How to prepare a project management report

A project management report is an essential project management tool.

It provides a summary overview of the project’s status that you can share with stakeholders, clients and team members. Ideally, the project report is just a page or two long. And it ensures everyone can quickly assess what’s on schedule, and what’s lagging behind or is overdue.

Good communication, management, and organization are central to effective  project management . Regular project management reports help to ensure your project stays on track. And you can also use project reports to manage risk, as well as monitor budgets, and timelines.

Furthermore, the project report can double up as a record-keeping tool for past decisions and actions.

The frequency of your project management report depends on the project’s size and complexity. Monthly reporting is a minimum requirement for most projects, and many produce weekly status reports.

It’s also good practice to produce project management reports throughout the entire lifecycle of the project.

What information needs to be included in a project management report?

The report’s purpose is to update all  project stakeholders  on progress and identify any major issues that might have arisen..

The detail may vary from project to project, but all project management reports should include the following information:

Project milestones

Latest project update

Current project health

The aim is to provide a high-level snapshot of where things are at. Project stakeholders want to be able to see at a glance the project’s status. Make sure your project report clearly identifies the following:

An assessment of the project’s progress against the project plan: Is the project ahead or behind schedule?

A rundown on tasks completed and what’s next in the pipeline: Is overall completion of tasks on track?

A summary of actual costs against budget: Is the budget over or underspent?

An overview of project risks and any issues identified: Has the project’s risk profile changed requiring action?

Plus, any action points or to-do items that need attention.

Tips on how to write a project management report

Keep it short and simple.  Project stakeholders don’t want to get bogged down in too much detail. The report should provide an accessible overview of the project’s status. A weekly 20-page document will simply go unread.

Be concise, and avoid technical jargon.  Not all stakeholders will be familiar with the project’s acronyms or technical terms. Make it an easy read for everyone by using everyday language.

Make it visual.  Charts, graphs, and diagrams will bring the data to life, making it much more accessible. In Teamwork.com, project management reports are color-coded to show the status of whether it’s completed, active or late. This makes it easier for project stakeholders to see at a glance where things are at.

Be honest about progress.  If the project is behind schedule or is over budget, it’s best to be upfront. After all, the sooner a problem is identified, then the sooner it can be resolved and the project can move forward.

Highlight any action points.  Make it easy for project stakeholders. If a client, team member or stakeholder needs to do something, then clearly identify what’s required, by who and when.

Project Management Reporting: Conclusion

A well-prepared project management report is an excellent tool for keeping everyone updated. Plus, it will help you to effectively manage the project and keep it on track.

For more information and advice on project management, check out our  project management workbook .

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How to write a project report: [templates + guide] 

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Writing a project report is an essential but often overlooked contributor to your project’s health.  However, without the use of automation and templates, it can be a little time-consuming to collect and organize the relevant data that the project generates.

In this post, we’ll explore the basics of project reporting. We’ve included some useful templates and tips to create clear and helpful project reports in less time.

If you want to start creating better project reports using monday.com, sign up today.

What is a project report?

A project report is a document where you share details about different areas of your project. Depending on the report type , your audience, and your intention, the details you showcase might differ.

Project reports can be broken down by time— daily, weekly, monthly, or quarterly— or a number of other factors like risk, budget, and project management style. Bottom line? They simplify the process of gathering and disseminating information about key information on the project. For instance, a typical report might include:

  • Resources you’ve used so far
  • How project time is being spent
  • How you’re doing against key performance indicators (KPIs)
  • Workload and team availability

What is the purpose of project reporting?

Reporting gives you, your team, and your stakeholders the ability to track project progress against the original plan. The main goal of a project report is to improve decision-making, to help you make sense of your project data, and decide what your next steps should be. This in turn can impact your budget, timeliness, and project success.

It also plays a vital role in your stakeholder engagement strategy, as it keeps everyone informed on the progress of projects they’re interested in. Those are just a few of the reasons why project reporting has become the most common activity among PMOs (Project Management Offices).

A graph representing the most popular activities undertaken by PMOs

( Image Source )

5 steps to create a useful project report

Project reports can be useful – or they can end up as a 20-page PDF that lives in a drawer somewhere. To put together a report that your project stakeholders can use to gain insights, make decisions and optimize processes, take the following systematic approach to writing your project reports:

1. Define the purpose and scope: Clearly establish the goals, objectives, target audience, and information needs of your project report. 2. Gather and organize data: Collect and organize all relevant data, ensuring its accuracy and reliability. 3. Structure and outline: Create a clear and logical structure for your report and outline the key points you want to cover. 4. Present information effectively: Use clear and concise language and visual aids like graphs or charts to present the information in an easily understandable, visually appealing manner. 5. Review and revise: Proofread your report for any errors or inconsistencies, ensure that it addresses the defined purpose and scope, and revise as necessary to improve clarity.

The different types of project management reports [with templates]

You can split project reports into different types and categories. Here are five different types of project mangement reports, with monday.com templates you can customize for your unique project and team set-up.

1. Project status report

Probably the most frequently used, a project status report offers a general overview of the current status of your projects. A project status report answers the question: “How likely is it that we’ll complete this project on time without overrunning costs?”

These reports analyze whether you’re meeting project goals and key performance indicators. With our single project template , creating a status report is easier than ever.

How to write a project report: [templates + guide] 

2. Resource workload report

Resource workload reports help you visualize what your team’s working on, when they’re working on it, and how much work is left. These also reports help you understand how your assets are being used and make sure your actions are aligned with the overall objective.

Our resource management template helps you organize all your assets, locations, and people into one place and track every action with accuracy. You can also manage your resource allocation initiatives and make sure you don’t assign the same resource twice in multiple tasks.

resource management screenshot in monday.com

3. Portfolio report

Portfolio reports take a look at all your projects and consolidate all the data into a single document. These reports capture high-level milestones, status, progress, and highlights of your portfolio strategy.

With our portfolio management template , you can track unlimited projects on a single board and get a quick snapshot of their health and profitability.

Portfolio management screenshot

4. Task list/Time-tracking report

Time-tracking reports, also known as timesheets, help you measure how your team is spending their time and spot potential bottlenecks.

With our team task list template , you can bring in your entire organization, assign tasks to peers, track time and measure the project progress at a glance.

monday.com's team task tracker screenshot

5. Expense report

A project might seem healthy – until everyone starts reporting expenses  at the end of the time period. With our expense tracking template , you can proactively manage your cash flow regardless of your accounting skills (or lack thereof!)

expense report in monday.com

Want to try out these templates – and much more? Check out monday.com today.

FAQs about Project Reports

What are the benefits of a project report.

A project report provides a comprehensive overview of a project’s objectives, progress, and outcomes, serving as a valuable documentation and communication tool. It allows stakeholders to assess your project’s effectiveness, identify areas for improvement, and make informed decisions based on reliable data.

