In our daily life, we inevitably need to report to others, maybe your boss or a client, even your wife. Reporting is not such a type of work that just grabs what you have and throw it to the receiver. To be honest, 70% reports I received are coming to me in this way and it is very rude. Here, I want to present some practical skills to present a ‘not-too-rude’ report. Even though the report described here will be restricted to sending information to others, not giving a presentation, I think they share the same core value: respect.
I have been not only reported to my boss but also got reported by my subordinates. According to what I have received, I insist that a good report should follow a “principle of altruism”. In other words, imagine you are the report-receiver, what exactly do you want?
- Send it through Email, not any IM (Instant Message) software.
- Write a precise and concrete title.
- Give your conclusion first.
- Extract solid evidence to support the conclusion.
- Make the evidence traceable.
In fact, I agree that the project manager can trade between the constraints of project management triangle. If deadline/budget decreases, we can sacrifice our product quality to some extent to complete our task. But if there is any opportunity to improve the task, including delivering a better report, we should keep it.
The quality of work is constrained by the project’s budget, deadlines and scope (features).
Delivering a report resembles serving cakes. Somebody just throws them at your desk, regardless of whether you have proper tools to eat them. Somebody slices them up and put the slices in a dish. The better way is to slice them up as well as to tell the gourmet what is the chef recommendation and why it is the best choice.
Everyone is busy, hope we can think more before we send our report.