Status Reports for Project Managers

When managing projects, keeping stakeholders in the loop, and communicating progress is extremely important. A well-written project status report can help to standardize the process of answering high-level information, which often includes milestones, work accomplished, risks, and roadblocks.

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What Is a Project Status Report?

A project status report is a document that summarizes a project’s overalls progress. The goal of a project status report is to inform key people regarding the progress of a project and to address any questions or issues before they arise. Commonly, a project status report informs progress against the projected project plan, this is done to ensure that the project is on track to be completed within the designate time frame.

Project status reports are a critical part of project management because they help to maintain a healthy and effective communication strategy, by providing regular updates to your project team, clients, and your stakeholders. Additionally, a status report can simplify the communication process by standardizing a formal report that will keep everyone in the loop, which can help to minimize questions and doubts regarding any section of your project. 

Why Use a Status Report to Communicate Progress?

Status reports show your clients and stakeholders that you’re on track by keeping a formal communication channel to ensure goals are being met as planned. They also help to provide a documented history of the project, which will benefit future projects. 

A well-written status report should feel like a handy guide for your stakeholders and your team members. Some of the main benefits are:

  • They improve communication across teams, clients, and stakeholders, and they simplify the process.
  • They deliver key messages and keep people informed regarding progress, risks, issues, or delays. 
  • They provide transparency into the progress toward previously defined milestones.
  • They help prevent unpleasant surprises.
  • They help provide a paper trail that helps to document the entire lifecycle of the project.

What to Include in a Project Management Status Report

We’ve discussed the importance of sending out regular project status reports. But what should you include in one? Structure and consistency are two of the most critical aspects. Follow this guide to understand what to include in your next project status report:

  1. General project information. Start with the basics: include the name of the project, as well as the name of the project manager. How many people are working on this project? What are the resources? This is the information that will prove to be useful when doing historic research on your projects.
  2. General status information. Include the date on which the report was generated, author, as well as any other relevant information, such as indicating whether the project is currently on track, at risk, or off track.
  3. Milestone review. Stakeholders care about milestones, so make sure to indicate how you are doing in terms of meeting those previously identified milestones.
  4. Project summary. Provide a brief summary of your project. Keep in mind that the goal is to communicate the most important aspects to people that don’t have time to read an entire overview of your project. Include a forecasted completion of tasks and make sure to inform stakeholders of any issues or problems that might impact the deadline or costs of the project.
  5. Risks. Are you dealing with any potential risks? Include a quick explanation as to how you’re planning to resolve them. How will they impact your project? Explain.
  6. Budget. Address the budget you have spent. It’s always a good idea to note the overall status of your budget: behind, ahead, or on target. 
  7. Highlights. Use this section to add any additional information. Have you run into any roadblocks? Will there be any particular challenges along the way? It’s also a good idea to include next steps, or to mention relevant highlights. 

As you can see, status reports don’t need to be super detailed. It’s about providing the most relevant information in a summarized way, indicating stakeholders if your project is on track, at-risk, or off track. 

Keep Everything on Track With Perfectly Built Project Status Reports

Project status reports are an excellent way for project managers to communicate summarized information to clients, teammates and stakeholders. Writing status reports using Microsoft Word, Excel Templates, or PowerPoint can be a common approach, but those tools can only go as far. There wouldn’t be a way to easily inform the progress of certain tasks next to each of their deadlines, or to easily create and visualize milestones, just to mention a couple of downsides. And this is exactly where a Gantt chart software like Instagantt can truly make a difference. 

Instagantt, one of the best gantt chart software, helps you manage your entire project, and you can also create regular project status reports. Thanks to our Export & Share options, you will be able to generate check-points of your project, which you can then easily share with your clients and stakeholders, making sure everyone stays informed at all times. 

Project Status Report

Project Status Report Example

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