What are the main types of project reports?

The most commonly used types of project reports include:

  • Progress reports
  • Resource management reports
  • Project portfolio reports
  • Time-tracking reports
  • Evaluation reports
  • Final reports

What are the main components of a project report?

This will depend on the project and the type of report you’re using, but project reports might include:

  • Project objective
  • Project scope
  • Project milestones
  • Project expenses or budget
  • Project schedule and timeline
  • Project progress
  • Resource management
  • Risk assessment
  • Stakeholder communication
  • Financial summary

How to create insightful project reports with monday.com

monday.com makes it easy to create effective project reports. Try it for yourself and see:

Business operations

Here’s why monday.com can make your project reporting better:

  • Track project data in a centralized location, so you have all the information you need to make useful reports.
  • Use monday.com’s customized visualization tools to visualize and summarize project data the way you want to see it.
  • Set up dashboards to see all of your projects at a glance.
  • Take advantage of monday.com’s reporting functionality . You can choose between built-in report templates or customized reports if you have more specific requirements.
  • Share your reports with project stakeholders , team members, or even clients directly from monday.com.
  • Our embedded communication tools let you collaborate on your reports in real-time, gather feedback, and address any questions or concerns.

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Project Management Report: Examples and Writing Tips

  • 1.  Project Management Basics
  • 2.  Project Management Methodologies
  • 3.  Project Management Life Cycle
  • 4.  Project Management Software
  • 5.  Team Collaboration Tips
  • 6.  Agile Methodology Basics
  • 7.  Agile Project Management Tools & Techniques
  • 8.  Project Management Frameworks
  • 9.  Resources
  • 10.  Glossary
  • Advanced Terminology
  • Methodologies
  • PM Software Features
  • Basic Terminology
  • Professional Development
  • Agile Project Management

How to Write a Project Management Report

A project management report is a summary overview of the current status of a project. It is a formal record of the state of a project at a given time. The exact form and details may vary depending on your company and project management office requirements. Many businesses have their own project management report templates their project managers adhere to.

Depending on the size and complexity of your projects, a project management report may be required weekly or monthly. It is provided to all project stakeholders to help keep them up to date with the progress of the project and any pressing challenges it may be facing. 

Project management reports are useful for all sorts of different types of projects across a variety of industries. For example:

  • A marketing project manager could provide a regular project status report to the entire organization so they can keep tabs on how the company rebrand is progressing
  • A software development team might use resource reports to effectively plan a sprint and ensure they have the resources they need
  • An executive might present a project risk report to the company’s board of directors to get guidance and help navigating potential issues and roadblocks
  • A project manager could use a project performance report to monitor the project budget, schedule, and success metrics, and share that crucial information with leaders
  • A leadership team could use a time tracking report to understand how the team’s time is being used and how the team could become more efficient

That’s only the beginning. There are numerous types of project management reports that can be used for an assortment of project goals and scenarios. 

Most project management reports are single-pagers but may have appendices or links to more information for stakeholders who wish to delve into the details. However, project reporting can be much more in-depth in some companies and circumstances.

But regardless of the specific report, the point remains the same: Project management reports are intended to provide a clearer understanding of a project — whether it’s only getting started, in progress, or just wrapped up. 

Project management reports are as unique as projects themselves.  

Whether you’re creating a one-page report or a comprehensive one, Wrike is the must-have tool for project planning, monitoring, and reporting.  

What is included in a project management report?

As you figure out how to prepare a project report, you’re bound to have one big question: What should you include?

The information you include in your project management report will largely depend on the type of project, the scope of the project, your organizational processes, as well as your goal in generating a project report in the first place. 

Understanding and appropriately allocating project resources will likely require more detail and a far more comprehensive report than providing a straightforward status update. And in general, more complex projects typically require more complex project reports. 

With that said, there are some standard elements that apply to project reports across nearly every industry, organization, and type of project. Whether you need them all or only a few, here are some key characteristics to consider when creating your own project report. 

Identifying project information

Think of this as the “basics” of your project. While it might seem like overkill to include it in every single project report you create, doing so (ideally, near the top of your report) gives people the necessary context they need about the project before reviewing the report.

You’re essentially laying the groundwork for them, which is especially important for people who might not be privy to every single report or who only need to be kept updated at a high level. They aren’t as close to the project, so they likely require regular refreshers.

  • Project name: Give your project a name to quickly and easily identify it. Resist the urge to get too creative — instead, name your project something instantly recognizable and intuitive (for example, “CompanyXYZ Website Revamp”).
  • Project number (if it has one): If your company uses project numbers or any other identifying code, include that on each report as well.
  • Name of project manager: If and when people have questions after reviewing the report, this means they can quickly understand their best point of contact for more information. 
  • Project sponsor(s): Your project sponsor is the person (or people) at the senior leadership level that’s providing resources and overall support for the project. For many people, it’s easy to confuse this person with the project manager. So, listing the sponsor on each report provides clarity about those roles.
  • Start date of the project: Timing matters for projects. Including the project’s start date at the top of the report helps people instantly glean how long the project has been progressing and how much time has already been invested. 
  • Expected end date: Projects don’t stretch into eternity (at least, they shouldn’t). Including the project’s anticipated end date with the start date means people can understand the overall timeframe of the project.
  • Customer name and information: If you work in professional services or any industry where you’re doing work for customers, the customer’s name and other identifying details should be included on the project report. That helps ensure accuracy in reporting and also makes file management a little easier. 
  • Date the project report is released: Particularly for long projects, you could generate many reports throughout the process — maybe even dozens of them. Dating each project report means you can maintain a paper trail and ensure those reports are easy to refer back to and make sense of in the future. 

Key metrics of project success

Exactly what metrics you report on will depend on the intention of your overall report. For example, a project risk report will dedicate much more space and detail to potential threats to the project while a project status report will focus far more on the tasks that have been completed and what’s still left to do. 

It’s important to include some project success metrics in each report you generate. Much like the basic identifying project information, it’s helpful context for any team members or stakeholders who review the report. Think of it almost like the project’s highlight reel. It’s a quick rundown of project performance that should be included at the beginning of your report (after the identifying information) or at the very end, depending on your report formatting. 

  • Schedule progress against plan: Is the project ahead of or behind schedule? How far ahead or how far behind? This helps people understand a more realistic timeline as well as how much time is left for the project.
  • Current cost versus budget: Is the project under budget or over? How much over or under? It can also be helpful to include a few notes or bullet points about how the budget or project plan will be adjusted or managed moving forward, particularly if you’ve already experienced severe overages.
  • Current scope compared to plan: Has the project scope changed since the project began? If so, how? Understanding how the scope evolves throughout the project will make it easier for everyone to manage resources and expectations.
  • Planned versus actual resourcing: Are any resources missing or overallocated? How will you secure or reallocate resources moving forward?
  • Overview of risks: Are there any high risks that need to be managed?
  • Current quality findings: Has quality testing been done? Were there any issues?

