The Highlight Report is a report on the stage progress prepared regularly by the Project Manager for the Project Board . The frequency for this report is indicated in the Communication Management Approach (e.g., it may be agreed that the project manager will send every two weeks on a certain day and with a specific format, which can be a two- or three-page overview). The report can confirm that the stage runs within tolerances and the Project Manager can also point out any foreseeable problems.
The highlight report allows the project board to manage by exception between each stage end, as they are aware of the tolerances agreed with the project manager in the stage plan, so the highlight report should report the current status of tolerances of Time, Cost, Quality, Scope, Benefits, and Risk.
Main reports documents used by the Project Manager to communicate with Project Board:
- Highlight reports
- End stage reports
- End project report
Timeline Highlight Report
The Highlight Report is mainly created in the Controlling a Stage process by the Project Manager.
Sample Highlight Report
- The Highlight report can be kept simple - this one-page overview is a good example
- Date: Current reporting period
- Status summary: Use the six project variables
- Work Packages: Product names are mentioned here and no tasks
- Work Packages Next: List of next products to deliver (not Work Packages)
- Change requests: Normally there will be a link to Change Request document (called an Issue Report in PRINCE2)
- Key Risk and Issues: Changes to any major risks that the Project Board should know about.
Source data for the Highlight Report
- Stage Plan and lasted status information
- Checkpoint Report from Team Managers
- Project Initiation Documentation ;
- Issue Register
- Quality Register
- Risk Register ;
- Communication Management Approach in case you who to send the Highlight Report to :-)
- Project Initiation Documentation - all other information, just is case.
Format of the Highlight Report
- Face to face presentation to the Project Board (or conference call)
- Document (word or PDF)
- Presentation slides like the above example
- A repot within a project management tool
Quality Criteria for Highlight Report
- Correct frequency of progress reporting as defined in the Communication Management Approach
- Correct level of detail (see Communication Management Approach) for the Project Board.
- Easy to read and to the point (be careful with % of done and traffic lights)
- The information is timely, useful, accurate and objective
- Include potential problem areas
Some tips from Frank
- Ask the Project Board for their preferred reporting format
- Keep these Highlight Report as simple as possible
- Include information on major issues and risk (do not be afraid to do this)
- Do NOT use % as a measure of product completion as to many products are 95% done
- Ask the Project Board for their feedback (more or less information)
- Find out how the Project Board review these reports.