This 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 status report template will help you, your stakeholders and internal team stay honest about your work, process, budgets, and issues. Making the 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.
There’s no doubt that the project status template we’re providing you is simple and easy to adapt. What’s presented here is a weekly report format in Word that outlines the headers, bullets, and tables you should include in a status report. We’ll also provide you status report format examples to apply to your projects and each step to take along the way.
You can adapt our 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 is 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.
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 this week’s report. This will guide your readers to the most important parts of the report and prepare them for the follow-up discussion about them. The message below is also a great sample email for status updates:
Within this section of the weekly progress 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.
If you’re creating plans using our best practices, you’re creating your project in groups so that you can report on the status of a phase, deliverable, or task. In this section of the weekly activity report template, you should include the overall percent complete of your project, as well as your project groups.
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 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:
This might feel redundant based on what you listed in the “Summary” section, but think of this as just another way of listing important milestones, or even upcoming holidays or events, within your project status report that you need everyone to note.
Take the 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 that you use the table in the status report template each time you send it out to your team to articulate specific items. This will help people to read and view details easily.
Projects are more than tasks and milestones. In fact, you typically have to track a number of to dos or action items in order to meet those milestones. Use the simple table within our project 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 that everyone understands what is expected of them.
There is 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 that 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 is a risk for you!
Also: You might not always be tracking risks on your projects, but you should still leave this section in your project status report. It’s important for your team and clients to know that you’re looking for potential issues at all time. Plus, if there’s nothing there to report, you can end your status check-in on a high note!