Additional information to include

  • Project change management : This is usually an update of any pending and approved change requests for the project.
  • Actions taken: This provides a high-level summary of key actions taken and decisions made since the last project report. It can also include accomplishments, such as milestones recently met.
  • Decisions required: If there is a crucial decision that needs to be made, this is the right place to share it, whose decision it is, and when it’s due. An example could be sponsor approval for the project management plan .
  • Upcoming milestones: Deliverables due soon and milestones approaching are communicated here.
  • Task lists : This is a list of all the tasks to be completed to deliver the project successfully. Task lists should have the start and end dates of the included tasks.

Types of project management reports

Below is a list of the most important project management reports you may need to track and report on your project status.

Time tracking reports

Time tracking reports show what projects your team members are spending time on. This helps you improve project management and communicate adequately with stakeholders about a project ’ s progress. Time tracking reports provide useful data to improve scheduling and resource management and boost revenue, especially in professional services agencies and companies.

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Project status reports

Project status reports communicate how a project is progressing within a specific period. This helps to keep stakeholders updated on the project ’ s progress and any emerging issues with cost, scope, schedules, or risks. You can easily compare a project status report to the project baseline or project plan to assess how well it is doing. Project status reports typically include the work that ’ s been completed, a summary of the project’s costs and schedule, a plan for what is to follow, and any issues and risks.

Project health reports

Project health reports provide a snapshot of the status of a project. This helps to share how well or poorly a project is doing. Project health reports show what ’ s been done, what ’ s on schedule, and what ’ s overdue. They make it easy to communicate to team members and stakeholders about the overall health of a project. A project health report makes it obvious if you ’ ve stayed on track or deviated far from the project plan. It brings to the forefront the most important tasks to tackle to get a project back on the intended path. Different teams and companies may have unique ways of organizing their own project health reports.

Project risk reports

Project risk reports identify and categorize risks in a project based on their severity and likelihood of happening. This helps prioritize issues and eliminate harmful risks before they cause irreparable damage or project failure. Project risk reports communicate problems to stakeholders so they can take action. The goal of project risk reports is to catch and identify project risks before they occur.

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Variance reports

Variance reports show how a project has deviated from the project plan or baseline. This helps compare how a project is doing with the project plan and reduce any chances of project failure. With a variance report, project teams can monitor actual and planned performances and ensure they are on track with the project scope, costs, and schedules. This helps mitigate risks and implement change management procedures where necessary. Variance reports also aid in planning for future projects.

Resource reports

Resource reports are helpful for managing available resources and planning a successful project. You can use them to adjust workloads and make decisions to make the project workflow more efficient and effective. Resource reports take costs, schedule, and scope of work remaining into consideration to make the best resourcing decisions for the project and team. It’s easy to see how much team members have on their plate and redistribute work to achieve the desired results and complete the project.

How often should you report on projects as a manager?

There’s no set cadence for your project reports. However, when determining how often you should send a project report to the team or other stakeholders, here are a few important elements to think through: 

  • How long is the project’s timeline? For a project that spans many months, reporting daily would be overkill. But for a project that only spans a week or two, a quick daily report could be warranted. The duration of your overall project is one of your most important considerations when figuring out how often to create and share project reports. 
  • What are client or stakeholder expectations? Are you creating deliverables for clients that expect frequent communication? Or have stakeholders expressed that they’d like regular weekly updates? Keep in mind that being a project manager is ultimately a service position, so you’ll need to consider other people’s needs, expectations, and preferences in terms of reporting cadence.
  • How much has the project changed? Whether the project scope has ballooned, broader organizational goals have shifted substantially, or the team recently achieved a significant project milestone, major and consequential changes to the project almost always warrant a report and an update to stakeholders — even if it’s not your “regularly scheduled” time to send one. 

If you still feel unsure about how often to report on projects, have a conversation with the project team and any relevant stakeholders to get their insights on a cadence that would keep them informed without making them feel overwhelmed.

Tips for effective project reporting

When writing a project management report, it is essential to keep the following in mind:

  • Be concise and share results and outcomes: Don't focus on details your stakeholders don't need to know. Try to use bullet points, not paragraphs. If you create a 10-page document every week, no one is likely to read it. Plus, you won't have time to manage the actual project.
  • Understand your audience: Make sure the project report is not too technical and avoid jargon. Otherwise, your stakeholders won't be able to understand it.
  • Provide context: Don't just say a deliverable will be two weeks late. Share how it will impact the rest of the project and what actions are being taken to resolve it. Stakeholders need to know how significant the problem truly is.
  • Be clear about any asks: If you require your stakeholders to do something, make sure you explicitly mention who is responsible, what they are responsible for, and when it needs to be done.
  • Make it visual: Use project management software that offers project management report templates . This allows stakeholders to quickly identify which projects are struggling and what areas they are struggling with before reading further into the project report. Executives may receive dozens of project management reports (or more) every week, so making your project reports easy to read is crucial.

Project management report example

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How can Wrike help you with project management reports? 

Learning how to write a management report for your projects might seem daunting, but using the right software can make all the difference in the reporting process — whether you’re reporting on a small project or are tasked with enterprise project management . 

Wrike has all of the features you need to make every type of project a success, including reports . These reports are completely customizable and make it easy to gather all of the data you need from your tasks and projects and generate a helpful summary that you, your team, and all of your stakeholders can easily understand.

No more combing through spreadsheets or scrolling through endless email threads to find and compile the information you need. Wrike will gather your project-related information right from the source and save you all of the mundane and tedious work that’s usually synonymous with reporting. 

And if you’re tired of reports being lost, misfiled, or even hitting the recycling bin after a cursory glance, Wrike makes storage and management of your reports easy too. You can access and view all reports created by or shared with you by simply clicking “Reports.” It’s painless to find the information you need and you also have the peace of mind that you can always refer back to those reports in the future. 

Ready to jump in with project reporting that’s more helpful and less of a hassle? Get started with a two-week free trial of Wrike today and see how simple project management reports can be.

