Are Project Management Reports Simply a Way For Project Managers to Hide Bad News?

A Project Manager holds a position of great trust. Often the futures of Organizations are entrusted to them, together with large budgets which can be ill afforded. In return, transparent project reporting through Project Management Reports are expected, to enable Business Stakeholders to accurately track progress. But do Organizations always get the real picture?

Now there are correct and incorrect ways to fill in Project Management Reports. Some Project Managers like to fill in the bare minimum of information, whilst others go for incessant detail and write reams. However it doesn’t matter how much is written, so much as what is written.

Where projects are concerned, Organisations need an update on the following:

  • Milestones
  • Key Issues
  • Risks
  • Dependencies
  • Budget

Now this might appear to be extremely straightforward, but project management is an art, not a science. Sometimes being economical with the truth can be an extremely good idea as it allows time for the issues to be resolved without unnecessarily raising the alarm bells with Business Stakeholders.   More details please visit:-

The problem is that this often gets taken to extreme lengths by Project Manager’s who are simply after an easy life. With these individuals, being economical with the truth becomes a way of life and soon the problems mount up with the project becoming unachievable, but no-one understanding this until it is too late. After all it is far easier for everyone if Project Management Reports contain only good news to stop Business Stakeholders asking awkward questions.  

You might think that this is a far fetched situation, but it is far more common than you may realize. Take the UK’s £234 million public sector C Norris IT System. A recent report by the National Audit Office reported that bad news about this project failed to go up the ladder and that in the early stages, the project was consistently rated as green. By the time it was finally reported as being in Red it was too late to rescue.  

Of course it doesn’t have to be like this. Consistently hiding bad news from Business Stakeholders in Project Management Reports is a sure fire way to bring a promising career in the profession to an ignominious end. Thankfully it doesn’t have to be that way.  

Learning how to properly complete Project Management Reports, which enable progress to be accurately reported, whilst ensuring the Project Manager is perceived as being in control, is a real art which is hard to learn. The key is knowing what to report, what to highlight and what to focus on. Remember there is no point in sweating the small stuff. The big picture is what counts; not how it was created.

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