For teams who balance many tasks, priorities, and projects, keeping each other and management updated about what’s going on is key to success.
Project Status Reports are a way to present updates on a project to provide valuable insight regarding team productivity and overall progress.
In this article, we will give you some tips on how to not only write a status report, but to create an effective Simple Project Status Report to help you predict the future of your project as well as to make sure you stay on the right path deadline wise, budget wise, and task completion wise.
7 Tips for Better Project Status Reports
Project Status Report Tip #1: Keep information consistent
As with any report, you want to make sure that your report is written in brief terms, yet still specific enough to communicate with your team about what the project is to accomplish.
If you show some information, for example, the goals of the project or the percentage finished of the progress one week, then you should show it in your report the next week.
In the process, your team will know what to expect when reporting time comes around and they will have a baseline to rely on.
Project Status Report Tip #2: Think about the scope of the information
Does your team need specific details regarding what is expected of them, or rather a simple, broad overview? You want to take time to think about how you are presenting the information so that your reports will pay off and create the best outcomes.
Think results, not activities.
Keeping this in mind, your report does not have to be super extensive. In fact, your report should be no more than one page.
When creating a Project Status Report for my team, I often determine a plan of attack for my project, looking at it from a broad view, and then I work out the details
With reports, honesty is the best policy
You need to be honest about any challenges that might be blocking you from achieving your end goals. If you are facing specific challenges, bring them up sooner rather than later.
It is extremely important to enter accurate information into your reports to make sure that everything gets done.
This will help you resolve them right away before they become bigger issues.
Project Status Report Tip #4: Use a tool
There are many Project Management tools and software that include reporting capabilities. Tools like these capture the information process in your Project Management system and generate reports to save time.
Priority Matrix is one that is used by numerous Project Managers in various industries not only to manage progress and task completion within their projects, but to create easy-to-read reports automatically. These visual reports usually look at progress in a variety of dimensions through words, charts, and graphs to:
- Explain project progress
- Track team member activity
- Provide insight into what’s to come
- Help identify any potential issues at hand
Ensure that the report is easy to access
There is no point of spending your valuable time creating the report and saving it to your personal desktop solely for your usage.
Put your report in the cloud or distribute it in an email to management. This way, your entire team has access to it when needed.
Project Status Report Tip #6: Include Visuals
What is one of the most important things you should include in a project status report? Visuals!
Visuals help us process information faster. Include charts and graphs to convey information quickly and efficiently. It is a lot easier than reading a list of percentages and data. Tools like Priority Matrix mentioned above do this for you automatically.
Project Status Report Tip #7: Next Action Steps
Project Status Reports should definitely focus on the past and the present, but the future is equally important, if not more important.
Conclude your report with next action steps. This helps to provide a vision as to where the project is going and also allows you to take an honest look at your progress.
Project status reports are an effective to keep management up-to-date and save valuable time in meetings. With a quality report, your team members will be able to see their specific progress so that they can get the most out of their effort. Follow these 7 tips above for better workplace efficiency and effective project management.