Further reading

7 Stakeholders to Consult Before Starting a New Project

Stop Projects From Derailing With Wrike’s New Report Templates

What It Means to Be a Digital Project Manager

How Successful Teams Use Project Management Software

Basic Project Management

  • Project Charter
  • Project Management Stakeholders
  • What is a Project?
  • Work Breakdown Structure
  • Project Objectives
  • Project Baseline
  • Project Management Scheduling
  • Project Management Work Packages
  • Project Management Scope
  • Scope Creep

Advanced Project Management

  • What is PERT?
  • Network Diagram
  • Risk Management
  • Cost Estimation
  • Feasibility Study
  • Monte Carlo Analysis
  • Project Integration
  • Cost Management
  • PMI Project Management
  • What To Do With Certification
  • Certification
  • Become Certified
  • PMP Certification
  • Best Certification

Software Features

  • Critical Success Factors
  • Capacity Planning
  • User Role Access Permissions
  • Time Tracking
  • Budget Tracking
  • Request Forms
  • Work Assignments
  • Version Control
  • Dependency Managements
  • Project management Milestones
  • Project Management Software
  • Project Management Tools
  • Project Management System
  • Gantt Charts

Project Management Report: 6 Best Practices for Writing One

how to write project management report

Table of contents

Creating a project management report that’s read cover to cover is easier said than done.

For starters, shortlisting project metrics to feature in the report can be confusing. Choosing a report layout doesn’t make things any easier. To top it all, you need to revise the report at least twice to ensure there’s no reporting error.

So where do you start? What metrics should you choose?

We’ve got answers to these questions and more – all sourced from 48 experts who run multiple projects at a time. Half of these contributors come from the B2C services/products industry. For the remaining half, 25% are from B2B services/projects businesses, and 25% work in agencies (digital, media, or marketing).

Here’s what we’ll cover today:

What is a Project Management Report?

What should be included in a project management report, how often should you report on projects, 6 best practices for writing a project management report, top tools for making project management reports.

how to write project management report

A project management report is a short document sharing an overview of a project’s progress. It helps you:

  • Track project progress – see what’s covered, what’s in the pipeline, and so on.
  • Identify risks and schedule variances to manage them well on time.
  • Provide a documented record of how a project progressed for future decision-making.

According to our respondents, the most important metrics to add to a project management report are:

  • Cycle Time . The time you spend working on a project, including the wait stages that occur between tasks completion.
  • On-Time Completion Percentage . A quick, at-a-glance progress bar showing how much of the project is complete.
  • Time Spent . The time you’ve already spent on completing the project.
  • Budget Variance . A measure of how well the project is on track with its decided budget. If it’s not, by how much is it going under or over budget.

What Should Be Included in a Project Management Report?

While these are the top there (Time Spent and On-Time Completion Percentage tie at number 2), other essential information to add to a project management report include:

  • Planned Hours vs. Time Spent . An overview of how well the project is on track of the time dedicated to it.
  • Cost Performance Index (CPI). A measure of how the budgeted cost of work completed (calculate using Earned Value) compares with the actual cost of the work completed (measured using Actual Costs). CPI is calculated by dividing EV by AC.
  • Customer Satisfaction/Loyalty . How satisfied is your client/customer? A simple starred rating system can help monitor this.
  • Customer Complaints . Number and a brief description of the complaints your client/customer made.
  • Budget Creation (Or Revision) Cycle Time . The time spent on creating the new budget (after its variance).
  • Number of Change Requests . A quick look at the requests the client made.
  • Return On Investment (ROI). Depending on your project’s stage, this is the profit generated or profit expected to be generated. It’s usually calculated by taking the actual or estimated income and subtracting it from the actual or estimated costs.
  • Number of Adjustments to the Schedule . How many times changes were made to the planned project schedule?
  • Resource Capacity. Or how many in-house team members are available to take on the project tasks.
  • Number of Project Milestones Completed On Time . A quick look at how many of the project milestones you were able to hit as per the set schedule.
  • Planned Value . The cost allotted to the work you’ve scheduled.
  • Line Items in Budget. How planned budget divides into different categories such as the budget for supplies, budget for salaries, budget for fringe benefits, and more.
  • Number of Errors . Number and overview of mistakes made throughout the project lifecycle.
  • Number of Returns .
  • Training/Research Needed for Project . A brief look at the research or training given for completing the project including costs incurred and the time spent on it.
  • Number of Cancelled Projects . A number of projects dropped (either from your end or the client’s end).
  • Number of Budget Iterations . Or how many times you had to revise the budget due to the variances in the actual budget planned and budget spent.
  • Net Promoter Score . A numerical score estimate of how likely your client/customer is to recommend your services to others.
  • Resource Conflict YOY . A rundown of how many projects require the same resource (read: particular employees) for their completion.
  • Billable Utilization . A measure of how much of employees’ available time is spent on project-related activities.
  • Employee Churn Rate. Or the number of employees that leave your agency or business in a specified time (helpful so you can tell how the churn rate impacts ongoing projects)
  • FTE Days vs. Calendar Days. FTE refers to the number of hours worked by a single employee in a week. For example, 40 hours a week (1 FTE) i.e. 8 hours for 5 days are the standard working hours at most companies. So if you have 3 full-time employees and 2 part-time employees working 3 days a week, then the total FTE becomes (3 1) + (2 0.6)= 4.2.

That said, the exact metrics that you add to your project management report depend on:

  • The type of report you’re creating (project pipeline overview or specific project report)
  • Who you’re creating it for (teammates, stakeholders, or clients) and
  • Report complexity and frequency (weekly reports, for example, aren’t as in-depth as quarterly reports).

PRO TIP: Get a Live Overview of Your Most Important Projects In a Single Dashboard

Project management is all about juggling: resources, expectations, people, data, and much more. And as a project manager, you not only have to know where your projects are at any given moment, but you also have to be aware of where they’re going and where they need to be in the future. To do that using a project management system, you need an actionable dashboard that allows you to monitor metrics like:

  • Number of tasks completed by project. Get a live update on the total number of tasks that have been completed in a particular project and track how many tasks actually get completed on a daily basis. 
  • Total hours tracked. See how many hours are tracked on a monthly, quarterly and yearly basis. Split tracked time by project, client, tasks, and team.
  • Tasks overdue by project. At any time, see how many project tasks are overdue, and take appropriate action to get them back on track.
  • Tasks completed by project. At any time, see how many tasks have been completed in a project and how many tasks remain to be completed. 

Now you can benefit from the experience of our project managers, who have put together great plug-and-play Databox templates showing the most important KPIs for tracking your team’s performance. It’s simple to implement and start using as a standalone dashboard or in management reports, and best of all, it’s free!

asana-project-dashboard-template-preview

You can easily set it up in just a few clicks – no coding required.

To set up the dashboard, follow these 3 simple steps:

Step 1: Get the template 

Step 2: Connect your project management tool with Databox. 

Step 3: Watch your dashboard populate in seconds.

This brings us to our next question: how often should you be creating a project management report? Let’s look at that next.

The answer to this depends on your project’s duration and reporting processes.

Our research tells us that the majority, 77.1% of our contributors, have projects running for about a year or less. Only 22.92% of respondents on average have projects that last longer than one year.

Average project duration

It’s why it makes sense to report either monthly or quarterly instead of daily. No wonder, more than half of our respondents share they typically report monthly on their projects.

