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Managing status reports in Project Web App

 

Applies to: Project Server 2010

Topic Last Modified: 2012-01-06

Summary:  The seventh article in a series of eight articles about how to use Microsoft Project Web App to work with Microsoft Project Server 2010 data and to perform project management-related tasks.

Applies to:   Project Server 2010 | Project Web App

In this article:

Status reports provide a simple method for communicating descriptive information about the status of specific tasks or a whole project. Status reports are narrative descriptions of the status of or progress on assigned tasks, and they enable you to automate requesting and receiving status information. Project managers can send team members status report requests and team members can then respond to them by providing the information requested. Team members can also begin the submission of status reports. Project managers can configure status reports so that they receive individual submissions and a merged or compiled status report that consolidates responses into a single status request. You can manage status reports, including status report requests, from the Project Web App Status Reports page.

The Status Reports feature in Project Web App enables project stakeholders to send status reports to any persons involved with a project (as long as they are also Project Web App users) to provide information about the status of their tasks. When you are configuring status reports, you can do the following:

  • Specify the title of a status report and the frequency at which it must be submitted.

  • Identify the team members who will receive and respond to the status report request.

  • Specify the information that team members will report.

  • Send the request.

noteNote
Status reports differ from resource updates to task assignments. Use the Approval Center page in Project Web App to review updates to project tasks, to work with resource working times, and to update projects with the latest information.

The following table lists the Microsoft Project Server 2010 permissions that are required for Microsoft Project Professional 2010 and Microsoft Project Web App (PWA) users to work with status reports.

Table 6: Required permissions

Global permission Description

Edit Status Report Requests

Enables a user to access the Request link in Project Web App.

Edit Status Report Responses

Enables a user to access the Responses link in Project Web App.

Status reports are typically submitted on a scheduled, recurring basis. For example, a project manager might want to receive a weekly status report from each team member assigned to tasks in a project. The default status report form includes headings such as Major Accomplishments, Objectives for the Next Period, and Hot Issues. However, these can be customized to meet the status reporting needs of different organizations.

You can complete the following activities from the Status Reports page:

  • Requests   Enables project managers and project stakeholders to create a reporting template and sent out a status request to team members for reporting progress. You can create a new status report for your team, edit an existing status report request, delete a request, view individual responses, or consolidated responses to requests.

  • Responses   Enables team members to reply to a status report sent by their project manager or by any other Project Web App user.

  • Submit unrequested report   Enables any project stakeholder to return a status request or define and submit a status report to any other selected project stakeholders in Project Web App. Users can respond to upcoming status report requests or create and submit an unrequested status report.

  • Viewing an archive of submitted status reports   Enables you to view and edit sent and unsent status reports.

For example, as a project manager you might have to create a weekly report that covers the overall progress of a project. By using the Requests feature, you can set up a status reporting template for team members that, when it is complete, provides information about important activities during a specified time period. You can configure status report requests to be sent out automatically at set intervals to team members. Team members are then notified on their Project Web App home page of the pending status report that requires a response. Project managers and team members can also use the Task Alerts and Task Reminders features to customize e-mail notifications and reminders. By using the Responses feature, team members can complete the status report and send the response back to the project manager. You can group responses, which allows you to verify the response rate for a status report request, and then you can merge completed status reports and view the consolidated responses from team members.

Users must be granted the Edit Status Report Responses or Edit Status Report Requests Project Server permissions by the Project Server administrator to submit status reports, view status reports, submit unrequested status reports, and manage status report requests. By default, only members of the following Project Server security groups have the permissions that are required to request status reports and view group responses: Executives, Project Managers, and Resource Managers. Users Project Web App can submit a status report in response to a status request or because they want to independently.

Consider the following tips when create status reports:

  • Include a department name or project name in the title for the status report.

  • Project Server 2010 automatically generates the first status report at the start date specified in the setup pages for the status report, and generates status reports on the first day of each reporting period after that.

You can request and update status reports by using the Status Reports page in Project Web App. Status reports are forms that team members use to provide specified information about the current status of their work. Unlike task updates, status reports are not associated with a project, do not contain information about a project (unless it is added to the text of the status report itself), and cannot be used to update a project schedule. Status reports can be used to provide detailed information about accomplishments, goals, issues, and other factors that affect a team member’s work. When you create a status report request, you must define the sections that it contains, who must respond to it, and how frequently it is sent out and replied to.

