerts that should be resolved by the team. The problems can be actual or potential. By including them in the report, the team will be able to prioritize and provide resolution to them.
Advantages of using Reporting Systems
Reporting systems are helpful to the team and the project for the following reasons.
One advantage of using reporting systems is communication. Reporting systems allow the team to send and receive information and updates to and from the members of the team, allowing them to adjust their plans, strategies, and actions appropriately.
Another good point on using reporting systems is the organization among the members of the team. Reports will make the team well-coordinated, helping them to be informed on the latest information about the team and the project. Also, the team will be able to formulate concrete plans, develop outstanding strategies, and employ proper actions to meet the goals.
Disadvantages of using Reporting Systems
Though the use of reporting systems can be helpful to the team in several ways, there are also some instances in which they can put negative impact to the business team.
Reporting systems can be tedious and time-consuming to some members of the team. While members and leaders have their respective duties and responsibilities, they have to complete the report, which can eat their time. As a result, team members and leaders may not be able to accomplish the task that they are doing.
Virtual teams or asynchronous teams can use online reporting systems to carry out their tasks and functions. While members and leaders can send and receive information and updates to and from other members of the team, poor or absent internet access prevents them from spreading information. This could be problematic for virtual teams.
Best Practices for using Reporting Systems
Using reporting systems helps team members and leaders to be adequately informed, updated, and aware of the status and progress of the team and the project itself.
Reports should be complete and accurate. The members and leaders of the team can use a small notepad for them to jot down important details that happened within a specific period of time. With the details recorded in the notebook, it will be hard for the team to forget to include important information in the report.
Organization is one of the key elements in systematic report writing. This can be done by structuring the contents of the report well, which can be done by writing information with coherence. Also, the team can use bullets to list down specific information about the report, allowing members and leaders to be aware of the status and progress of the team and the business.
The kind of language used in the report should be understood by all readers of the report. This means that the use of acronyms and jargons should be limited in the report, as they have multiple meanings, which can mislead readers to what the report wants to convey.
Reporting systems involve both qualitative and quantitative information. Qualitative data can be presented using paragraphs and narrations while quantitative or numerical data can be shown using tables, charts, graphs, and diagrams.
Why Teamreporter is a great Reporting System
Teamreporter is a kind of reporting application, which utilizes scheduled report mails as a replacement to stand-up meetings. The application can be used by teams of less than four without charge and one can sign up for an account in just less than one minute.
Teamreporter’s interface is automated and user-friendly. The application sends notifications to the members of the team, asking them to send valuable information, such as the team’s accomplishments, problems, and plans. Based on the team members’ replies, Teamreporter will generate data summary, which will be sent to the team the next day.
Another good feature about Teamreporter is flexibility. Team members and leaders can change the questions and schedule of the report mails in Teamreporters interface, as well as change the list of members who need to send reports and those who will receive the reports. In addition, users can also use the application in any work flow or environment, with its compatibility with e-mail and web browsers.
Team leaders can also use Teamreporter’s data to have a clear oversight of the team and the business itself. With the application’s reports, team leaders will be able to identify those who perform well and those who need further assistance. Moreover, team leaders can use the data from Teamreporter when they make their reports or training modules.
Alternatives to Reporting Systems
With reporting systems, demonstrating efficiency in information dissemination, business team can also take into account some alternatives that the team can use or do when doing reports.
Team members and leaders can use paper-based reports in spreading information and updates about the team and the project. Paper-based reports, unlike web-based reports, do not require internet connection as they are printed copies. Thus, they remain unaffected if internet connection is poor or absent.
Another alternative to reporting system is the use of reporting applications. With technology continually progressing, people can just download reporting applications from Google’s Play Store and Apple’s App Store. These applications can be used either offline or online, which enables them to send and receive information and updates in any setting.
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Teamreporter is free for small teams (up to 4 members)