Example of reporting in a time-sensitive software project

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Published on
March 11, 2024
Danijela Milićević
Published by
Danijela Milićević

Reporting is not just a mere presentation or a document to inform clients about the project status. It is rather a means to communicate issues, progress, and to foster trust between both parties involved.  

There are reasons why regular and open reporting should be implemented, especially if we are talking about time-sensitive projects where a stable product should be delivered as soon as possible.  

Here’s an example of how reporting works in practice. This article will show you what the motive behind reporting is, what you achieve with reporting, what is included in the report, and how change management fits into all of this.  

What is the motive behind reporting?

Like in any software development project, or any type of project for that matter, it all revolves around requirements. Essentially, our biggest concern is fulfilling the requirements set by our clients. If we manage to do this, it means that our solution is not only technically feasible but that it serves its functional purpose.  

Click here to find out more about Requirements management and how you can avoid project failure with it.  

Now let’s get back to that example.

Our clients told us what they require from us in the project:  

  • Time to market – they want to hit the market as quickly as possible
  • Stable product – by sacrificing the scope, they are focusing on getting a stable and quality MVP instead  
  • Cost control – they want to maintain control over how much is done and spent  

Reporting as a tool to fulfil requirements

After hearing the above-mentioned requirements, we realised that reporting was the best way to help them achieve their goals.  

Reporting was introduced so that our clients have transparency and controllability.  

It was a win-win situation for both us and our clients.

Transparency and controllability empower clients by providing visibility into project progress, allowing them to track milestones, manage budgets, and ensure alignment with their vision and goals. This gives them the opportunity for informed decision-making and ultimately results in higher satisfaction and the delivery of a product that meets or exceeds expectations.  

For us, it means that we solve potential issues more easily, that we can prevent further issues in the future, and that we can get feedback from clients which will drive us closer to the desired solution.  

The result was that we understood the requirements better, could organize our team more efficiently, and developed relationships with clients where it was easier to be motivated and share the same vision.  

What aspects does a report cover?

The next part was figuring out how to formulate a report so that it transparently communicates our current standing in the project, providing clear insights and updates. This was what would allow clients to have better control and understanding of the project's progress.  

There are 3 main factors that a report typically consists of:  

  • Budget
  • Scope
  • Risks

When the budget is concerned, the main thing was to show how much money was spent in relation to how much time had passed, and what the estimated project duration was.  

Also, the scope meant that we needed to show where we were with the implementation. When the progress was slow, it was essential to explain why we were late with implementation.  

With risks, reporting should clearly communicate identified risks to stakeholders, including clients, management, and the development team. It should not only highlight risks but also propose mitigation strategies or actions to address them.

Read more about what a typical report looks like.  

Change management and reporting

Any potential setbacks, lateness, risks, require making changes. This happens often.  

Effective change management in projects helps minimize risks, ensure alignment with project objectives, and enhance project outcomes by addressing changes in a systematic and controlled manner, that is, through reporting. Change management is crucial in projects to address the inevitable shifts and evolutions that occur during the project lifecycle.

Without proper change management processes in place, uncontrolled changes can lead to scope creep, budget overruns, schedule delays, stakeholder dissatisfaction, and ultimately project failure.

When changes occur in a project, whether they are related to scope adjustments, timeline shifts, or resource reallocation, reporting serves as a critical tool for documenting these changes, communicating their impact to stakeholders, and tracking their implementation. Reporting provides transparency and visibility into the change management process, ensuring that stakeholders are informed about the reasons for the changes, their implications, and any adjustments to project plans or objectives.

Key benefits of reporting on time-sensitive software projects:

Here is what you get with regular reporting:

  • Transparency and controllability
  • Issue resolution and prevention
  • Better understanding of requirements
  • Efficient team organization
  • Clear communication
  • Effective risk management

In conclusion, effective reporting is indispensable in time-sensitive software projects, serving as a conduit for transparency, collaboration, and informed decision-making between clients and development teams.  

More information on how to establish software processes that meet business requirements you can find here.

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