Average project reporting frequency

That said, your reporting processes also play a role. For example, you could be having a monthly reporting process in place to keep clients updated on the project progress. Similarly, you could be creating internal project reports weekly or monthly.

Now that you know what to include in your project management report and how often to create it, let’s look at how you can improve your reports by writing them well.

Here are our expert-backed tips for you:

  • Use simple language
  • Create a simple report layout
  • Use videos or dashboard to report on projects
  • Make it easy to read
  • Visualize data
  • Use templates

1. Keep it simple

An effective way to improve project management reporting is to simplify everything – from the words you use to the metrics you add to the report.

To begin with, simple words make it easy to understand what you’re sharing. This is important because no one – neither your clients nor the stakeholders – have the time to decipher difficult vocabulary and technical jargon. Using simple language makes understanding quick and easy though.

Sonia Navarro from Navarro Paving agrees. “The most effective practice that has done wonders for my project management report would be being concise and straightforward.”

Navarro lays out how they ensure their project management reports follow this tactic: “Our reports move along the hierarchy chain and are seen by company stakeholders consisting of mostly C-level executives. Some of these individuals have technical knowledge while others don’t.”

“So, when creating a report, we assume that no one has the technical expertise,” Navarro outlines.

“This assumption allows us to use easy-to-understand terminology. This best practice allowed us to close the communication gap between managers and their respective team members. We avoid using jargon so that stakeholders can easily understand the report without having to read extensive texts.”

Related : Business Report: What is it & How to Write a Great One? (With Examples)

2. Create a simple report layout

Again, this helps with making your report easy to read by making it clutter-free. The key here is to identify the most important project management metrics to add to your report and how you’ll present them.

Related : Reporting Strategy for Multiple Audiences: 6 Tips for Getting Started

Take it from growth360’ s Sasha Matviienko who shares their project updates over three main areas only. These are:

  • “The Planned vs Actual numbers for the resources that we used
  • Progress that was achieved compared to the planned timeline
  • Team utilization.”

Says Matviienko: “When we shifted to this methodology, we were able to get a good understanding of the budget, timeline, and hours that our team has. So we always know what to focus on in order to improve project execution.”

Not only that but having a strong grip on your team availability and the free hours available helps you decide how many projects to take on in the future. This way, these important metrics help manage open projects as well as project pipeline better.

Like Matviienko, Adil Advani from WELLPCB also focuses on keeping their project management reports simple. The layout they follow? “The most effective approach I use is a short summary of my achievements followed by some specific recommendations on what could be improved.”

“This combination enabled people who were not in the know about my work to see how successful it has been without having to read an entire report or dig through details they didn’t need, while at the same time helping those who want more information find out exactly where it can be found quickly and easily (for example with headings),” Advani elaborates.

“Another benefit is that this format requires less energy because there are fewer words per sentence than when you write everything down chronologically; as such, if you have writer’s block or just feel tired after working hard on your projects then this practice helps put the finishing touches back into perspective.”

Not to mention, the layout combats reader fatigue too.

3. Use videos and dashboards to report on projects

If you aren’t a fan of writing reports, you can try any of the following two options – as suggested by Hannah Buchholz from ClearPivot :

  • Create project update videos
  • Use centralized dashboards

In Buchholz’s words: “Instead of writing reports, we either have monthly meetings or share videos with clients to update them on how the project is going. We use Databox which makes it very easy for the clients to visualize and understand how things are trending.”

Creating videos is a straightforward affair. Simply record your screen sharing your project management dashboard and walk viewers through updates. Screen recording software such as Loom, VEED, and Vimeo can help with this.

However, it’s important to bear in mind that you need to keep your videos short and to the point instead of going on and on. In short, remember to respect your viewers’ time.

Plus, even as you create a video, you need to add captions to it to make it more accessible. And, make sure to include bullet points in written text with the video for a quick overview of what’s in the video.

To some of you, this can be a lot of work. An alternative? Buchholz’s second recommendation. Databox.

Use it to create dashboards showing project progress . The interesting bit? project management metrics are automatically updated in real-time so you don’t have to do any manual work.

What’s more, if you like, you can pair the dashboard update with a quick video. However, you wouldn’t need to supplement this video with written text as the dashboard already features all the required info in a visually engaging manner.

4. Make it easy to read

Only Stitch’s Susan Melony recommends keeping the report’s format simple to improve its readability.

Sharing their experience, Melony writes, “It took a while for us to come up with the perfect reporting style that everybody agreed to. The components of the report were the same practice. We have always believed in keeping the format simple and easy to read because we believe in transparency between the organization.”

“Reports are to be submitted monthly as an amalgamation of the progress at the company, giving an overview of the activities, highlighting strengths and weaknesses to work on in the next month,” Melony explains.

“We switched to a cost-effective project management tool that helped data collection and storage, the most commonly used is Monday.com and ProofHub.”

“ Project management tools , no doubt have increased efficiency in the company as it has helped us plan a project, giving us valuable input depending on the inflow and outflow of cash and previous sales records,” Melony continues.  

“It is time-saving as compared to manually entering data, it is automated and chances of error are also minimized. Digitizing project management has helped us largely in allocating resources and controlling project risks in the future.”

The takeaway? Using the right project management tool can help you save time, reduce the risk of reporting errors, and create reports that are easy to read.

5. Visualize data

Instead of sharing hard numbers as plain text, present them as charts and graphs to make them easy to read and digest. Doing so also aids decision-making as Victoria Mendoza from MediaPeanut notes.

“As a project management expert and as CEO at MediaPeanut, I have prepared numerous reports in the past decade and I think the most important thing to do is to separate data and figures from your insights, opinion, and analysis [using data visualization],” Mendoza highlights.

Snorkel-Mart’s David Morgan also applauds using visuals in project management reports. “Adding visuals to my reports allowed every stakeholder in my organization to easily understand where they are struggling and how it is affecting the entire project.”

“The color code option in Teamwork also made it easier to judge the status of a project, if it is active, late, or completed,” adds Morgan. “It was also critical to make our reports easier to interpret, as executives received dozens of reports every week. So, making them visual, cut their work in half.”

Sharing their process, Mendoza writes: “Whenever I prepare my PM reports in the past, I usually come up with a good layout to distinguish what are the hard data and numbers that need to be considered in decision making.”

“In my experience with various clients, they usually go by the numbers and would value the figures rather than what the one making the report has to say,” observes Mendoza.

“While it is also a good backup information for the graphs and tables, most of our clients really want the figures to speak for themselves. Why we separate figures, numbers, and graphs from our observations and personal opinion in the reports is important as we don’t want to be subjective with our reporting.”

Related : How to Visualize Data: 6 Rules, Tips and Best Practices

And one good way to separate the two is by using subheadings carefully. For example, when adding your recommendations, add a subheading reading “next steps” or “suggestions.”

