CHALLENGES IN PROJECT REPORTING

1. Problem of quantity
There may be the problem of too little or too much information. Sometimes the project managers and team leaders provide too little information either with intentionally or accidentally. In either case, this incapacitates proper decision making leading to wrong and ambiguous decisions. In other instances, the information provided is too much i.e. the intended consumers of the information in the reports are overloaded with data which they cannot comprehend. Information overload leads to confusion and poor decision making in auditing the progress of a project by drowning the recipients in information. In the case of Museum Company, the definition of project scope can be used to determine the key areas that will be emphasized during reporting.


2. Bias in reporting

Project managers sometimes want to present only the good progress so as to win over the support of top management and other stake holders. This hides the high risk areas and creates a false sense of good progress. Biasness in reporting may pose problems later on because existing problems will eventually come out during testing and handover. This brings about a high chance of not meeting user needs and eventual rejection of the project by its owners.

3. Misrepresentations of facts 

During preparation of reports, human errors are bound to happen. Such errors may occur during data entry and wrong classification of data. This can be minimized using computer systems that automatically capture, classify and generate reports periodically. Misrepresentation of facts leads to wrong decision making and this can be disastrous to a project.

4. Bad timing

In most cases, information is only useful for a specified period of time. Thereafter it becomes overtaken by time and events leading to lose of competitive advantage. In project reporting, there is usually a time lag between the time a report is created and the time it is presented. This time lag should be as minimal as is possible to prevent loss of information value due to time lag. Time lag may also be caused by the need to validate data which takes up a lot of time, assembly of data from various sources and other challenges that may be countered during collection of data.

5. Poor report-writing skills

In many instances, managers and other decision makers only require summarized information that they can use to quickly make decisions. Hover, if the people preparing such reports do not have the necessary skills to summarize reports, then they may omit some very important facts necessary for decision making thus leading to wrong decisions. They may also provide too much details and therefore crippling the decision making capabilities of the managers.

6. Bad formats of presentation

If the report is presented in a format which the recipients can’t understand or make use of, then the report loses its importance. The format of presentation should also be standardized to avoid making changes in the format of presentation which can lead to confusion during analysis of the reports by their recipients. This problem can be solved by developing standardized templates, customized to the needs of the specific target groups. If no circumstances have changed, these templates should also not be changed later on in middle of the project as it would lead to confusion and hence affect its usability.

7. Copyright and dangers of privacy infringement

During project development, there is collection of people’s personal information and in some instances, their intellectual property. Such data needs to be protected and its distribution confined to only authorized personnel. Infringement on people’s privacy and copyrights can lead to disagreements and even legal consequences. A policy can be drawn by the project team to clearly indicate how information will be handled by the various teams on the project so as to avoid running into such problems.

Otuoma Sanya

Otuoma Sanya is a full-time systems librarian, tech enthusiast and writer. His areas of interest are data mining, institutional repositories, library automation and web development using python Django.

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