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use. There are many excellent courses available that will ground you in the fundamentals of their
Your organisation may employ a time tracking system in which case you have an additional
source of information. Your time tracking tool should allow you to report on labour costs for
your project (i.e. support the charging of time to your project code). It should also support the
reporting of these costs by group and by type of work. For example it should tell you how much
time was spent last week on analysis of your software project. You should reconcile the metrics
from the time tracking system with your MS Project file to ensure they tally. Tip: if your time
tracking system is used to generate the pay cheque for your team, make it your bible. A
discrepancy means your MS Project file may be inaccurate.
MS Project comes complete with a selection of "canned" reports ready for your use. I have found 5 of 6 Project Communications: How to Keep Your Team Engaged and Informed that it's most useful feature for reporting project progress is its ability to export data to an Excel
spreadsheet. Because Excel has been around so long it's feature rich and supports just about any
type of graph or chart you can imagine. The trick here is to export the information you need to
base your report on, then edit it in Excel. MS Project contains ample help facilities on how to
I mentioned the 2 different categories for distributing information: push and pull. Many of your
project's communications will lend themselves equally well to both methods. For example, if you
communicate you can review your dashboard report with the project executive steering
committee during a meeting, push it to the project team via an e-mail broadcast, and archive it on
a public directory or the project's website.
Lastly, remember that the accuracy of the information you communicate about the project will
have a profound affect, either good or bad, on your reputation. You need to do your utmost to
ensure the information you communicate is accurate. Measures such as the reconciliation
between timesheets and your MS Project file can save you from making claims about project
progress that aren't supported by the facts. Even with that degree of scrutiny your information
can still be misleading or out of date. Be open and honest with your communications: tell your
audience where the information comes from, how it was compiled, and how old it is. Be
forthcoming with any information that could impact on the accuracy of your reports and let your
audience form their own opinions of the accuracy and value of your communications. © Project Smart 2000-2008. All rights reserved. 6 of 6...
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- Fall '13
- The Bible