It is important for the board to know what is going on in the company. Reports are often used as a tool to create a clear overview. Not only the board, but also team leaders and project managers often use reports. The reason for this is because it provides a clear picture of what the objectives are and whether you are on track to achieve them. You get insight into all the different business processes. The reports can also be shared with stakeholders so that they also have a quick insight into the company’s performance.
In short, a report is a record of an activity, event or state of affairs within an organisation. Which activity, event or state of affairs you record is up to you. For example, a healthcare authority might use a report for all events surrounding patient safety. A water supplier could use a report for tracking water quality, so that the drinking water supplied always remains as tasty and healthy for consumers.
As you can see, both companies have very different goals. But for each company, the outcome of a report is almost similar; maintain or improve quality through lessons learned.
Every organisation is different. Therefore, each report has different requirements and needs. A report is useful when current information becomes clearly visible so that bottlenecks can be properly addressed. At the same time, it then becomes an important communication tool between colleagues, allowing everyone to see what has happened at any time of the day/week/month. This keeps the whole organisation working towards the same goals.
To create a clearer picture when it comes to reports, we have listed some examples below:
Progress reports show the status of a project directly. They also include targets and schedules for the project.
A marketing report gives you insights into important data and developments that you can use to set marketing objectives for the next period. For example, do you see in the report that you are behind in the number of new prospects you would actually like to achieve? Then you can use this report to decide what to do about it.
In a financial report, you record the expected flows of money. Both where the money goes and where it comes from. The purpose of what you want insight into in the report is determined by the relevant metrics.
If you read in a report that certain tasks can be optimised, this can be done, for example, by using a recurring PDCA cycle. PDCA is a 4-step model for change management that adapts well to continuous improvement within organisations.