Writing a Strong IT Status Report (+ Free Templates)
An IT project report is a tool to communicate the progress of a project to the clients, management, and also stakeholders. Also, it provides a history of the project you can revisit to track progress, conduct assessments, and review the project. So, an information technology status report is just like any project status reports, and the only difference is that this report presents the status of the information technology project in a company or in an organization.
It contains information and updates on the overall status of key IT initiatives, accomplishments or changes in IT during the reporting period, obstacles and issues, and anticipated the main activities or accomplishments in the following reporting period.
A good IT status report will capture the value in a project and will present the business value of IT.
- How to Write a Strong IT Status Report Part 1
- IT Status Report Free Templates Download Part 2
- How to Make Status Reporting 10x Easier Part 3
- Additional Sources Part 4
To make the IT report strong and comprehensive, you must include these factors:
Project Overview and Basic Information
Include a brief description of the project and its purpose. This should be short, but concise enough, to provide any reader of the report a complete background about the project. Information such as the key stakeholders or sponsors, project start and end date, project cost, funding type, project staff, and others should also be in the IT project report.
The Accomplishment Versus the Plan
In layman’s terms, the difference between what you plan and what you actually accomplish is variance. To ensure that the project deliverables are completed on time, resources are still adequate, and schedule and the budget are maintained, project managers should assess the project using varying analysis.
The result of such analysis should be included in the report especially when decisions are to be made in terms of the project’s budget, schedule, and scope to be able to address any possible or future problems the project may have.
Project Status Indicators
Perhaps, the most important component of an IT project report is its status. Furthermore, one commonly used method to describe the health of a project is through the use of color coding to indicate where the project is at the moment.
Another component to quantify the progress of the project is through project milestones. In this section, the project is assessed based on whether the milestones and project deliverables complete on its schedule.
Also, some major IT project milestones may include requirements, phase, prototype approval, design/code reviews, tests completion, system acceptance by the customer, documentation delivery, and others.
Just like any other undertaking, the budget or the financial aspect of an IT project must also be assessed in order to see whether the project is operating within its allocated budget, the fund was spent judiciously, as a result, all expenses made are within the approved procurement plan.
If there is a variance in the budget, the project report is an ideal medium to explain the reason behind it, including the idea on how to get the project back on track.
Changes in Project Scope
Changes are inevitable, even in IT projects. However, these changes must be approved first before they are actually implemented. They also need to be documented in order to assess its impact in terms of budget, timelines, and deliverables.
You may also include other elements or sections, depending on what the company requires or what the top management and stakeholders would want to know.
Consider What the Reader Needs to Know.
Think of what the receiver of the report would want to know about IT status. Pull together all necessary information for the reader to have a clear picture of how IT projects, programs, and also services are performing.
Also, take into consideration that there might be a need to communicate on multiple levels. If so, there will be a need to create different reports for different recipients. A status report for the top management may not be as detail-oriented as the report for a project manager, but it should revolve around the impact and results of each IT accomplishment. Do not forget to include necessary information about the project.
Make Sure It Has Information That Gives Readers Ideas of What the Report or Section Is About.
This information should include the project’s name, project manager’s name, duration, and also a short description of the project. Other kinds of the status report use color coding to indicate the overall status of projects, and this scheme might also be applicable to an IT progress report.
It Should Hold Information Which Can Be Used for Decision-Making.
IT is a specialized field which involves a lot of technical concepts and terms. An IT person might get too excited to report on a big number of codes he was able to write or create a program, but that might be meaningless to a non-IT person who may not have an idea of how those codes contributed to the overall project.
As much as possible, refrain from using too many technical terms and jargon.
In addition, focus on how IT accomplishments and issues will impact organization goals or project performance.
Make It Understandable but Do Not Miss Important Things.
The purpose of coming out with an IT status report is to provide an understanding of the state of the IT. Though there is a need to minimize too many technical concepts in a status report, keep in mind that the readers will need to have an appreciation of the milestones, accomplishments, and issues related to IT.
Also, the ability to translate technical concepts into something that a regular reader can easily comprehend is a key in creating a universal understanding and appreciation of the IT’s contribution to the projector in an organization.
Doing this on an IT status with the stakeholders and decision makers makes it easier for the team to control IT demands, justify expenses and also security staff for future IT projects.
IT Status Report: Free Download
Free online tools for work:
1. Fluxes.com — Free Project and Task Management Software
2. Status.net — Software for Daily and Weekly Status Reports
How to Make Status Reporting 10x Easier
How to configure status reports on status.net:
- Create an “IT Status Report” applet — customize our preset forms or easily create a new form in minutes.
- Setup reminders if you want your team members to receive automatic reminders when their reports are due.
- Configure who will submit reports by choosing the “Participants” tab.
Step 2: Users will click the “Open Submission Form” button to fill in and submit the report.
Data such as the report type, date and name will be added automatically.
As soon as a new status report is added, participants with “View” rights can view it in real time.
- Set the applet as “Team-wide” if you want all team members to view each other’s status reports.
- Alternatively, you can make every participant to view his/her own reports only. Manager/stakeholders will view all reports.
- Add, remove, and assign new team members at any time.
Step 3 (Optional): Generate a report and export it to PDF.
(Skip this step if you share status reports online and don’t print them.)
Click “Generate Report”.
- Make reporting easier with auto-fill:
Fields such as date, name, report type, and formatting are inserted automatically by software.
- Consolidate reports automatically:
Reports created by your team members can be consolidated easily.
- Save time with auto-layout:
No need to spend hours in Word or Excel perfecting the report’s layout because it exports your updates into a beautifully crafted file with a couple of clicks.
- Peace of mind with auto-reminders:
No one forgets to fill in their status reports because status.net sends timely reminders according to the schedule you chose.
- Decrease time and effort spent on monthly, quarterly, and yearly reporting thanks to powerful filtering and export features.
- Optionally, enrich reports with the latest updates automatically added from web apps your team uses (such as popular free task management software Fluxes.com, and other project management tools, version control systems, support systems, financial applications, etc.) by connecting these apps to your status applet.
- Quick sharing:
Status reports can be either
– exported to files and printed, or sent by email;
– shared with the manager online (in real time);
– shared online (in real-time) as company-wide or team-wide status reports, i.e., all team members share their progress with each other — spend less time on meetings.
Sign up now to make status reporting easier for your team.