How to Manage a Project

Control & Reporting

Additional Materials

Project Reports

This section introduces the five main reports commonly used for project control and reporting.  The sequence of reports is represented in the flow chart below.

Project Brief The Project Brief is generally the first document. It is produced when the project is initiated by the Project Sponsor following a Project Proposal stage. It should establish for the project manager:
  • What the project is to achieve, by when, and within what resources.
Project Plan The Project Plan (sometimes called project initiation document or project scoping report) is the second document. It is produced by the Project Manager following a brief Project Scoping Study. It should build on the Project Brief developing it to establish:
  • What the project is to achieve
  • A detailed time schedule for carrying out the project
  • Details of the resources required - people, money, sections
  • Who is to be involved in the project
  • What the risks and implementation issues are.
Project Progress Report The Project Progress Report is produced by the Project Manager in agreement with the Project Sponsor. It should establish:
  • What progress has been made, what work is left remaining, and what the issues are.
Post Project Review The Post Project Evaluation is not produced for all projects. When it is, it is produced by the Project Manager at the request of the Project Sponsor. It should establish:
  • How did the project progress and what were the issues we should be aware of for future projects.

Key points are:

Some reports are more specific than others. The structure for the Project Plan is the most specific as this document will be used for central coordination of the organisations projects. Others are less specific in that their content may need to vary from project to project. For these the content should be agreed between project manager and project sponsor. 

The reports are progressive, for example, information in the Project Brief provides the basis for similar information in the Project Plan.

Regarding timing of the reports, it is generally best practice to produce them at a natural end-of-stage rather than at regular intervals.