What problem does this solve?
Reports are essential to share the results of your activities, to document them and to provide the requested information to institutions and people who are supporting you. But there are two main problems:
- At the end of a project you are tired, consumed by making it and the last think you are wishing to do is to sit down for a report.
- While you make your project you often forget about what you were exactly meant to do. You are busy doing, and it happens to move away from what you wrote in your proposal or from what you are requested doing by the institutions and people supporting you.
What is the solution?
The most effective way to produce a report and to make sure you remember everything your are expected doing is to prepare it at the beginning of your project and update it while the project is developing.
- Create a report page (or use the report page or the report template provided to you)
- Fill in the report page with all the data you already have: objectives, timeline, activities. If you are expected to produce metrics include the line (you will fill it in later); if you are expected the press to write about your project create a space where you will add your references (list of publications, news and media mentioning your project); if you are expected to collect feedback create a space where you will add citations or where people can add comments.
- During the project, update the page with the relevant information. Add the date of the events (and links to where you stored your images and to a specific report if you have), the activities, the press releases, data from statistics. You can all add the short reports you are asking people working with you.
- If you are requested a mid report, use the chance to check what you forgot doing (if you are missing something is a good moment to plan it straight away).
- At the end of the project just have a quick look at the documentation, add the final touches, and you are done.
Things to consider
- Institutions financing projects often provide a report template. Use it since the beginning of your project: it will assure you are monitoring (and preparing the answers to) all the questions your grantmaker in any case will ask you.
- Remember that your aims and expected results should not change during the project, but you can always change your methodology and activities if you see that certain things work better than others or work better if you do them in a different way.
- If you start the report at the beginning of your project, it can be advisable not to call it "post mortem" :)
When to use
- Whenever you are requested a report.
- When you are not requested a report but you want to make sure people will know what you are working on.
- This could be an excellent way for volunteers to contribute information about different activities in a central location so that it is not so difficult to track down details at the end of the project. KHarold (WMF) (talk) 01:53, 31 January 2015 (UTC)