You should make a project status report template if you will assign the task to lead a project in the organization as a project manager. Status report is an effective way to keep your clients and other key people updated about the status of a project. This report makes every involved parties able to have open and continuous communication.
Table of Contents
- 1 What is a project status report?
- 2 The elements of a project status report:
- 3 Benefits of making a project status report template:
- 3.1 To increase the focus on the project
- 3.2 To give clarity on the project
- 3.3 To document everything regarding the project
- 3.4 To see the bigger picture
- 3.5 On project participants, facilitate communication
- 3.6 For the analysis of the project’s performance, establish a good rhythm
- 3.7 To encourage you and the project participants
- 4 How to write a project status report template?
- 5 Some additional tips for writing a project status report:
- 6 Why project status report is important?
- 7 Conclusion:
What is a project status report?
A project status report is a reporting tool used to provide details on current status of a project in terms of project health and project progress to project shareholders. You should make use of a template to make your status report smooth and to improve communication with key stakeholders. Furthermore, it makes you able that with greater impact, you deliver your project update presentations.
The elements of a project status report:
Let us discuss below the key elements of a project status report;
You have to include the general details of your project here;
- Project name
- Report date
- Project manager
- Reporting period (whether it is a weekly or monthly report)
Status summary of the project
Here, you have to provide the summary of your project status to project stakeholders and team members;
- Key accomplishments (the completion of milestones, deliverables, and action items)
- Completed work
- Planned work
- Project milestones (they indicate the completion of a work package, deliverable or a project phase)
- Project deliverables (the results of the tasks that are in your project scope)
- Action items
Provide the following details here;
- Project Budget Overview
Project Schedule Overview
- Quality Overview
- Scope Overview
Risk management overview
- Project Risks & Issues
Include the following in this section;
- Any risk management
- Resource management
- Concerns or recommendations of project scheduling
Benefits of making a project status report template:
Let us discuss below the benefits of making such a report;
To increase the focus on the project
The report can be a very useful tool if you are working on a large project that is supported by various stakeholders. You can use this report to bring everyone’s attention each and every week. You can explain the tasks for the benefit of the stakeholders to keep them aware.
To give clarity on the project
Any type of project will include several different things. The status report clarifies these things and brings them forward. In your report, you can include any concerns like delays or issues in terms of the project budget. You can also specify milestones and accomplishments. Moreover, you should also make everything clear to the stakeholders that the project is going well.
To document everything regarding the project
You will have to keep track of the project regularly in order to check the progress and make decisions regarding the project. You have knowledge of everything that has happened throughout the project. Making a daily report on it will help you to do this.
To see the bigger picture
On the status of your project, making regular reports will enable you to see the bigger picture more effectively. You will become able to see all the progress and what requires to be done. People will make better decisions for the success of the whole project by seeing the bigger picture.
On project participants, facilitate communication
It is very important to keep everyone updated on the status of your project. In addition to this, it is also essential to inform everyone how well the project is progressing.
For the analysis of the project’s performance, establish a good rhythm
Creating a regular report indicates that the project manager is performing a daily analysis of the project’s performance. All the aspects of the project are identified that indicates all actions have to be implemented are done.
To encourage you and the project participants
Lastly, the report will act as encourage for you and everyone involved. Seeing your project is progressing provides you a good feeling. Also, you will definitely feel more motivated when you are able to see the milestones and accomplishments.
How to write a project status report template?
Here are some pointers to write an effective project status report;
Keep asking questions
This is a first and very important step. You will have to understand your audience in order to have a report that will give great impact. You should ask questions so that you know what their priorities are. Doing this will provide you better idea on what you should include in your report.
You can start writing your report after asking all questions and gathering all relevant information. Furthermore, it is suggested to begin with the most general points then move on to more specific and detailed ones.
Pay more attention to results rather than the activities
Don’t focus on the past while writing your report. Instead of this, you should pay more attention to the results of your report and ultimately, your project. Don’t look back on everything that you have done.
Adding past activities in your report are considered irrelevant information. To you, past activities may seem relevant but the readers aren’t interested in details. However, there are more essential things to include in your report such as the results and objectives. Readers are usually interested in these details. You have to do a lot of deep thinking to write down the results.
Mention all the key elements in your report
On the basis of your company, there may be different formats for making project status report templates. Include all the following key elements;
- The status for measuring
- The overall status of the project
- The status of the milestones
- Any issues, risks, and concerns
- The major objectives and action items
- The major decisions
Try being visual
You should use visual content in order to communicate the status of your project. Try to use the following;
- The traffic light method
- Percentages and statistics
- Use a Gantt chart
- Use an issues chart
Keep your report brief
If your company has its own specific template, then you should follow it. If you have to write a lengthier report, to do so. In case, there are no such rules then keep it as brief as possible. When writing such a report, you should try to put yourself in the shoes of your readers. As a reader, you will surely appreciate a brief but direct report as compared to a long document which contains information that is actually irrelevant.
Definitely, if you are creating a precise report then you must make sure to include everything in it. For the readers, it is better to understand the overall status of your project, as seen in a brief report.
Have the answers
When you finish the report, you should have all the answers that you ask in the first step. In your report, if there are any unclear points, you must address them correctly. You can also come up with extra documents and materials that will assist you in answering any relevant questions. These reports generally contains a meeting or a discussion about the project.
Some additional tips for writing a project status report:
Here are some additional tips for you;
Make an outline
If you don’t make an outline of your project status report then you may get lost in the details of your project. Furthermore, you may forget what to include in the report. It acts as a brief summary that assists you in organizing thoughts and ideas for clear communication. Readers will also get help from the outline that what is going on in the project.
Understand your audience
Project managers should understand their audience while tailoring their reports. This way, they include the information that audience need to know.
Clearly and precisely communicate
Your project status report should be precise and clear so that readers can understand it easily. You should make it by using dense language and consider the following to make it more readable;
- Use concise sentences and keep paragraphs short.
- Make use of headings and numbering systems to ensure that your information is easy to follow.
- Never use jargons and tricky terms instead of this use clear language.
Not more than two pages
Your project status report should be under two pages or less. Readers may not like to read too lengthy reports. They only able to read short chunks of information at a time. Make reading easier for them by keeping reports short.
Why project status report is important?
A project status report is an effective tool that helps you in avoiding last-minute surprises and keep your members informed. This report proves very useful for the projects that are long or complicated and have time period of several months or years. It provides you a clear idea of where things stand in every stage of your project strategy. By having this knowledge, you can stay one step of the status of your project instead of playing catch-up with it.
Additionally, your stakeholder’s expectations become more realistic when they get update on the progress you’re making towards your goal. You can mention in the report the milestones that you’ve achieved and any modifications that you want to make.
In conclusion, a project status report is a beneficial document used by a project manager in order to keep track of the project so that everybody can be updated. The project is kept on track and all those involved are productive when the status of a project is daily reported.