The Monthly Report is a lost art. We may have been too quick to abandon this artifact or, possibly, it was never a part of your company culture or personal habit.
Consider the positive returns gained from a small investment of time in creating a monthly report. As a checklist-driven person I see obvious benefits of documenting where you’ve been, even if you are the sole reader of your very own monthly report.
A monthly report is a report card to yourself, your management or to your company. After all, if you believe in what you are doing and that you are doing a good job at it, why wouldn’t you want to share that? By periodically looking back you can track your progress and trajectory. Are you heading in the right direction? Are you meeting goals, deadlines, and any required administrative check-offs?
People love recognition. If you can recognize the achievements of others it has a powerful effect on future performance. Recognition, especially in writing, is an awesome productivity tool in itself. The Monthly Report is a great place to regularly share team successes.
A summary of monthly reports automatically yields quarterly and annual reports. Collectively these reports are irrefutable personal leverage at performance review meetings.
And – possibly most important – monthly reports are key to updating your resume.
Keep the report format simple. A monthly report can be as simple as a list of dated entries in a journal. If the report is to be shared/upward you might establish a consistent format, with meaningful metrics and results. If monthly reporting is too frequent, consider keeping notes and creating a summary every few months.
“I’m trying to free your mind but I can only show you the door.”
~Morpheus, The Matrix