You now have an awesome plan, team members, and some strategic progress being pulled in via integrations. Next up, it's time to bring all that together to create your first report!
Think of reports as the missing piece that will bridge the gap between you, your team members, and your upper leadership. By leveraging reports, you’ll be able to identify opportunities, address challenges, call out roadblocks, and communicate your priorities and focuses to anyone you need.
The first thing we want to do when creating a report is consider the context. Do you want to look at the current status of your team’s initiatives? Identify the opportunities and challenges around a specific set of projects? Communicate the status of resources around a project with customers, suppliers, or stakeholders? Start by identifying what your goal for this report is!
There are three main types of reports:
Reports that will go inward - these reports include business analyses, team progress reports, and performance reviews.
Reports that will go upward - these reports include board updates or resource reports to leadership, for example.
Reports that will go outward - these reports include vendor reports, updates for customers, or updates for partners.
If you identify your audience and purpose, it will be very simple to identify what data you want to see in your report and how you want to display it!
With that in mind, let's take a look at what makes up a report.
Elements of a Report
There are five elements that are available for creating reports in Cascade:
Headlines - headlines let you title your report as well as denote different areas or categories of content.
Notes - the notes tool will let you provide extra context or information around the data in the report.
Tables - tables will allow you to define, filter and organize a certain set of data from your strategy. Tables can display details around goals that make it easy to draw insights, and drill deeper to get more information.
Charts - charts let you organize a certain set of data in a more visual manner. They're great for presenting larger amounts of data in a summary fashion and for identifying trends or relationships between multiple variables.
Images - the image tool lets you include any additional information that may be relevant to the context and data of your report. You can even personalize the report by adding your company logo!
Examples of Reports Use Cases:
Here are some example use cases for different types of reports!
- Inward - an IT team wants to run an analysis of all of the initiatives they are currently running, so they create a report with a table that filters out all of their currently active goals. They can include both high level goals, as well as more detailed looks at associated tasks and projects.This allows them to evaluate resource spend, identify roadblocks, and ensure they take advantage of available opportunities.
- Upward - the same IT team needs to communicate to their upper leadership the status of their key projects including timelines and show where they need additional support or resources. By creating a report that pulls out only their key metrics and high level projects, they can streamline this communication to provide the necessary context while ensuring only the information that is truly relevant to their leadership is included.
- Outward- the IT team needs to make sure that other departments are aware of what they are doing so that the work they do provides maximum value. They can create a high level summary report that makes it easy to show other teams exactly what they have done and are currently working. With that visibility, other teams can leverage the work the IT team does and make sure it makes the highest possible impact.
Also Keep in Mind...
Reports have a built in presentation mode that will let you interact with your reports live in meetings. From this, you can expand goals to see associated projects, actions, and measures.
There are some sharing and privacy settings you can use to determine who can acces your report as well.
You can leave comments on reports to provide additional context.
One awesome feature of reports in Cascade is the ability to take a snapshot. Every report you create will dynamically reflect changes as your team makes updates or your integrations pull in progress updates. However, you can take a snapshot of a report to save an 'as is' version of the report at a given time. That way, you can alter the text to provide up to date context and save historical versions of the report to preserve said context or look back and review progress over time.