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Create Useful Project Status Reports: A Comprehensive Guide

Writing and delivering comprehensive and useful project status reports is an essential responsibility for a project’s success. Everybody, including stakeholders, project team members, management, and CIO/CEO-level sponsors, will be interested in the details of the work in progress.
Different audiences will need to understand and know certain details about a project. Therefore, a report may be rewritten in a different format and language to meet those needs.
Learn more: How to write a project report
What is a Project Status Report?
A project status report summarizes the details of a project’s progress along the timeline. It includes key milestones and goals, as well as deadlines. This report is written by the project manager with input from key team members and team leaders.
These details must be understood by the project manager, who should be able to discuss them on a regular basis and answer any questions throughout the project’s lifecycle.
What is included in a Project Status Report
The following should be included in standard project status reports:
A summary of project details, including project name, program and start dates.
A list of key stakeholders, team members, and project owners
The status date and the cadence of this report (daily/weekly, monthly, quarterly).
A summary of the project scope & budget
To show what must happen before something else, a timeline of key and cross project dependencies (if any) is created
Call out key issues and blockers, and what is being done to address them
Benefits of Project Status Reports
Status reports are created by project managers to keep project stakeholders informed about the latest progress and details. It is a quick reference to key milestones and transitions between phases of the timeline at a high-level.
This report has many benefits, including easy visibility into successes as well as identifying blockers. It keeps communication open and simple throughout the organization.
Read more: The Biggest Mistakes When Reporting Digital Marketing Project Results To Clients
Project Status Reports vs Project Health Reports
It is important to be aware of the differences between project status reports, and project health reports. These reports may not be obvious to those who receive them.
A project status report is a formalized report that is provided to project stakeholders. It regularly reports on the project’s progress as it moves through a plan. It lists the things that have been completed as well as what remains open. This report provides a detailed history of the project from its inception to its completion.
The project health report is a separate document that identifies risks and issues in a project. It can be used to address them early. Early intervention and attention can help you save time and money.
This report is different than the view of daily and weekly execution of tasks in that it gives a better view of the overall status. There is less task-based detail. It can also list all active projects and compare them to give a more comprehensive view of the program.
Project Status Report Cadence
Depending on the project and the audience, the frequency with which project status reports are sent can vary. The weekly status report is the traditional format and usually follows. It includes details from the week’s work and shows status updates and changes for the following week.
To help with project planning, budgeting and juggling team resources decision-making in the coming months, a monthly report may be necessary.
It may be more beneficial to check in with people on their own for some weeks, rather than attending the weekly status meeting.