A status report is a document or presentation that provides an update on the progress of a project or task. It typically includes information on what has been accomplished, what remains to be done, any issues or challenges that have arisen, and any next steps.
The benefits of status reports include:
The specific information included in a status report may vary depending on the project and audience, but typically includes:
Status reports are best used when they are:
Outline what the project is, who is sponsoring it, why you’re doing it, who is managing it, and when it is due. The first part of the report should be an overall summary of the most basic information related to the project.
Explain what you have completed for the project to date. What milestones have you hit and what big wins have you had?
Touch on what needs to be addressed on next and what is the next step in the project. What is the next action item and who is in charge of completing it?
Let the audience know what the risks are going forward. How do you plan to mitigate these risks? What actions will be taking if you are unable to avoid these risks? Let them know if there is a backup plan.
Often the people reading the status update are the ones funding your project, so let them know how you’re spending their money. Illustrate how much of the budget you have spent, what you’ve spent it on, and how much is still left to spend. Do you project to go over budget? Or will you come in under?
The frequency of status reports may vary depending on the project and team, but they are typically prepared on a weekly or biweekly basis.
The audience for status reports may vary depending on the project, but typically includes project stakeholders such as sponsors, clients, and team members.
Any problems or issues should be included in the status report, along with a description of how they are being addressed. It is important to be transparent about any challenges to ensure they are addressed as soon as possible.
The length of a status report may vary depending on the project, but it should be concise and focused on actionable information. Generally, a one to two-page report is sufficient.