Keeping track of ongoing projects is one of the top items on any employee or manager’s priority list. Understanding where everyone stands when it comes to every single task or project in the pipeline will prevent revenue loss, productivity loss, and other costs to your business over time.
Ensure that nothing falls through the cracks by building an effective project status report template to refer to in your project management system. Read on to learn our favorite tips and tricks for creating a successful project status report template and review status updates for your unique workflows.
What is a Project Status Report?
Before you build a status report that can effectively track and analyze project lifecycles, you should understand what it’ll be used for. Why is keeping an updated project status report template important for small and established brands?
Basically, this is a formulaic way to track the status of ongoing, past, and pending projects. Using a customized project status report template is more streamlined instead of each worker using their own method to stay on top of deadlines, action items, and pending alerts.
In general, your project status report should answer a few key questions:
- What is the Report About?
The first step to building any type of tracking document is to name the report. Choose a name that is concise, clear, and relevant to the topic or subject matter.
Also consider adding a date or timestamp for easy archiving and future review.
Gryffin’s easy-to-use dashboard interface makes it easier than ever to go through past status reports, or to access previous templates.
- What is the Project Status?
Knowing whether or not a project is on track is essential for staying on top of busy weeks, and preventing tasks from falling through the cracks.
Use tags or category markers to determine whether or not a project needs immediate attention, or if it can be pushed back behind higher-priority items. Additionally, this can help teams stay connected and on top of projects that are at-risk of falling behind schedule.
- Can You Summarize the Project or Task in a Few Sentences?
Providing a quick summary of every action item or update on your project status report is a great tool for anyone who has access to the information. For example, this can provide auxiliary team members with the information necessary to pick up where another employee left off.
The summary of your project or objective should read like a quick breakdown of the most important aspects. This can include information such as:
- Numbers and data regarding survey, test, or analysis outcomes
- Who is working on a particular project
- Current project status
- Hurdles, questions, and ongoing issues
- What are the Key Milestones?
Whether your project is completed, pending, or in-progress you should have an idea of what you want to accomplish in the end. Highlighting these goals is important when you’re building a project status report, and this should be included as a basic field in all of your templates.
Milestones can be organized chronologically, or in order of status or priority. This is an exceptional way to keep everyone on the team focused and on the same page.
- What’s the High-Level Analysis of Each Segment?
Can you summarize every critical component of your project status report with a quick elevator pitch? Being able to write up a succinct high-level explanation will not only help you to keep your thoughts in order, but will reduce unnecessary tasks and busy work throughout the process.
Listing every detail about what needs to be completed and what is already done will just confuse and bog down everyone in the process. Provide only the information that’s essential for moving the project along.
- Are All Necessary Documents and Files Linked in the Report?
To ensure that all of the deliverables and media in a project stay organized, be sure to include links in the status report as you add updates.
Connecting links in the project itself makes it easier for anyone to access the files and information they need to complete their work from any location or device with an internet connection. This has the potential to greatly change the way businesses run online and in store.
- Can Your Troubleshoot Using the Report?
Often, you can tell a lot about the efficacy or success of a specific strategy or project dynamic simply by studying the output metrics. When you have all the information about your project in one centralized location, it’s easy to get a bird’s eye view of what still needs to be finished, fixed, or assessed.
Project status troubleshooting can lead to a total cost savings of more than 40%.
Large brands have a lot to save when it comes to cutting down on spending, timecard theft, redundancies, and other costs. This is also imperative for growing brands that are still trying to get off the ground, especially while every penny counts.
- Have You Provided Notes and Feedback?
Every project status report template should include a space to add notes and comments regarding the project in question. This is a valuable asset for anyone who will be referring to the report during or following the completion of each task.
Once you know what you need to include in your own project status report template, you can get started on building the perfect plan for each and every task that’s thrown your way.
Big or small, read on to learn how Gryffin’s project management software can help you streamline assignments and breeze through every single project timeline.
Step One: Learn How to Use Dashboards
Responsive dashboards are essential in any fully functional project management platform. This all-in-one reporting feature provides users with a fast and simple look at everything they need to know about a particular project.
Our seamless dashboard platform shows a wide range of project components in one place, including:
- Assigned users
- Linked files and documents
- Notes and comments
- Outstanding tasks
- Performance metrics
- Status cues and updates
- Dynamic alerts
Simply log on, select the project you want to review, and access the visual representation of the assignment you’re working on.
