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A Project Status Report is just a formal report to communicate the status of a running project. There is no rocket science involved in creating a status report. When you are handling a project, your seniors, clients, and even team members will need the status of various parts of the project. For that purpose, a status report is prepared. This report is comprehensive yet so on the point that people involved in the project execution as well as the client can easily understand it. Organizations use project status reports to keep their clients up to date with the progress and although these reports usually matter when a project takes weeks and even months to complete, it’s not uncommon to prepare a status report about a project that only took hours or a couple of days to finish.
Uses and importance of Project Status Reports:
The use of a project status report is what the title suggests; a written timeline of all the steps and milestones of the project. On a macro level, this report will include the actual status of the project, where everything is at this point, and how much time it will take to complete the full project and the next milestone on a micro level, this report shows the hurdles, risks involved in the completion of the project, critical decision made for successful completion and alternatives are taken for a better outcome. Usually, when an important project is running, there are various departments involved, and a big team is working on the project. When multiple people are working on the same part of the project, there might be chances of occurring errors and mistakes. However, this status report eliminates any critical mistakes to happen. In case a mistake does happen, the status report will enlighten who is to blame for the error or mistake.
Because the project status report is presented to clients, company executives, and team members, the format is usually kept very simple and brief. There might be some jargon but that’s hard to replace when a project involves mechanical or engineering work. This report when presented to the clients, allows them to see their money is put in a good place. They can easily evaluate if they have invested with the right team and soon the result will satisfy their needs. Seeing that everything is on track, they will keep investing money and that’s what matters the most. On the other hand, when this status report is presented to company executives, they can eliminate the areas where resources are wasted and emphasize on the parts of the project that need more resources to keep the timeline on track.
Free Project Status Report Templates
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Market Practices of Project Status Reports:
Project’s General Information:
The good news about a project status report is that once the first report is prepared, there are lots of things that will remain the same until the project is completed. This means when you create the first report, it should include the title of the project, the name of the client, the date on which the project was confirmed by the client, the date on which the project was started, the name of the person in charge and his team members.
General Status Details:
This is also a very crucial part of the project status report and unless new team members are included in the project later, this part will also remain the same in all reports. Here in this part, you need to give a specific serial number to the project which will allow you to track it easily in the future. This part also mentions the responsibilities and duties of each team member but keeps them very short and to the point. One more important thing to mention here is the date on which the report is prepared and the person who prepared it.
Project’s Milestone Evaluation:
This part is actually what you need to update every time a new report is made either on a weekly or monthly basis. When a project starts, the team members break it into smaller pieces called milestones. These are not day-to-day tasks but important points that need to be achieved for successful project completion on time. With the project status report, there is a discussion about which milestones are already achieved, what the team hopes to achieve before the next status report and a brief comparison of what was expected and what is accomplished.
Problems and Risk Evaluation:
When you compare what you wanted to achieve and what you have achieved, there is a difference that tells you there is something not right. This part of the project status report should put some light on the problems that the team is having whether it’s related to manpower or resources. The author also needs to describe what measures should be taken to overcome any delays by the time the next status report is created and the risks involved in case no change is implemented.
Conclusion and Suggestions:
Most of the time, there are problems that team members need to handle for the successful completion of a project and a project status report shows those problems that need immediate attention. Usually, the author of a status report is a well-trained person who knows what he is talking about which means he can also give suggestions to overcome delays and ways to eliminate the same problems from happening again in the future. In the end, there is the conclusion of the project status that includes if everything is on track or project is going to be delayed.