I came across an article on the PMI’s Voices on Project Management site last week and it really struck a chord. In the post, Lynda Bourne highlights the importance of document layout in order to communicate your message effectively.

With the advent of smart phones, email and twitter, much of our communication has become instantaneous, short bursts of information. As this information is often only a few sentences, we give little thought to the layout, instead punching out a few lines here and there whenever a thought crosses our minds.

But with project documents that often contain complex information, intricate fine points and important details, getting the layout right is crucial to make sure the information isn’t lost or confusing for the reader. Clean lines, simple fonts and white space around logos make complex documents easier to read and project a very professional image to your stakeholders as well.

To make the process easier, many project management software applications, such as IPM, have built in report facilities that can generate a report with the same layout each and every time you need the information. This means you only need to worry about the information you put into the report, and the software will take care of all the fiddly layout bits to make sure your reports are clean, simple and easy to read.

What’s more, with everyone in your organisation using the same report template, you are all on the same page, and project a professional, united image to external stakeholders. IPM also allows you to customise parts of the report templates to suit your organisational requirements.

So although our communication has become very short and quick, in project management it still is important to pay attention to the smaller details of your communication with others, such as report layouts. If you would like to know anything more about IPM’s report facilities, please don’t hesitate to contact us or leave a message below.