In a nutshell, using this layout for project management reporting helps you back your observations by data and evidence according to Mendoza.

6. Use templates

“The most effective way to write a project management report is to create a template ,” opines Austin Fain from Perfect Steel Solutions . “You can create a skeleton that works for any occasion.”

Says Fain: “After years of writing technical reports, I have realized this is the best way to save time and energy. This unfinished draft can be filled in by every individual involved in the project and I can edit it later. It has increased my efficiency as I work on more projects simultaneously.”

“I also realized that the analysis part can be changed for each report depending on the requirements,” Fain adds.

“So, I don’t need to think a lot each time. I believe we saved a lot of time and energy after creating a comprehensive report. This is because we have a pre-prepared template, so we don’t have to create a new draft for each report.

The time spent on developing reports is utilized elsewhere, as I just change the structure a little and show it to the higher-ups. They can add essential information, and I edit it later on. This has an overall positive impact on our productivity levels.”

And, finally, before we wrap this up, let’s look at the tools used for project management reporting. Did you know that project marketing tools are among the most frequently used tools for performance monitoring and reporting (source: Databox’s State of Business Reporting )?

According to our research, over half of our contributors use Trello, making it the most popular tool. Other widely used tools include Asana, a centralized dashboard such as Databox, and Monday.

Top Tools for Making Project Management Reports

When choosing from these tools for managing your projects though, make sure you select the one that has the lowest learning curve. This will make it easy for you to not only get started but also regularly use the tool.

Improve Project Management Reporting with Databox

In summary, effective project management reporting helps you track progress and performance. In turn, this helps you handle current and future projects better.

But you don’t have to put hours and hours of work into creating project management reports. Instead, use Databox to quickly create visually engaging dashboards that show all your essential project metrics on one screen.

Since the metrics are auto-updated, you don’t have to worry about reporting errors as well.

It’s easy, isn’t it? So take Databox for a drive for free today and instantly improve your project reporting game.

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Project Management

How to write a project report (with steps & templates).

Sarah Burner

ClickUp Contributor

June 22, 2023

Juggling all the different components of a project can be quite a challenge. If that weren’t enough, you also have to write a project status report to update key stakeholders on the project’s progress. The struggle is real.

So where do you start? Fortunately, we have the answer. And that’s precisely why we put together this guide—to walk you through the process so you have a clear path from start to finish.

Learn more about creating project reports and different types of project status reports. Plus, you’ll walk away with five free project report templates, carefully crafted to streamline your project management workflow, save you time, and impress your stakeholders. 🤩

What is a Project Report?

1. project status report, 2. project progress report, 3. project cost benefit analysis report, 4. project time tracking report, 5. project resource report, 6. project risk report, 7. project variance report, 8. project performance report, 9. project completion report, improves team alignment, how to make a project report, 5 project report templates for straight-a project managers.

A project report is a document offering a comprehensive overview of a project’s objectives, progress, team performance, and milestone accomplishments. It also gives an account of the challenges faced during a project’s execution , solutions devised to tackle them, and the lessons learned during the process. 

Project managers create these reports to communicate with other project stakeholders—including team members, sponsors, clients, and other interested parties—to ensure everyone’s on the same page. The document also serves as a foundation for further evaluation and analysis to ensure the project says on track and achieves its goals. 🎯

9 Types of Project Reports

Project reports come in diverse formats, with each serving different use cases. Here are nine of the most commonly used types of project reports.

A project status report is a document that gives a snapshot of where your project stands at any given moment. It’s like answering the question, “How’s the project doing?”

But instead of just saying “The project is fine,” you actually dive into the project goals, tasks completed, milestones achieved, challenges faced, lessons learned, potential roadblocks, and next steps. 

Define the Statuses depending on your team in ClickUp

Whether it’s a weekly project status report or a monthly status report, this documentation eliminates the need for status meetings while giving stakeholders the most recent status of the project.

A project progress report is slightly similar to a status update report, as they both discuss task progress. However, the progress report is more quantitative and zooms in on individual tasks and project milestones . 

It’s like taking a magnifying glass and examining the progress of each task, one by one. For example, it could include in-depth information on the percentage of completion and current status of each task (completed, on track, delayed, etc.). 

The cost-benefit analysis report is usually prepared before a project is put into motion. Of the various project reports, this one aims to answer a simple question: “Is it worth pursuing this project?”

To answer this question, the report first assesses all project costs like operational expenses, materials, salaries, equipment, and potential risks. 

It then considers the projected benefits, such as increased profit margins, cost savings, improved efficiency, or happier customers. Finally, the report compares the costs to the benefits to determine if it’s time to move forward or explore other options.

A project time-tracking report is a document that records and summarizes time spent on project activities. Each project team member contributes to writing this report—they track and record the amount of time they’ve spent on tasks and submit it to the project manager. ⏰

Thankfully, the rise of project management tools has eliminated the need for paper-based time-tracking submissions. They make it easy for team members to submit accurate and detailed time reports to the project manager—while reducing the administrative burden of manual report compilation. 

Project managers can see how time is spent and the overall productivity of team members. As a result, they’re able to make informed decisions, such as redistributing workload (aka workload management ), reassigning tasks, and providing feedback and support to team members. 

A project resource dashboard offers a bird’s-eye view of how resources (e.g., labor, equipment, materials, budget, etc.) are allocated in a project. Think of it as a comprehensive resource inventory, listing every project task, the responsible party, and the resources being used. 

workload view in clickup

Project reports like this help project managers keep track of resource availability, identify potential resource constraints or shortages, and make informed decisions about resource allocation and optimization.

A project risk report offers a comprehensive analysis of potential risks, their likelihood of occurrence, their potential impact on the project, and recommended mitigation strategies. 

Rather than waiting for future events to derail the project, project reports like this one allow project managers to take a more proactive approach to risk management—thereby boosting the chances of overall project success.

A project variance report reveals the gaps or deviations between project plans and the actual performance or results achieved. It compares various factors—like budget, time, resources, and scope—and their planned values with their actual values, then computes the differences (or variances). 

By analyzing these variances, project managers and stakeholders can discuss the possible reasons behind them, identify areas that need attention, and take corrective actions where necessary.

A project performance report evaluates the overall performance and achievements of a project against predetermined metrics and objectives. It includes information on project deliverables, key performance indicators (KPIs) , and stakeholder satisfaction.

This report helps project managers assess project success, identify areas for improvement, and communicate the project’s performance to stakeholders.

A project completion report marks the end of a project journey. It summarizes the entire project lifecycle, from initiation to closure. This report contains an overview of the project’s objectives, deliverables, milestones, challenges, and recommendations for future projects.

Benefits of Making a Project Report

Writing project reports may initially seem redundant and time-consuming. However, it plays a crucial role in achieving project success. While a few benefits were hinted at earlier, let’s get a better picture of why project reports should not be overlooked.

