What your Status Report Should Include
In a nutshell, your status report should include the following:
- your name, the name of the project and the date
- name of main contact or team members, if any
- how much work you completed during the week
- if you passed any milestones
- if you ran across any unsolvable problems or time-consuming delays
- if you are closer to completing the project than you were in the last report
- if you have the necessary resources to meet the deadline
- your plans for next week (just the highlights)
- and if, heaven forbid, you want to request a scope change
The main goal of status reporting is three-fold:
- To ease the manager’s mind when everything is going well, and
- To pat yourself on the back when you are doing well, and
- To facilitate the delivery of bad news in sufficient time that the situation can be easily rectified.
The Need for a Written Status Report
Even if your supervisor, manager or client (let’s just use ‘manager’) only asks for an oral report, it is a good practice to create a written status report anyway, if only for your records. You never know when you are going to be asked a question about what you did and when or when you spoke with so-and-so or when you requested something. Since everything that happens on a project doesn’t make it into your electronic calendar, a status report is as good a place as any to document project activities.
Preparing a hard copy of your weekly status report:
- Keeps you focused on your progress as well as project deadline
- Creates a written record of what you reported for the week, in case you need to refer to it later
- Helps you stay on track in the status meeting
To help you remember what you did, make quick notes during the week regarding your production, any unscheduled meetings you attended, the problems you solved, the new issues you uncovered, and the people who helped you.
Sample MS Word Status Report Form
I designed this status report form when I worked for a company that didn’t ask for status reports, neither written or verbal. For six months I worked by myself as a lone writer and Web designer. I created these reports and filled them out because I wanted to document what I was doing week after week. Even though no one asked for them, I attached a hard copy of the status report to my monthly invoice.
Name Reporting Date
Project Name / Number Project Due Date
Project Deliverable Description
Main Contact Secondary Contact
____________ number of pages written or revised
____________ number of screenshots taken, revised, resized and placed
____________ number of HTML pages created
SME input received from ________________________
SME input needed from _________________________
Highlights of work accomplished this week
Highlights of work to be accomplished next week
Any complications or setbacks dealt with this week?
Challenges? 1. 2.
Select the statement that best describes the current status of my work on this project:
a. I am right where I’m expected to be at this point
b. I am slightly behind, but expect to make up the time by
c. I am ahead of schedule
d. I am behind schedule and need help with _________________________
Most of the time I could get this report onto one page, sometimes one and a half.
Examples of Extreme Status Reports
Here is another one. Click the link below and then click Weekly Petroleum Status Report.
Now, aren’t you glad you only need to write a one-page report?
This post is part of the series: Creating Status Reports
Creating a weekly status report of your work on a software project is vitally important to the success of the project. But it need not be drudgery, it can be exciting and rewarding.