The status report formats/examples start on page 3
What This Is
Five different formats and types of status information that can be used to summarize and communicate project
status to the team and Management.
§ Document formats to capture status on one page and easily hand out, post, or email.
§ Simple 3-slide set for presenting top-level status to management in meetings
§ One-page format for summarizing status on multiple projects.
Why It’s Useful
Regular status reports help ensure that the team has clear visibility to the true state of a project and that
Management stays properly informed about project progress, difficulties, and issues, by periodically getting the
right kinds of information from the project manager. Frequent communication of project status and issues is a
vital part of effective project risk management.
The reports should let management know whether the project is on track to deliver its outcome as planned, and
must highlight to management any place where their decision-making or direct help is needed.
How to Use It
1. Review the included status report formats and select the one that seems most appropriate for your needs,
or create your own hybrid.
2. In communication planning with your team and stakeholders during the project front-end, decide on the
initial period for the status report and who should receive it. This can be documented in your
3. Decide on appropriate definitions for indicators in the report. For example, if you choose a format that calls
for a ‘red, yellow, green’ indicator of project health: Green can mean the project is on track for hitting
schedule, cost, and requirements (scope) goals, and there are no major issues; Yellow can mean early
warning of potential risk to either cost, schedule, or scope, and refer the reader to the Issues section for
details; and Red can mean that one or more serious issues have put project success in jeopardy. Adjust
these definitions to fit your project’s critical success factors and goals.
4. The project manager then creates and sends this report at the agreed-upon frequency to the recipients.
Note that you don’t have to wait until the Execution Phase of the project to start sending status reports –
updating the team and stakeholders during the earlier project phases is a good way to increase project
knowledge and decrease risk. It is essential to be periodically updating the team and stakeholders by the
Execution Phase at the latest. Also, you can change the frequency of the reports as necessary—a bi-weekly
report can become weekly during a time of intense project activity.
5. Pay attention to the type and level of detail the report suggests. Sometimes communication with
management can be of low quality because too MUCH information is provided, and busy executives can't
determine what actions they need to take to help the project.
Special note for small projects: If you’re on a relatively short timeframe project or a project with a very small
team—say a very short feature enhancement to an existing product or an internal department project, or any
similar, very straightforward effort—it may seem like no formal status reporting is needed. Before you reach this
conclusion think about the following:
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