More clarity

Creating a project report allows you to step back and reflect on the project’s progress. As you record the milestones, successes, and challenges, a wealth of insights begin to unfold—strengths, weaknesses, and areas that need attention.

milestones in clickup

This holistic view of the project’s health helps you steer it toward the desired outcomes and ensure it stays on track.

Encourages evaluation and analysis

Project reports allow you to evaluate and analyze the different aspects of a project in a systematic way—gathering relevant data, analyzing them, and evaluating their significance. By giving your project a critical analysis, you can uncover valuable insights, identify patterns, draw meaningful conclusions, and take strategic action. 🛠️

Enhances communication and collaboration

Creating a project report challenges you to present the project’s progress and results to stakeholders in a clear and coherent manner. A well-written report promotes project transparency and ensures everyone is on the same page.

It also facilitates collaboration by providing a common reference point for discussions, feedback, and decision-making.

Boosts professionalism and credibility

When you present a comprehensive and well-structured report, it shows that you have conducted thorough research, followed a methodical approach, and can effectively communicate complex information. This, in turn, boosts your reputation, enhances your credibility, and showcases your expertise among peers, colleagues, and potential employers.

Knowledge preservation

A project report serves as a valuable reference for future research or projects. By documenting your process, methodologies, challenges, lessons, and results, you create a resource that can be consulted and built upon by others.

This contributes to the cumulative knowledge in your field and fosters a culture of collaboration and innovation.

Project reports are instrumental in enhancing team alignment. They provide a clear, concise snapshot of progress, identifying accomplishments, challenges, and next steps. This enables all team members to understand the project’s current status and their respective roles in achieving the overall objectives.

Check out these project report templates for teams:

  • Nonprofit Organizations Project Report
  • Operations Teams Project Report
  • Finance Teams Project Report
  • DevOps Teams Project Report
  • Agile Teams Project Report
  • Sales Teams Project Report

Creating a project report doesn’t have to be a daunting task. Follow these three simple steps to create your first project report with ease.

Understand the purpose of the report

Before you create a project report, you need to understand the purpose of the report (the “why”) and know your target audience (the “who”). This will guide the content, structure, and tone of your project report.

Gather and organize the relevant information

At this point, you need to gather project information relevant to your project report. Make sure your data is accurate, reliable, and up-to-date. Organize the gathered information in a logical and structured manner.

  • Executive summary : As its name suggests, this project summary gives readers a quick overview of the whole report. It’s a snapshot that highlights the most important parts of the project. While it’s placed at the start of the report, it’s often written last. It covers the project’s objectives, methodology, major outcomes, and conclusions. 
  • Introduction: This sets the context and expectations of the entire report. It includes the project’s purpose and scope, project schedule, the problems it aims to address, and the methodologies to get there. It also outlines the structure and organization of the rest of the report. 
  • Body: Typically, this is the longest part of project management reports because it dives into in-depth details, including project progress, data collection, analysis reports, constraints, and limitations. Remember that whatever you include here should reflect the purpose of your project report and the preferences of your target audience. 
  • Conclusions & Recommendations: Based on your findings and analysis, identify opportunities for improvement, suggest strategies for addressing them, or propose avenues for future research. 

Format and proofread the report

Ensure that your project report follows a consistent formatting style—headings, subheadings, and bullet points will make it easier to read. In addition, scan your report for spelling or grammar errors and typos.

Sure, you could write project reports from scratch and spend countless hours formatting and structuring them. But why would you when you can use free project report templates? They provide a structure and format for your report so you can simply plug in your data and customize the design to fit your needs. Not only do project report templates speed up the report creation process, but they also enhance the overall quality of your reports. 

Let’s jump right in to explore our top five project report templates. 📈

1. Final Project Report Template

Final Project Report Template

A final project report is the perfect finishing touch to conclude a project and highlight its achievements. ClickUp’s Final Project Report Template provides a solid structure to help you put it together with the following key sections:

  • Planned vs. Actual: A quantitative breakdown of how the project deviated from the original plan with regard to its start date, completion date, duration, and budget
  • Management Effectiveness: A SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) analysis evaluating how the project was managed
  • Project Learnings : Share the important project lessons learned by the team throughout the lifespan of the project
  • Contract Terms Checklist : A simple table listing the various contract terms, whether they were completed, and any remarks you have 
  • Overall Performance rating: A 1 out of 5 rating of the different aspects of the project, from planning and execution to leadership and communication

This template is built in ClickUp Docs , which means you have unlimited flexibility for customization—add extra sections and tweak the appearance to suit your taste. And guess what? The table of content updates in real-time as you add, edit, or delete multiple headers.

If you want to wow your team and clients, this project status report template will help you get the job done. 

2. Project Status Report Template

Project Management Status Report Template by ClickUp

Writing a project status report is fairly straightforward. But staring at a blank document and worrying about crafting perfectly manicured sentences can make this process last a lot longer than it should. 

Thankfully, ClickUp’s Project Status Report Template is here to save the day! Built inside ClickUp Whiteboards, this template provides a hassle-free method to quickly capture key project details in a visually engaging way.

  • General information: Cover general project details (e.g., project name, objectives, project timeline , reporting period, etc.) which you’ll need to fill in only once
  • Progress details: Use color-coding to share in-progress, at-risk, delayed, and completed tasks
  • Support and resources: List out assets (e.g., labor, money, etc.) needed for a smooth operation 
  • Highlights and takeaways: Share key lessons learned and other noteworthy highlights
  • What went well/What needs improvement: Use this opportunity to reflect on the project’s progress and share the areas that performed well and what needs attention
  • Next steps: Highlight the key action items that need to get done to keep the project on track

Enter the details under each of these sections onto sticky notes, which’ll help you quickly pour down your thoughts without worrying about writing perfect sentences. It’s also very helpful for stakeholders as the information on sticky notes is short and straight to the point. 

This template removes the pressure of creating a status report and saves valuable time—all while keeping key stakeholders informed and up to date.

3. Digital Marketing Report Template

Digital Marketing Report Template

After running a digital marketing campaign project, you need to gather key metrics from the campaign and present it to key stakeholders for evaluation, performance analysis, and notes for future improvements. 

Sharing this info across multiple digital channels can get overwhelming but there’s no need to worry. ClickUp’s Digital Marketing Report Template has you covered with everything you need. Plus, it’s neatly broken down into the following sections:

  • Digital Marketing Performance: This section lets you summarize the overall performance of your campaign by capturing key details like project budget allocations, actual expenses, cost per acquisition, total impressions, and total clicks across multiple campaigns
  • Web Analytics Report: This section analyzes website performance during and after the project’s completion. It captures metrics like page views, bounce rate, traffic sources, and overall conversion rate
  • Social Media Campaign Performance: This section analyzes social media performance by measuring metrics like impressions, followers, and engagement rate—all in a simple table for each social media platform 

Use this template to present the performance of your digital marketing project in a simple and visually engaging way. This makes it easy to identify trends, analyze the impact of your campaign, and make informed decisions regarding future marketing initiatives.

