The end of the year is the natural time to reflect on what has been achieved and what are the plans / aspirations for the coming year.  The article, What does your PMO end of year report look like? raised the importance of capturing the achievements for the year.

This post is going to build on this article by providing a practical guide to how to create your very own end of year report.  While it will talk about a PMO, the same logic can be applied to projects, programmes and portfolios.

You will also find out at the end of the article, how you can download the templates used in this article.

Report Objective

Before creating your end of year report, take a moment to ensure you are clear on the audience and objectives.

It maybe that you have taken the initiative to create the report.  In this case, make sure you are clear what you want as an outcome from delivering the report to your target audience.  For example, it could be as simple as the sponsor gaining a clear understanding of what has been achieved in the year and benefits accrued.

If the report has been requested, spend time to ensure you understand is being requested.  If the request is a summary of all projects completed in the year, total cost and benefits.  Then make sure this is what your report provides.

Communication Channel

Another consideration is how will the report be communicated.  If you are presenting the report, you may not include so much information in the pack as you will be able to provide the voice over to each page.

However, if the report will be published by email or in hard copy with no presentation in person, you need to ensure that each point is clear and provide sufficient detail for the audience to understand.  This will often lead to a more detailed report.

Report Inputs

In order to complete the report, there is a need of a number of inputs including:

  • Project statistics
  • Budget
  • Benefits
  • Deliverables

It should be possible to source the data from project reports and steerCo / management reports.  If you have set-up a Deliverables Tracker, this is a very good source of what has / has not been delivered in the year.  This is useful when dealing with multi year projects where you want to demonstrate progress.

A copy of the Deliverables Tracker is available in the Xtra Bonus Templates available within the PM Majik’s Member’s Area.

Executive Summary

It is important to understand that the executive summary is the one page that will be read by your audience.  Therefore, it must present the required information in a concise and easy to digest format.

Take a moment to consider when you read a document.  Like many people I imagine that you quickly scan to pick out important points and then you decide if you need to read in more detail.  Apply the same principles on your summary.

The exact data presented will depend on the purpose of your project / PMO and what message the report needs to deliver.

For example, the diagram below shows an example page to show overall performance of a set of projects.  The idea being to show if the change portfolio performed better (or worse) than the previous year.

PMO Report executive summary

The purpose of the diagram is to present concept and the actual data points you use can be different to suit your needs.

Project Summary

If you are providing a report on a programme, portfolio or the projects under the oversight of a PMO, you may wish to include a snap shot of the status of all the projects at that point in time.

It is important that you include all of the projects for the year so this includes active, complete and not started.  You should also include details on any projects that may have been cancelled or stopped before completion.

The diagram below gives an idea how the information can be presented in a single page form.

Example PMO Project summary reportProject Deliverables

This differs from the project summary as this will provide details of any significant deliverables in the year.

This is important as when you have a multi year project, you cannot claim any success until the very end when it is complete.  However, the reality is that most projects will deliver benefits during the life cycle as many deliver in waves.  This is the very essence of agile delivery.

So it is worth including a page to call out the significant deliveries for the year.  When doing this, make sure that you describe in business outcomes.  Don’t say “platform ST456 implemented” instead state that “Online ordering portal launched”.

The diagram below gives an example of how this can be presented making use of the deliverables tracker template.

Example of significant deliverables pageSummary

The Programme / PMO end of year report is a simple but powerful tool.  Not only does it provide a valuable update to senior management, the process of creating the report is a good check point for the PMO / Programme managers.

As this guide has demonstrated, the process to create the report is not difficult.  Like with most things in life, it is the preparation and content that makes the difference.

PMO Report Download

To save even more time, the example report used in this guide is available to download in the PM Majik Member’s Area in the Xtra Bonus Templates section.  You will also find a copy of the Deliverables Tracker template.

The charts on the executive summary can be customised and by double clicking you can edit the data meaning that they are data driven.  These are a concept and should be used as a starting position to adapt for your own needs.

You can find out about becoming a member and benefiting from the numerous tools and resources by visiting PM Majik Members Area.