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Developing a Construction Project Report, by Corinne Maddox, CCM, CFM

A regular written report is essential to keeping your managers informed about the progress of the project. It is also an excellent way to make your abilities more visible within your company, and to create enthusiasm about the project. The report should follow a professional project management format, which the executives are likely to be familiar with from industry related projects. You may want to have more than one version of the report for different levels of management. The CEO should have a very brief version focused on cost and schedule status, while your immediate manager will probably want more detail. A good outline to follow is 1) Overview, 2) Cost Section, 3) Schedule Section, and 4) Photos.

The Overview should summarize cost and schedule progress, reviewing significant activities during that period, and identifying significant upcoming milestones and risks. An Overview for a senior executive report should be limited to 1 page or less. A lower level managers' report should include more detail such as upcoming decisions and approvals required, discussion on important issues or problems, contract status, and cost and schedule issues. The Cost Section should include a comparison of the project budget, contracted amounts, invoiced amounts, change orders, and costs to complete. Since cash flow is a serious issue for any company, a graph comparing projected to actual cash flow is a good idea. The schedule should be adequately detailed to identify all milestones, and if possible, a comparison of the current schedule to the original schedule should be indicated. Cost and schedule data should include lease, architecture, engineering, construction, telecommunications, furniture, equipment and move activities, as well as other any other areas which involve company employees. Photos are the most popular section of the report. This section should be limited to 8-10 photos with informative, non-technical descriptions of the illustrated activities.

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