Reporting – Challenges and improvisations

Reports! Reports! Reports!

Reports are pretty important, as the famous anonymous quote says, “The job isn’t finished till the paperwork is done”, satirically, often featured with a bog roll.

While there have been wide observations world-over that on several strata of businesses managers and team members concur on devoting excessive time of their working hours towards reporting and generating reports.

Yes, report generation doesn’t end there. It involves, compiling data, going through it, and investing time presenting it.

However, reports should not be avoided, but to which degree?

Generally in big organizations, periodic reports like weekly or monthly reports are created to monitor how it is performing. Be it financial data, processes, personnel etc., through and through, these number of reports present all kind of information on performance and progress.

On the contrary, most teams exist only to produce these reports. Also, several workers invest nearly half of their time hauling data, combining information, keying into consoles, or designing power point presentations.

When these reports are not considered valid or substantial, quickly new reports get created to precisely oversee this specific practice or area of focus. More often these reports are generated even if the process challenge is cracked in the meantime. 

Reporting sees a super push during a reform, and when the organisation does not figure out such derailing, it might create an over-reported work environment which misses productivity to a great extent.

What are the challenges?

Here are a few:

  1. Report generation compels a lot of resources in the process, making them unavailable for other crucial jobs or important assignments. It should be understood that every hour spent on generating a report is an hour not spent on the main business.
  2. Generating too many reports based on the same primary data will establish unpredictability in the information that those statements bring to the table. More often such inconsistencies are caused when data is pulled from different instances in time, or graphic depictions that present different pictures. These conflicts often result in generating more reports attempting to describe how you connect statement one to statement two.
  3. Many statements only attempt showing a good instead of a critical picture to avert more reports on that subject matter. This apparently does not help driving the real issues behind. 
  4. A value not weighed against a pre-specified measure will not be of great support and often just leaves the audience tired of delving into it.
  5. Subsequently, if wrong things are measured, we would end up managing wrong things only.

How corporations could improve:

  • If reports are meant to measure progress, the purpose of it should be measured before it gets demanded. If the report restricts or hold back actions or prompt improvements, it loses its purpose or the need in the first place.
  • Creating a report vessel and making it available for everyone could be a great move to mitigate generating a junk of report (Exclude the classified ones). It could be a best practice to check with the report vessel before demanding for a new one, in order that an available report could be used (even if it is not precisely the intended) or improved.
  • The urge for generating new reports every time could be contained if it is thought as a service to be purchased every time. Would you however wish to pay for them? If no, it clearly would indicate that those are not critical and better be avoided.

Each time you can, specify the ideal value opposed to which you evaluate. Then construe the divergence, which could be a negligible percentage. This range would give you clarity, on which indicator you should act. Based on the indicator, if the value you attempt to determine sounds of least importance, why worry?

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