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Top 3 Reports and Summaries in Microsoft Project

One of the most revamped features in Microsoft Project over the last several years is their reporting options. This post covers the best reports and summaries to keep an eye on, as well as a quick guide on how to use them.

1) Project Statistics

The Project Statistics summary gives you a high-level overview of how you are progressing against the baseline.  You can see a comparison of the current (or scheduled), baseline, and actual values for each of the five main value fields (i.e. start, finish, work, cost, and duration).  You will also be able to see variance for the start and finish dates.

1    From Project:Properties click the Project Information button to see the Project Information dialog box for your project.

Figure 1.

Project Information dialog

2    Click Statistics… at the bottom-left of your screen to see the Project Statistics summary for your project, similar to the following:

Figure 2.

Project Statistics summary

Notice this project summary data includes % duration complete and % work complete.

2) Slipping Tasks

A great way to get ahead of unfavorable finish variances is with the slipping tasks report. This shows all project tasks that are taking longer to complete than expected. That is, it shows any task where the actual finish date is or will be later than baseline finish date.

To access the Slipping Tasks report, from Report:View Reports click the In Progress icon, and from the dropdown list select Slipping Tasks.  Your screen will resemble the following:

Figure 3.

Slipping Tasks report

3) Burndown Report

A great way to have a visual, up-to-date project status is to view a Burndown report. This compares the planned, completed, and remaining work on a chart that updates automatically as you change project data. This is an especially exciting report for those who use agile. It’s a helpful view regardless of project management methodology, though.

To access a Burndown report, navigate to Report:View Reports:Dashboards icon. Then select Burndown from the dropdown list.  Your screen will resemble the following:

Figure 4.

Burndown report

For a great introduction on using views and filters, view our handy guide on viewing the right information in Microsoft Project.