How to Write a Project Status Report:Template & Examples

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What is a project status report?

A project status report is a document that regularly tracks and communicates how a project is progressing against your formal project plan. It’s typically reviewed in weekly or biweekly status meetings with project stakeholders, clients, and/or team members.

A good project status report provides updates on what’s been done, what’s to come, and any risks or issues that may impact the project timeline, budget, or delivery.

The purpose of a status report in project management

The purpose of a project status report is to keep your team and stakeholders up-to-date on the many moving parts of your project. Using a weekly status report enables you to build trust by being 100% transparent about all project details on a regular basis.

When you deliver status reports and conduct regular status meetings, you're ensuring the expectations you established in the beginning of your project with a well-crafted plan are consistently reviewed and reaffirmed as you proceed to the delivery of your final product.

Using this project status report template will help you, your stakeholders, and internal team stay honest about your work, process, budgets, and issues. This not only gets important project matters out in the open, but also strengthens your relationship with your team and clients.

How to write a good weekly project status report

Writing a project status report is pretty straightforward once you get the format down. Our template outlines all the elements you should include in a project status report, with headers, bullets, and tables already laid out for you in a Word document. You can use the status report examples below to guide you through each step.

All of these sections might not make sense for your projects, and that's okay. Feel free to adapt our project status report template to your own projects. Then send it to your stakeholders via TeamGantt, email, or Slack, and be sure you follow up to discuss the details in person or by phone or video conference.

Remember: The more you share—and the more transparent you can be—when writing a status report, the better! Knowledge is power on projects, and you want your teams and clients to share that power.

Elements to include in a weekly project status report

Let’s take a closer look at the common elements of a project status report. Here are the sections we’ve included in our free project status report template, with some examples you can use to inspire your own status reporting.

  • Introductory note
  • Brief summary of what happened last week and what’s happening this week
  • Overall project timeline completion
  • Budget status
  • Upcoming tasks and milestones
  • Action items
  • Project risks, issues, and mitigation plans

1. Introductory note

If you’re sending your message as a part of a post in TeamGantt or in an app, you’ll want to provide a brief introduction to the hot topics in your weekly status report. This will guide your readers to the most important parts of the project status report and prepare them for the follow-up discussion about them.

Here’s an example of elements you may want to include in your weekly project status update email:

Example of introductory note for a project status report

2. Summary

Use the Summary section of the weekly status report template to outline all the things that have (or haven’t) happened on your project in the past week, as well as what you expect to accomplish in the coming week.

Bullets generally work well in this section. These should be brief statements about the status of tasks, deliverables, meetings, communications, decisions, and any other important details you want to call out.

Example of the executive summary for a project status report

3. Overall project timeline completion

If you’re using our best practices to create project plans, you’re organizing your project into groups so you can report on the status of a specific phase, deliverable, or task. In this section of the weekly status update template, include the overall completion percentage for your entire project, as well as each project phase.

Example of the project timeline status in a status report

4. Budget status

Don’t keep key stakeholders in the dark when it comes to your remaining project budget. Depending on your project, you may prefer to share the overall budget or budgets of tasks you're working on. We give you room to do both in our free status report template!

You also might consider sharing an overall percentage spent versus the number of hours spent. Do your due diligence here, and discuss the budget status with your team or leadership to determine just how transparent you should be in the weekly status report. And don’t be shy to add notes if you think clients or executives will get nervous about the status.

Here’s an example of how you might update clients and executives on the status of your project budget:

Example of a project status report budget update

5. Upcoming tasks and milestones

This might feel redundant based on what you highlighted in the Summary section, but think of it as just another way to list important milestones—or even upcoming holidays or events—that you need everyone to note in your project status update.

Take time here to share more detail about the tasks and milestones. The more detail you can provide, the better you will be. Make sure you use the table in the project status report template to call out specific items each time you send an update out to your team. This will help people read and view details easily.

Example of upcoming tasks and milestones in a project status report

6. Action items

Projects are more than tasks and milestones. In fact, you typically have to track a number of to-dos or action items to meet those milestones.

Use the simple table within our weekly status report template to track anything and everything that will impact your timeline and budget. Be sure to assign ownership to each action item so everyone understands exactly what's expected of them.

Project status report action items example

7. Project risks, issues, and mitigation plans

There's no doubt that things go wrong on projects, but they don’t have to. It’s your job to keep an eye out for issues and risks to make sure things don’t actually go wrong. You’ll want to share as much detail here as possible, and be prepared to discuss it. We created a section in the status update template to give you the ability to do so.

Example of risk and mitigation plan section of project status report

Any client or executive who doesn’t get a little freaked out by a project risk is probably too checked out. That's a risk for you!

Also: You might not always track risks on your projects, but leave this section in your weekly status report anyway. It’s important for your team and stakeholders to know you’re looking for potential issues at all times. Plus, if there’s nothing there to report, you can end your status check-in on a high note.

How to track and report project status in TeamGantt

Now that we’ve walked through the basic elements you’ll need to write a good status report, let’s look at a few simple ways you can monitor and report on project status in TeamGantt.

Update the progress in your project’s gantt chart

If you’ve shared a view-only link to your project with stakeholders, they can see how your project’s progressing in real time. Just be sure your team is diligent about updating task progress as they go.

If you notice tasks falling behind, use TeamGantt’s request progress update feature to check in with team members who may need a friendly reminder to keep their tasks up-to-date.

Screenshot of the "Request a progress update" link on a task in TeamGantt

Keep a close eye on hourly vs. actual progress

If you’re on TeamGantt’s Pro plan with hourly estimation and time tracking, you can easily monitor how progress is tracking against your plan. Simply pay attention to the color and length of the thin striped line in the center of each taskbar.

  • If the striped line is red, the task (or group) is over-budget because the hours tracked exceed the hours estimated.
  • If the striped line is longer than the progress indicated, the task (or group) is at risk for overage because the time spent is outpacing the progress being made.

Watch the video below to see this feature in action:

Use the Project Health report to prepare and present status updates

TeamGantt’s Project Health report is a great tool for checking in on project status daily and giving your team, clients, and executives an at-a-glance view of where things stand each week.

The Project Health report provides a quick snapshot of progress and breaks down the number of tasks that are on time, running behind, or overdue for each project. And you can easily drill down into the details directly from the report to get to the bottom of issues.

Example of the Project Health report in TeamGantt

This tutorial walks you through the basics of how this status report works in TeamGantt:

Simplify project status reporting with TeamGantt

Want to spend less time chasing down status updates and more time celebrating wins? TeamGantt puts a clear plan at the center of every project so it’s easy to stay on top of progress and share updates with all the people who power your project.

See why thousands of customers in over 120 countries use TeamGantt to make their projects shine. Try TeamGantt for free today!