Do you agree that a full-fledged control is a recipe for success in any endeavor? Hopefully, you don’t because even a complete conformity to the plan, which is doomed to failure, won’t bring fruit. However, we have to admit that the role of the control function is relevant for any type of activities.
If you are a manager, you have to control the performance, sales, production, servicing or any other activity within your business. Correspondingly, executives or contractors are obliged to report on versatile key performance indicators for the manager to see the overall pattern. Such reports may differ in timings, samples, content, and other terms that are required to cover the entire volume of a certain process. Still, the common structure is alike.
For this reason, most office workers have to know how to write monthly report message. Yet, it is better to start with the definition of this paper. In this article we’ll cover what a monthly report is, its elements and provide a monthly report email sample that you can use.
1. Monthly report meaning
The word “monthly” shows both submission frequency and accounting period of the mentioned document. Report denotes a kind of assessment or estimation of activities. If an entrepreneurship deals with selling products, the report covers the sale volume; if another activity like manufacture, servicing, procurement and so on is engaged, the performed work is evaluated according to specific metrics.
Though it was mentioned that each monthly report message sample is designed to make the estimation of the current state of affairs, its functionality can be extended to informing the structural units on the status of projects. Otherwise speaking, the information goes not only upwards but also downwards the hierarchy chain.
The necessity to estimate the executed work is caused by the pursuit to optimize overall performance and reveal possible deficiencies in the workflow. Obviously, depending on the size and industry of the company, the sample of monthly report writing message can be downsized to a small essay in the form of email or upsized up to a large paper accompanied by specific enclosed documents. Anyhow, its essence is unchanged and aimed at highlighting positive and negative points.
2. When you need to write monthly report message
The time of writing a monthly report email depends on deadline. As a rule, the period of report submission includes the first week of the month followed by the accounting period. In some organizations, this period lasts up to 10 days. Here is an example. You need to compose the report of the September activity. In that case, you have several days in October to accomplish the task. It is convenient since all financial transactions are usually concluded at the end of the month.
Another prerequisite for making the report is the availability of essential data. For example, finalization of the project is expected soon before the deadline. In that case, it might be worth to wait a bit to provide a substantial analysis of performed work. Anyway, you have to understand how much time you need to make the report and avoid any delays unless they are feasible.
3. Key elements of good monthly report message
Any document has a certain structure and message to deliver. Concerning the monthly report, the message includes a concise summary of current conjuncture, actual progress, uncompleted tasks, expected terms and other essential elements to describe project status. Still, to generalize the message body for monthly report, four major elements can be highlighted. Let’s see them in detail.
The beginning of any monthly report email should contain a brief description of the project or transaction. If you report on the work of your structural unit, make sure to indicate relevant data. As a rule, a supervisor or manager obtains dozens of reports. Therefore, he or she needs to categorize them by project/department/operation/etc. In general, this section is standardized according to company’s requirements.
This element is the core of reporting. In fact, the current state of affairs is described here. Besides, it is a good practice to provide a set of results with a detailed specification of status. For example, purchase of equipment is “complete” or supply of spare parts is “delayed”. If a more detailed explanation of each category is required, it should be provided in the next section called timeline.
This section contains an expanded form of intelligence regarding topical milestones. Even if some task is accomplished, it is not enough to specify its status in the Outcome section. At the same time, delving into subtle details is also unnecessary. All you need to introduce includes what work was executed, compliance with schedule and actual date of completion, as well as miscellaneous significant facts that are worth to be mentioned. Such section is often shaped as a grid with a color indication of completed and in-progress tasks.
The final element provides a kind of explanation answering such questions as “why the task is not completed subject to schedule?” or “what problems are considered as obstacles?” The section may also include recommendations and requests associated with a successful future progress. For example, to comply with the terms to accomplish the project, certain resources may be required. The explanation of such necessity should be submitted in detail in the Notes section. In some cases, it is better to separate the section from the very email for monthly report and submit it as a detached paper.
4. How to write message body for monthly report?
Eventually, we came up to the practical part of the publication. Actually, the monthly project is also a publication or even an essay that must be written in a clear and distinct way. On this account, following prompts will be quite useful.
Contact info at the top
Initially, the description of the report should be placed at the top. This comprises the project name, structural unit, and deadlines. Certainly, the expected outcome is to be listed here. The executive’s name, as well as the report date, can be specified at the top.
The driving force of most tasks is represented by human resources. Moreover, it is often a team to perform certain tasks within a project. On this account, you can specify team members and their performance that is denominated in hours spent per month. It is a good practice to break the overall project time into billable and non-billable hours for each team member.
Top-managers may deal with dozens of monthly reports on different projects. Therefore, you should provide a brief introduction to a certain scope of activities to facilitate the further processing. The introduction may include the project scope and any other relevant data.
It is difficult to find any project that is streamlined without a pre-established schedule. Hence, your monthly report has to rest upon a certain forecast of terms and accomplishments. So, comparison of progress and expected outcome as of the accounting period is required. If the progress deviates from the schedule, it is essential to explain reasons and offer recommendations to fix the situation and get back on track.
Positive points are no less important than pitfalls. Certainly, we do not call you to blow own trumpet in the report but certain accomplished tasks are better to mention. As a rule, these include significant achievement or milestones. However, any positive moment is welcomed especially if the project hardly stays afloat. In practice, monthly report messages are considered papers filled with problem points and a short reference to accomplishments. Perhaps, such balance is better to maintain in order to focus on topical issues.
If the accounting period was characterized by certain failures, make sure to specify them, as well as tentative solutions. It is quite possible that the failure was caused by a certain defect in the existing system. By giving a clear explanation, you are investing in the prevention of such scenario in the future. Experience shows that common secondary flaws are the result of lack of management’s awareness.
Sometimes, a description of current state requires certain documentary evidence like certificates of acceptance, sale-purchase agreements, service contracts, etc. Feel free to attach such papers to your monthly report if necessary.
5. Tips for writing a report
Having composed the report, do not hurry to click the Send button. The following tips will prevent you from common mistakes and increase the quality of your document.
- Everyone can make a subtle mistake or misprint. It may seem minor from your perspective but your supervisor may have another opinion. Still, it can be avoided if you make sure to review the report after completion.
- Outlining the principal points is a good practice to attract the management’s attention. Certainly, it is better to avoid multicolor text in the message but using bold type and Caps Lock is not forbidden.
- Make sure to include all interested parties when sending the report. It is possible that accomplishment of a certain task depends on the efficiency of another department. The head of such structural unit will appreciate your concern.
6. Examples of email reports
Words cost nothing if they are not implemented in practice. On this account, you may browse the web searching for real examples or have a look at the following sample of monthly assessment of project status.
Report on the November 2017
Project: Procurement of office materials
Implementation of the project complies with the pre-established schedule. As of November 31, 2017, 70% of the budget was used and 50% of contracted items were shipped. Another share is on its way.
A potential delay in delivery of office furniture is expected due to unstable weather conditions that prevent the timely shipment of goods by motor vehicle. Mr. Trapatonni (head of the contract department) was involved in the process to change the shipment option to railways. Negotiations with the contractor are scheduled for December 10, 2017.
The list of supplied materials is attached.
Certainly, the provided example cannot be compared with bulky corporate papers consisting of several pages and tons of intelligence. Still, now, the readers have the idea how to write message body for monthly report and make it in the most effective way.