How To Write A Project Status Report
Updated by Xtensio
Project status reports document the current state of a major project and answer questions that people have about tasks, milestones and roadblocks before they become an issue. These regular reports give clients and stakeholders status updates and include information that helps keep the project on track. Use this step-by-step guide to create your project status reports, easily.
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Your guide to creating project status reports to keep any project on track
A project status report is a brief snapshot of where things are at with a project. Project status reports are used to give clients and stakeholders status updates and should include information that helps keep the project on track. Regular weekly reporting on the project’s progress helps you outline your team’s workload, the timeline, business-critical efforts and risks. Plus, the status report is a great way to uncover opportunities for improving efficiency.
While monthly and quarterly reports give a bird’s-eye view of your project’s progress and vision, project managers use weekly project status reports to maintain an ongoing report of updates and stats as they happen instantly. The beauty of a weekly report should be that it can be ready within the hour if a client requests it.
Ongoing reports will help:
- Streamline discussions about the project’s progress, highlight important action items that need to get done and highlight milestones.
- Give a quick status update, evaluate progress, create forecasts, and set expectations.
- Provide significant data to help identify and resolve issues and bottlenecks.
- Communicate issues and workaround solutions with the project manager and their direct team, as well as across the organization and key stakeholders
- Gauge your team’s productivity and performance with a comprehensive status report.
The most important thing that the project status report template can help with is ensuring that the project team gets the work done. Reporting is important in project management and Xtensio’s free status report template makes it easy to keep track of productivity, roadblocks and deadlines. Check out our product tour to learn more about Xtensio.
1. Create your status report header and weekly overview
Introduce your status report by adding your company name, the project name and the name of who prepared the report. You will also want to add the date so it’s easy to go back and reference these reports for your team, client and stakeholders. You can also update the logo, the folio color scheme and background to match your company branding.
Use the overview to indicate where the team stands in terms of meeting the next project milestone. Alternatively, if the project is currently facing a big setback, this is a suitable opportunity to bring it to the attention of top leadership.
2. Give a high-level overview of the key project areas using stoplight reporting
Highlight where each of the main elements of your project are at using the stoplight report. Some factors to think of when using the stoplight report:
- Overall project health
Use green, red and yellow indicators to give stakeholders a quick visual cue of where things are at.
3. Detail 2-3 key milestones or tasks that your team has worked on last week, items that will be completed next week and tasks on the roadmap for next week
Looking at the past, present and future, list all of the tasks and targets that your team is working on. It’s a good idea to indicate which team member is in charge of each item and the target due date so that everyone and everything is held accountable.
Notes, questions, and comments can also be added next to each item. While you don’t want to give every detail about how your project is progressing, some individuals will want to know more or require more background information, so you can also link to other resources and documents as needed.
4. Highlight risks, issues or challenges the project has run into
All projects run into roadblocks. Keeping stakeholders in the loop when issues arise will help everyone adjust accordingly to stay on track. This section should explain any risks or potential risks your team sees on the horizon.
- If quality is in yellow (at-risk), explain what issues you foresee regarding the quality of this project and outline a plan for mitigating these risks.
- If you’ve reached a roadblock regarding the project resources, what needs to be addressed to resolve this roadblock?
Share your project status report as a link, monitor, evaluate & iterate
Remember, these are just guidelines for what information goes into your status report. You’ll want to focus your weekly report on what matters the most to your team. In your analysis, you can focus on a key item highlighting an accomplishment, a hurdle, or a recommendation to help your team align goals.
When you’ve finished creating your project status report with Xtensio’s editor, you can send the live link to your folio to share it as a responsive webpage (and add password protection), export a PDF and post it on your bulletin board and continuously optimize with new learnings. The weekly project status report is adaptable just like other Xtensio tools, it can and should be repurposed, revisited, and revised regularly.