Project Status Report and project update Template

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The importance of project status reports

This project status report template is generously provided by PM consultant and coach Brett Harned.

Open, consistent communications are the lifeline for any type of project. The most effective communication tool you can use to keep your collective team current on the many moving parts of your projects is a status report.

Using this project status report template will help you, your stakeholders, and internal team stay honest about your work, process, budgets, and issues. Making time to review and document the most basic information about your project on a weekly basis will pay off in spades because it helps you to not only communicate important project details, but it also helps to strengthen your relationship with your team and clients. By using a weekly or daily status report, you’re building trust by being 100% transparent about all project details on a very regular basis.

How to use your free project status report template

There’s no doubt that the project status report template we’re providing you is simple and easy to adapt. What’s presented here is a weekly status report template in Word that outlines the headers, bullets, and tables you should include in a status report. We’ll also provide you project status update examples to apply to your projects and each step to take along the way.

You can adapt our project status report template to your own use and format it for yourself to send via TeamGantt, email, Slack post, or any other preferred project communication tool. Remember: The most important thing you can do is follow up on the post and make sure you discuss the details in person or by phone or even video conference.

All of these sections might not make sense for your projects, and that's okay. Give the descriptions below a read and make a judgment on your own about what you should include. Just remember: The more you share and the more transparent you can be, the better! Knowledge is power on projects, and you want your teams and clients to share that power.

How to write a project status report:

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 within 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. The message below is also a great sample email for project status updates:

2. Summary

Within this section of the weekly status report template, you should outline all of the things that have happened (or not happened) on your project in the past week, as well as what you expect to accomplish in the coming week. Bullets generally work in this section. These should be brief statements about the status of tasks, deliverables, meetings, communications, decisions, etc.

3. Overall project timeline completion

If you’re creating plans using our best practices, you’re creating your project in groups so you can report on the status of a phase, deliverable, or task. In this section of the weekly project update template, you should include the overall percent of completion of your project, as well as your project groups.

4. Budget status

Don’t keep your team or clients 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 are working on. Within our project status report template, we give you room to do both!

You also might consider sharing an overall percentage spent versus the number of hours spent. Do your due diligence here and discuss 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 your clients or team will get nervous about the status. Here’s a status report example:

5. Upcoming tasks and milestones

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

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

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, and be sure to assign ownership to each team member so everyone understands what's expected of them.

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 going to be 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 within the project update template to give you the ability to do so.

Any team member or stakeholder 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 be tracking risks on your projects, but you should still leave this section in your weekly status report. It’s important for your team and clients 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.

Download this free project status report template today!