5 Steps to Creating a Status Report
Status reports are progress updates on projects for people who need to be kept in the loop. Status reports can be for managers, fellow coworkers, or people outside of the project like stakeholders. The goal of a status report is to let the audience know what stage the project is in on its way to completion. The report should outline whether the project is on track to be completed by the deadline and what milestones have already been hit.
- Start with a Summary – 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.
- What Have You Accomplished So Far? – Explain what you have completed for the project to date. What milestones have you hit and what big wins have you had?
- What Needs to be Worked on Now? – 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?
- What are the Risks? – 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.
- How’s the Budget Looking? – 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?