To walk through the different tabs and sections in the dashboard, scroll to see the different ways to track the progress of your project.
The dashboard is customizable, and can be adjusted to the needs of a specific brand or team. This is important for considering the strengths and weaknesses of each individual function, especially in the current remote-heavy workplace environment.
Keeping track of your work with a cloud-hosted project management dashboard has the potential to save your company more than 153 hours per year!
Step Two: Analyze Workspace Stages
Where does everyone stand when it comes to their individual role in a particular project or objective? Your project status report should easily outline where every worker or partner stands in regard to their contribution to a specific project.
An easy way to include this in your report template is to break down each stage into bite-sized objectives.
Using the tasks summary widget in the user dashboard, there is a separate clickable button for each stage in the project timeline: pending, in progress, overdue, today, and later. This is a great tool for helping people to segment their time effectively in order to stay within project deadlines and production standards.
If you want to identify patterns among workers regarding certain tasks, you can look at the timing section to determine how everyone is working, how long projects are taking, and when roadblocks are taking place.
Another helpful area for checking up on the status of a project is the user breakdown summary. In this portion, key data can be attributed to a particular individual, team, or group.
Step Three: Refer to Calendar View for Project Review
Your project status dashboard should also have a one-page view of your workweek, month, or year at a glance. This data is presented clearly in Gryffin’s calendar project view.
Additionally, users are able to get a full-picture idea of how teams or individuals are managing timelines. Instead of scrolling through pages of text, you can view a diagram that shows when a project has been completed late, on time, or in advance.
Just like tracking investments on your favorite stock app, it’s much easier to see how well your team is doing with a particular task or assignment when you’re able to see the data visually represented in a one-page format.
This tool is effective for managing a full editorial calendar, social media schedule, project timeline, or other lifecycle measurement.
Step Four: Use Metrics and Reporting to Track User Data
One of the most valuable quantifiable benefits of using project management software is having quick and easy access to metrics regarding the status, trajectory, and projected outcome of your pending projects.
How many employees are completing their projects regularly on time? Which projects are still in the works, and which should be finalized? Are there any indications that productivity slows during a particular time of the year, month, week, or day? All of these questions, and more, can be easily answered using data-based user metrics through our cloud-based software.
For workers who struggle with planning and time management, this is a great way to help them stay focused and on task. Instead of relying on periodic progress reports and meetings to assess their performance, individuals can see their own projects, assignments, and accomplishments with an online or mobile account.
Step Five: Draft Your Project Status Report Template
When it’s time to draft your template, your outline could look like this:
How can you easily remember and access the details of this project?
Is this project active, pending, in progress, or overdue?
Provide a high-level explanation of the highlights of this project, focusing on what is still outstanding if applicable.
Who is collaborating to complete this project, and in what capacity?
Action item 1
Action item 2
Action item 1
Action item 2
Action item 1
Action item 2
Did you notice any issues or alarming instances during the project lifecycle? Are there any outstanding questions or concerns that need to be addressed before the project can be completed?
Add any remarks or questions given by the team members, at any point during the timeline.
How Often Should You Fill Out a Project Status Report?
The frequency which you report out depends on the organization and circumstances of your workflow, but weekly reports work well for most managers. This gives employees agency to manage their own timelines, while allowing team leads and managers to check in regularly and address issues in a timely manner.
Weekly reports might also be the sweet spot for organizations that want to reduce the amount of meetings and touch points they hold regularly. During social distancing and remote work, it can be difficult to connect regularly – even over video chat and Zoom.
Using a project status report to “check in” with the members of your team and outstanding tasks can save you time (and money) in a short amount of time.
Following a consistent and cohesive template structure will help all team members maintain the same access and level of control over their project reports. This will help everyone to understand what needs to be done to most efficiently complete pending, active, or overdue tasks with ease.
The key to any successful business is the ability to recognize, address, and optimize areas where the enterprise can be improved. For many businesses, especially in the current digital landscape, this means streamlining workflows and maximizing resources. Utilizing a project status report template to organize all of your future plans and procedures will simplify the process for everyone throughout the org line.
Use these tips to create an individualized project status report template that meets the needs of your unique brand, group, or organization.