The Fourth “R” of Reporting – Reveal

I’ve been going through the seven R’s of Reporting for Project and Program Managers. So far we’ve had:

  • Report – always keep the reporting running.
  • Research – Figure out what’s actually going on.
  • Relate – find how the data ties together.

We’re on to stage four new – Reveal.

OK you’ve run the report. You figured out the parts. You determined how they connect together. You know, in short, how the whole reporting system runs. Or doesn’t run. Or runs incomprehensibly. Either way, you know how you get from point A to point B.

So now you reveal it. You figured it out, you documented it (you did, right?), now you show it to people.

First, you reveal it to yourself. You should look over this reporting system you were handed and look it over. Analyze it. Get to know it. Understand the repercussions of it (some of them can be pretty weird)

Now as you examine it you’ll quickly have ideas of what to do and what it means – write those down. Make records. Because as people find out what you know, you’re going to be asked how to fix things and so forth; have solutions before there are questions.

Next, after you reveal to yourself? Reveal to everyone possible.

I’m not saying tell everyone-everyone. THere may be issues of security, dignity, or avoiding causing a panic. But frankly, I believe in making a reporting system and the information about it as widely available as possible to all those who care.

You do this because you do want reactions, you do want feedback, and you do want people to know how it works. Wether it’s appreciating how great it is or freaking out over the potential issues, people should know.

Now this may not make everyone happy. It does require some thought. But you want it as public as possible.

I’ve found few downsides to a “revelation” and many upsides – those usually being good feedback. Besides, since you already thought over some solutions, you’re ready to jump in.

(And why wait this long to go to Reveal? Because you want to have your story right. Sure any major crises should be brought up, but I’ve found quite a few times that early panic isn’t helpful.)

But not everyone reacts well to these revelations. In fact you may not. This is a vital part of the reporting process, and we’ll get to the Fifth R next . . .

– Steven Savage

Steven Savage is a Geek 2.0 writer, speaker, blogger, and job coach.  He blogs on careers at, nerd and geek culture at, and does a site of creative tools at He can be reached at