A team might be assigned to work on a single project, with multiple sub-projects underneath one overarching goal. Keeping track and reporting the status of every single project the team is working on is quite difficult. In addition to that, not knowing what necessary information to include in the report has an effect on how the report will turn out. Too much information on different projects in a single document might make it hard to read. On the other hand, a report too brief or with lesser details will not realize the purpose for which the report was made for. It might even lead to the conclusion that the projects were not running well, and will reflect on the performance of the team working on it.
- How to Write an Effective Project Status Report Part 1
- Project Status Report Template Download Part 2
- How to Make Project Status Reporting 10x Easier Part 3
- Additional Resources Part 4
Here are the main points to consider first:
Determine the Reporting Goals.
Gather or list all the data that the recipients of the report might want to see. If the report is for the department or team head, a day-to-day progress of the projects might be provided.
Meanwhile, a report for the senior managers needs to be more concise, with emphasis whether the project is meeting its milestones or is on track.
Identify Metrics for Each Project.
The performance standards for each project might be different from each project, depending on its nature.
The important thing is to be able to identify which metrics would show the essential progress of a particular project.
Choosing the right ones will make the report easier to produce and also read.
Determine Common Performance Standards Across All Projects.
One may notice that there are common performance standards among all the projects and this might be the same metrics the top management would want to see. Furthermore reporting using the standard parameters, as a basis, might be sufficient enough for a top-level project status report.In addition, reports intended for lower-level recipients might include both the standard project metrics and the specific ones for each.
Do Not Forget the Basics.
The most important part of project status reports is the progress of each project, but also, there are essential parts of the report which are equally important, in order for the project status report to convey its message.
- Summary. Include a brief discussion of the highlights of the main or the overarching project, as well as what the team expects to accomplish in the coming weeks or months, depending on the reporting terms.There should also be a discussion on the status of tasks, deliverables, communications, decisions, and other key aspects of the project, using bullet points.
- Project Timeline. The report is about multiple projects under one primary campaign so it is also necessary to include the percentage of each project completion since one project might only commence once the other one was done or has reached a particular.
- Financial Status. Also, it’s interesting to know whether the budget for the project is enough or if it has been used judiciously.
WHAT TO INCLUDE:
Here are the essential parts to include in the project status report to make it efficient:
Overall Project Status
Provide a paragraph summarizing the status of the project, as of reporting time. It shouldn’t be more than three to five sentences to ensure that what will be in this part is just a brief discussion of where the project is.
Also, include a discussion of the key issues that the project or team encountered during the reporting period.
The recipient would also appreciate if the report will also explain what has been done or is being done to address the issues or resolve the problem.If the team has no capability to solve the problem on its own and needs the intervention of top management or another department, this is the part where that statement should go.
Aside from the critical issues, it is also important to bring to the attention of the higher management any significant risks involved in the implementation of the project. in addition, discuss the likelihood and the impact of this risk to the project.
Also, any recommendation or suggestion on how to lessen the impact and the probability of this risk makes the report more insightful and valuable.
Provide a short assessment of the financial health status of the project. Discuss whether the project can be completed using the budget allocated for it. If it’s not, it’s a chance to cite why the budget will not cover everything.
Desired Actions from the Stakeholders
Other than those above, all decisions, actions, and inputs for various stakeholders may also be in this portion.
It is nice to provide analysis of the data presented, but doing so is not really necessary or expected in this type of report.
Writing a project status report provides an excellent opportunity to highlight the team’s progress on the project they are working on. If you need more information about writing project reports, check this in-depth Step-by-Step Guide.
Project Status Report: Free Download Section
Free online tools to manage projects:
1. Status.net for Daily and Weekly Status Reports
2. Free Project and Task Management Software Fluxes.com
How to Make Project Status Reporting 10x Easier
How to configure status reports on status.net:
- Create a “Project 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 project 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.