Performance reporting is the key, official method for communicating to your stakeholders about how project resources are being used and how project objectives are being met. Reporting methods, such as email, formal reports, and face-to-face meetings, and their frequency are outlined in the communications plan and communications matrix.
Performance reporting is performed against the project baseline, which is the original set of schedule dates, budget amounts, expected work, scope, and quality targets developed in the project planning phase. Project baselines are evaluated against actual performance of the project as the project is executed.
According to PMI, there are three types of reporting:
Most often, all three are combined in the real world as a weekly status report. Performance reporting will highlight the basic measurements of a project and will provide an analysis of cause, as well as a recommendation for action if necessary.
The purpose of performance reporting is to detect and raise issues early or to allow preventative measures to be taken by upper management. If a project is late or over budget, the project manager is responsible for analyzing and recommending action.
These recommendations can lead to change requests, corrective actions, or both.