A project status report summarizes a project’s overall progress. A status report is an important communication tool that should be published to key stakeholders on a regular basis. The stakeholders to publish this to can be identified using frameworks like the Power Interest Grid and RACI.
Why do we publish a Status Report?
- Provides transparency into the project progress to all Stakeholders
- Ensures all blockers are identified to all relevant Stakeholders
- Ensures scope creep, if any, gets highlighted early in the Development cycle
- There are no surprises to the Stakeholders when we near a milestone. Any delays or blockers gets conveyed early
- It provides a good paper trail which can come in handy during reviews and retrospectives
Types of Status Reports
The frequency and nature of status reports would vary depending on the stakeholders it is intended for. Immediate Managers and the Project Team may be interested in receiving a Weekly Status Report. This report may be the most detailed in terms of the deliverables and its status.
A Monthly Status Report (or Dashboard) may be published to higher level Managers. This provides the status at a much-higher level. The interest of such a report is to highlight the overall status of the project and if its on track. Nitty-gritty details about the task-level issues/status ideally does not get captured in such a report.
Executive Leadership Status Reports gets published to the CXOs of a company. These may just be high-level dashboard with colour-coding to signify the overall health of the project or engagement. The objective is to highlight key accomplishments and what help is needed from the Leadership Team.
External Vs Internal Status Reports. The language used in the above reports may change depending on the target audience. When sharing reports with external stakeholders, it is very important to focus on the language. External Reports tend to focus on broader project level issues. Internal Reports on the other hand must be very transparent. Calling a spade a spade is very important here since we need very actionable solutions to address any of the key issues that gets highlighted.
There are several templates available that you can use as a starting point for creating one that suits your needs. Refer the following: