Efficient reporting in projects

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This article is for general information only and is not intended to be a professional advisor’s opinion. Perpetuo GmbH assumes no liability for the respective use of the information by the readers. Each conclusion or opinion is based on the specific facts and circumstances and, for these reasons, does not apply to all cases.

The importance of reporting in projects

Controlling and reporting are two cornerstones of project management and systematic means by which companies can monitor the complexity of their programs and report to relevant stakeholders. This case study deals with the complex area of project reporting as part of the controlling tasks in projects and uses an example to demonstrate its essential importance for projects, such as the comprehensive communication of an understanding of project dynamics to stakeholders.

Essentially, project reporting is an important channel that enables a seamless flow of information about project progress, challenges encountered and milestones achieved. Timely and accurate reporting is not just a formality, but a strategic necessity that provides decision makers with the insights they need to successfully coordinate projects. Key metrics such as project progress, budget utilization and resource allocation are included in the outline of a project report, providing stakeholders with a quantitative perspective that allows them to assess the state of the project. By adapting these reports to the different needs of the stakeholders represented, such as project stakeholders, managers and customers, effective company-wide communication is ensured. Project reporting is an essential part of project controlling and consists, among other things, of the preparation of progress and results documents at predefined time intervals.

In the digital age, the focus is on automated reporting tools and dashboards that optimize the reporting process by increasing its efficiency. This case study demonstrates that project reporting not only captures project reality, but also acts as a catalyst for continuous improvement and provides valuable feedback for improving processes and optimizing future project outcomes.

Initial situation

An internationally active German automotive supplier with a highly critical infrastructure wanted to implement a new, comprehensive visitor management system for its three strategic locations in Germany and Austria. The previously used system could no longer fulfill the company’s internal and legal guidelines due to an outdated operating system. Due to the cross-location requirements, it was necessary to bundle all individual requirements into a standardized system in order to create a basis for all other plants, which will also switch to the new system. The implementation envisaged a complete redesign of the IT landscape and hardware, which, in addition to complying with legal requirements, would also make access more secure and faster for employees and reduce the workload at reception. During the project, however, a number of requirements were identified after the supplier had been selected, which had a negative impact on time coordination and led to a significant increase in costs for the supplier as it was unable to meet the requirements. Working out possible fallback strategies until the critical resources were procured required a thorough revision of the timeframe without significantly exceeding the budget.

Course of the project

Perpetuo GmbH supported the project from initiation to handover to ongoing operations and provided the project manager who coordinated the operational planning, implementation and control. The main task initially consisted of systematically selecting offers, communicating with various providers and recording the various approvals. As part of the communication tasks, the project manager was the central contact person who compiled all the necessary information from various stakeholders. This included the works council and representatives for severely disabled employees as well as various security institutions in order to secure application specifications. Setting up the structure and coordinating the interfaces between the various networks presented the project team with particularly complicated challenges. As a result, reporting was of immense importance in this project and was provided in varying degrees of detail.

Simplified reporting was chosen for the weekly exchange so that figures and their meaning could be quickly understood. At these meetings, a small group focused on discussing the week’s tasks, their achievement and subsequent tasks in order to plan them efficiently. The next monthly status concerned management and represented the status of process and financial controlling. During preparation, the project manager was given the opportunity to determine whether the KPIs for quality, time, costs and resources had been exceeded or not met and, if necessary, to discuss solutions in the meeting and make adjustments. Milestones (Figure 1) were defined throughout the project, which were divided into phases, sub-phases and the individual work packages and had to be achieved.

Figure 1 – Milestone planning

An open point list also proved to be an advantage in this project, as it allows tasks, quality assurance measures and work packages still to be completed to be identified and completed on time. The respective responsible parties were recorded in the RACI (Responsible – Accountable – Consulted – Informed) in order to record responsibilities in a visible location for all participants and to define contact persons for specific areas. In this project, project reporting as part of project controlling served as a controlling and monitoring unit between planning and implementation. This became particularly clear through the comparison of actual and target values, the deviation identified and the subsequent correction.


The results of the project manager’s controlling can be seen in many areas. When implemented and used correctly, reporting acts as a kind of early warning system to draw attention to deviations and intervene as required if the quality is not right. Recognizing errors at an early stage offers the opportunity to develop targeted solutions to counteract further deterioration. In order for this reporting function to be fully utilized, regularity is important, as this makes the difference over time clear, trends can be identified and action can be taken with foresight. In this project, the reporting system, consisting of various tracking measures, quickly identified the lack of skills and these could be procured, thus preventing in-depth work in the wrong direction and enabling a targeted strategy to be pursued. The implementation of various tracking measures proved to be particularly effective here. These not only enabled precise identification of responsibilities, but also more efficient processing of the tasks at hand.

Figure 2 – Project duration

By creating a clear overview of open, due and already completed tasks and their interdependencies, the project managers gained an immediate insight into the current status of the project as well as existing bottlenecks and thus supported targeted control of the further course of the project. Software can support the reporting process in a targeted manner and enables compliance with standards and accessibility for the relevant stakeholders in order to make quick and data-driven decisions. In this project, reporting minimized the visible delays, prevented the imminent failure of the project and consequently conserved stakeholder resources. With these measures implemented by Perpetuo, stakeholders and project participants were able to use their resources efficiently and react to time-related changes at an early stage.

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About us

Perpetuo is an international management and strategy consultancy based in Dortmund and Munich.

With more than 15 years of experience, the company has established itself as a driving force for change, innovation and shaping the future. Its excellent performance has been repeatedly recognized by various awards as one of the best consulting firms in Germany.

Perpetuo is characterized by a holistic and customer-oriented consulting approach and sustainable implementation. The company realizes complex transformation projects on an international level and adapts its services to the individual needs of its customers. In addition to major international corporations, its customers include a large number of medium-sized companies from the DACH region.

The company employs a team of over 25 internationally trained and experienced professionals and partners, led by experienced top management consultants and former corporate executives.

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Konstantin Steber

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