Product Update: Snapshot and Store Versions of Your Reports

John Fisher
John Fisher
March 22, 2024

"Can I snapshot and store reports in Mastt?"  

Yes! Now you can, and this blog will teach you how to do it and why it's awesome.  

We've released the first version of the new Reporting Module, allowing users to snapshot and store entire projects or programs at the click of a button.  

Our vision is to allow users to create versions of their Mastt project or program reports at a point in time and use them to run scenarios and 'what if' reports, branch off new versions for curated reporting, and store data at critical points along the project lifecycle. We've been keen to do these things for a long time.

Let's walk you through our approach and why we implemented it.

Reporting Cadence and Curation is Key

How reports, dashboards, and project briefs are created revolves around the timing and organization of people and tasks.  Project management teams rally hard into a reporting deadline, usually monthly and around a key date agreed with their clients (usually, middle or end of the month, every month!).  

Spinning up a fresh Word document and duplicating spreadsheets was the norm in the old world of spreadsheets and documents. This created a safe 'point in time' snapshot to make (for example) a 'March Report' prepared in April on March's data.  

With Mastt, the project is still moving, and you can update April's live data without affecting the March Report.

Benefits of the New Reporting Module

The new reporting module offers a range of use cases and benefits.

  • Version-controlled reporting: Share reports you can control at a reportable point in time and know that the data won't change under your feet.
  • Comprehensive Record-Keeping: Capture every report at any stage, ensuring no critical information is lost over time and building a reporting repository.  
  • Compliance: Easily meet compliance requirements with the ability to store and retrieve detailed project records. Go back in time, anytime.
  • Timesaving: Reduce the time spent on manual record-keeping, allowing you to focus more on project execution and trust Mastt for historical admin tasks.
  • Enhanced Decision Making: Access to historical data provides valuable insights, helping you make informed decisions and improve future project outcomes.
  • Peace of Mind: Know that your project data is securely stored and readily available whenever needed.  

Next: Comparing Between Reports & Trends

Reporting storage based on cadence is key in month-to-month project change reports. Projects are compared between reports submitted, not based on what's changed between two dates.  

By securely archiving each submitted version of a report, the Mastt reporting module in the future will enable project managers to effortlessly compare the current state of a project with its status at the time of the last report.  This capability ensures that any changes, whether advancements or setbacks, are accurately identified and analyzed at the time of the previous report.

With access to more than one past version, managers can highlight trends, pinpoint deviations, and provide a detailed account of progress over time. This not only streamlines the reporting process but also enriches the depth of analysis available for decision-making. The ability to draw direct trends from stored reports ensures that stakeholders understand how the project has evolved and where it is heading based on historical data and trends.

How to Use It

Getting started with the new reporting module is straightforward. Here's a quick guide to help you leverage its full potential:

  1. Accessing the Module: Log into your Mastt account, navigate to a project, and find 'Reporting' in the menu.
  1. Creating a Report: Select the 'Create Report' option to capture the current state of your project. You can label each snapshot for easy identification.
  1. Viewing and Retrieving Snapshots: All snapshots are stored securely within your 'Reporting' module. You can view a list of snapshots, each with a timestamp and label, making it easy to find and retrieve the specific version you need.
  1. Exporting Reports: For external reporting or compliance purposes, you can still export past project snapshots/reports into various formats as usual, ensuring you can share your project data as needed.

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Why We Implemented It This Way

It is essential to respect this report curation process vs ongoing project activity. It can take weeks to prepare a report, with many moving parts and narrative adjustments. However, not all data points are ready at the same time. Reconciling actuals, updating risks, and drafting sections of the report happen over many days; this makes it much worse if you run a project portfolio. This rules out a simple point-in-time data capture and calling that a report.  

Recognizing this, our new reporting module is designed with flexibility in mind, allowing users to establish a reporting cadence and curation process that aligns with the unique demands of their projects.  

So, we allow users to create a report in Mastt anytime and snapshot the entire project with all Mastt's functionality so you can safely branch off and work on a reporting 'version' while still managing ongoing project activity.

Mastt users can now branch off a reporting version of their Mastt project, allowing them to work on the 'March' report in April, concurrent with their ongoing and constant updates to Mastt through April.
Mastt users can now branch off a reporting version of their Mastt project, allowing them to work on the 'March' report in April, concurrent with their ongoing and constant updates to Mastt through April.

Our approach prioritizes ease of use, flexibility, and reliability, ensuring that our customers can focus on what they do best: managing their projects.

We believe this new reporting module will significantly enhance your ability to manage projects more effectively, providing a robust tool for record-keeping and decision-making.  

At Mastt, we're committed to continuous improvement and innovation, always with our customers' needs at the forefront. We look forward to seeing how you use this new feature to achieve even greater success in your projects.

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