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 BLUF: Anyone have good advice for writing an effective weekly report?

My organization requires two weekly activity/accomplishment reports from each employee.  One is an internal report that gets emailed to my manager so he can take sum result of our team's reporting and distill it into a report for his manager (who I expect does the same thing).  This report is pretty basic: top three activities for the week and single biggest issue for the week.

The second, and more detailed report, is submitted as a contractual requirement to our primary client on their SharePoint site.  This report is seen by the client and my manager, as well as employees and management from other companies involved in the contract. (A note about these other companies: while the client expects us to function as a team and we do so on a day-to-day basis, these organizations are direct competitors.) This report includes activities in a narrative form (the meat of the report), a projection of significant future activities, key outcomes, and needed decision support.

I should also mention that I work remotely (it's been well over a year since I've seen my manager face to face), that my employment is contingent upon the contract I serve (i.e., I'm a de facto employee of the client), and that these reports are the primary form of visibility that my manager and the client have into my results.  That being said, the expressed intent of each report has varied over time.  The internal reporting requirement was given after our company was acquired as "something that corporate wants us to do."  We've been given varying guidance on the client-facing report ranging from "a contractual requirement that nobody reads" to "the client looks at this all the time." I think we're sitting closer to the latter statement at this point in time.

Regardless of how anyone else views these requirements, I've been spurred forward toward more effective reporting by the CT recommendations about the boss update, remote working, and that reporting of the tasks should be inextricably tied to the completion of the task.  Surprisingly, I couldn't extract from these casts an effective way to provide any of that data.

My goals, whether using these required formats or the addition of some informal updating, are prioritized as follows:

  1. Organizational visibility of my results and how they benefit the client (and, by extension, the organization).
  2. Client visibility of my results and how both the organization and I provide them value.
  3. Competitor visibility of my results (specific to the shared client) and how I deliver value to my organization and to the client.

"I have made this longer, because I have not had the time to make it shorter." So if you're still hanging on at this point, thanks.  Any advice is appreciated.

--Steve