When you request a status report, a notification appears on the user’s Home and Status Reports pages in Project Web App. The user can reply to the status report request by selecting that report on either page. Team members can submit unrequested status reports on any topic in the Responses section by using the Submit Unrequested Report option. This displays a page from which a team member can create a status report and send it to the appropriate Project Web App user.

noteNote
Unrequested status reports are not recurring. They must be submitted individually and in addition to any required recurring status reports.
To request a status report
  1. On the Project Web App home page, in the Quick Launch, in the Resources section, click Status Reports.

  2. On the Status Reports page, in the Requests section, click New, and then click New Request.

  3. In the Report Title section, in the Title box, specify the name of the new status report.

  4. In the Frequency section, specify the frequency with which the status report must be submitted and the day of the week, month, or year on which the status report is due.

  5. In the Start Date section, in the Start box, specify the date to begin the period that the status report will cover.

  6. In the Resources section, in the Available Resources list, select the resources who should respond to the status report request.

    Click the Add button to add the resources to the Resources Who Should Respond list.

    The selected resources appear in the Resources Who Should Respond list.

  7. To remove a resource from the Resources Who Should Respond list and return them to the Available Resources list, highlight the resources name, and then click the Remove button.

  8. To create the Status report sections, click the Insert Section button and indicate the topics that you want your resources to report by specifying a title and brief description for each section of the status report. By default, three titles are listed: Major Accomplishments, Objectives for the Next Period, and Hot Issues. You can delete those rows, change the name and include a description.

    Complete the following:

    • In the Name column, specify the names of the status report sections, for example, New Section for Information.

    • In the Description column, provide any additional descriptive text that you want to provide, for example, Please enter Additional information about the project.

    • Click Insert Section to insert a row at the bottom of the list.

    • Click Delete Section to delete the selected row.

  9. To send the status report request to the selected team members, click the Send button. Use the Cancel button to exit the status report creation, recognizing that all previous work on this status report request will not be saved.

    The new status report is available on the Status Reports page in the Requests section.

To edit a status report request
  1. On the Status Reports page in Project Web App, in the Requests section, select the row with the name of the status report that you want to edit. Click the Edit Request button.

  2. After you are finished, click Send to send the status report to the people identified in the Resources Who Should Respond list.

You can view individual team member status report responses as a group status report and status reports that you did not request. You can use the Group merged reports by feature to view consolidated responses to a status report request by either resource name or response date. A notification also appears on the home page in Project Web App if you requested a status report.

The View Responses button shows the people who have responded to the status report request, grouped by reporting period. Icons indicate whether a report was submitted, and whether it was merged into a consolidated report.

Miscellaneous reports are created when unrequested status reports are submitted or when a non-project team member was copied on a requested status report. You can access these through the Status Reports page in the Responses section, selecting Status Report: Miscellaneous from the Go To drop-down list.

Responses can be exported to Word on the Status Report Responses page or Excel in the Requests section Action drop-down list on the Status Report page.

To view status report responses
  1. On the Status Reports page in Project Web App, click on the report name in the Requests section.

  2. In the View Responses page, highlight all the resource’s responses that you want to view in a merged file, and then click the Open button.

  3. The Status Report Responses page shows the responses either merged or individually, depending on how you elected to view the information. Select the Export to Microsoft Word command to pull the responses out of Project Web App and into Word.

    • To view the details for a single Project Web App user, select the user, and then click Open.

    • To merge the details from a single Project Web App user into a consolidated status report, select the user, and then click Merge.

    noteNote
    Pending status report responses are also listed on your Project Web App home page immediately after you log on.

The Status Reports Archive contains all the status reports sent or received by the current user. This archive allows you to access these reports, view and update. This will allow text to be added to each topic section specifying any update to the original comments. Choosing the Send button resends the selected status report in the Status Reports Archive.

To view the status report archive
  1. In the Status Report page in the Responses section, select Status Reports: Archive from the Go To drop-down list.

  2. To view a specific status report within the Status Reports Archive, click the report name in the Report column. After you select a report, you can do one or more of the following:

    • Add more information to the status report.

    • Add a new section to the report.

      The update view opens with a new section in which you can type updated status report information. To add another section to the updated status report, click the Click to add section button. Click Save to save the updated status report to the Status Reports Archive. Click Send to send the status report to the Project Web App user identified in the To field.

    • To return to the Status Report page, select Status Report link in the Resources section of the Project Web App left navigation column.

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