4. Employee Daily Activity Report Template

Project report: Employee Daily Activity Report Template

A key way to stay on track and guarantee overall project success is to engage team members in the process.

The Employee Daily Activity Report Template by ClickUp has a simple tabular layout that makes it easy for team members to record and keep track of: 

  • Completed tasks and the time spent on each
  • Ongoing tasks and their due dates
  • Upcoming tasks and any support they’ll need

This template encourages each team member to get work done and ask for support when needed—while allowing you to keep the project on track by providing support and maximizing team performance.

5. Campaign Report Template

Campaign Progress Report Template by ClickUp

Remember the Digital Marketing Report Template we looked at earlier? You can choose to further analyze the marketing performance section, with elements from this Campaign Report Template by ClickUp . 

Dive deeper into how each marketing channel contributed to overall ad cost, ad revenue, and ad conversion rate. You can further break down each channel’s performance by analyzing the metrics from each individual campaign on that channel.

Create Polished and Professional Project Reports in Less Time With ClickUp

There you have it—your secret sauce for creating an effective project report in a fraction of the time. And that’s only scratching the surface … working inside ClickUp unlocks a lot more perks. 

Not only does ClickUp make project reporting easy and quick, but it also gives you access to free project management templates to enhance your workflow. Quickly assign tasks to your team, keep track of progress, discuss updates, and collaborate on documents and whiteboards—all in one place. ✨

Did we mention the integrations? ClickUp plays nicely with other apps, allowing you to seamlessly connect your favorite tools to supercharge your team’s productivity. And let’s not forget about the time you’ll save using ClickUp’s automations—a feature that lets you breeze through repetitive tasks that used to eat up valuable time across project management reports.

Just imagine what you can do with those extra hours—maybe enjoy a cup of coffee or catch up with your team about how best you can support them. Make project reporting a blast with ClickUp and boost your chances of a successful project. 

Get started by signing up for free on ClickUp today … Ready? Set? Report!

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How to Write a Project Management Report

Last Updated: April 28, 2023 Approved

This article was co-authored by Ksenia Derouin . Ksenia Derouin is a Business Strategy Specialist, OBM, and Artist based in Grand Rapids, Michigan. With over ten years of professional experience, Ksenia works with wellness and social impact sector solopreneurs and organizations to support their business strategy, operations, marketing, and program development. Her mission is to support business owners in building thriving businesses and creating impact so that they can achieve a sense of purpose, career fulfillment, and financial independence. wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. In this case, 100% of readers who voted found the article helpful, earning it our reader-approved status. This article has been viewed 186,653 times.

A project management report is a document that describes a business project and the steps a team should take to complete it. The report is shared with the project's key players. When everyone is on the same page, everyone can work together to complete the project's goal. The report typically contains the project plan, the team's responsibilities, a projected timeline, and a budget. With organization, clarity, and the input of your team members, you can easily create an effective project management report and work toward completing its goals.

Collecting the Information

Step 1 Define the project's purpose.

  • Ask yourself, “How will this help my company, our client, or our community? Will this project possibly have a positive impact in other areas?”
  • Understanding the overall scope may help you appreciate how this project may be useful to you and others.

Step 2 Pinpoint your audience.

  • Some audiences may not be familiar with the language, terms, and jargon often used in your working environment.
  • If you are writing a report for a client, for example, avoid using technical jargon that requires lengthy explanations.
  • Instead, plan to write in a voice that easily describes your project scope and timeline. [1] X Research source

Step 3 Create a table of contents.

  • Perhaps an investor is reading the report to review the budget. Showing where the budget is in the table of contents will help them find what they need fast.

Step 4 Talk to your supervisor.

  • Your supervisor may also explain how long the report should be and if there are particular formats that your company requires for these types of reports.
  • Ask your supervisor about what to include in the report. Your supervisor will appreciate the opportunity to give you feedback early in the process.

Formatting and Writing the Report

Step 1 Provide an executive summary.

  • Concisely summarize the importance of the project and its main objective. “This project will expand our client's impact in their market by fulfilling this unmet need in this field.”

Step 2 Write an introduction.

  • Be as succinct as possible without sacrificing necessary details. Try to convey your message in a couple of sentences or bullet points instead of lengthy paragraphs. [3] X Research source
  • If you are publishing a book, for example, list significant information such as “book tour slated to begin in September” and "holiday sales expected to increase by 15%."

Step 3 Explain key data in a methodology section.

  • If your project goal is to help a company open a fashion store in a particular area, for example, provide data that describes the nearby competition.
  • Data on the market and competition can help the reader understand that there is an opportunity to meet a particular need.
  • If necessary, attach documents or other resources that might be useful to interpret the report information.

Step 4 List the resources needed for the project.

  • If you are in the middle of a project, include a percentage that describes the project's completion and whether or not you are ahead of schedule. [5] X Research source

Step 7 Describe project challenges and provide solutions.

  • If there is an anticipated delay, state it in this section.
  • You might say, “Construction on the new building may slow significantly during January as the frigid temperatures may create unsafe working conditions.”
  • Let your reader know that you have adjusted the timeline to account for such anticipated delays.

Step 8 Crafting the report conclusion.

  • Remind your reader what is needed going forward.
  • You could write, “With the timely support of our donors, the project should be completed on time and under budget by next May.”
  • Highlighting the needs can help ensure that the project is completed on time.

Polishing Your Report

Step 1 Use formatting techniques to guide the attention of readers.

  • Save the reader some time and place the figures alongside relevant portions of the text instead of at the end of the report.
  • The reader will be able to easily review both the text and the chart without having flip through the pages. [6] X Research source

Step 3 Circulate the preliminary report to your project team members.

  • Revise the report to include contributions from team members. Use your judgment regarding which details to include.

Step 4 Proofread the report.

Community Q&A

Community Answer

  • Discuss the project with your teammates as you write the report. Considering the perspectives and views of others, their needs, and their targets may help influence some of the details that you choose to include in your project management report. [8] X Research source Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0
  • If your company has a particular format or template for project management reports, be sure to adhere to those guidelines. Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0

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  • ↑ http://www.brighthubpm.com/monitoring-projects/6034-typical-project-management-reports/
  • ↑ http://www.brighthubpm.com/templates-forms/93013-ten-tips-for-creating-effective-project-reports/
  • ↑ https://www.projectsmart.co.uk/how-to-report-status-on-a-project.php
  • ↑ https://www.teamgantt.com/guide-to-project-management/how-to-plan-a-project/

About this article

Ksenia Derouin

A project management report describes a project and the steps your team should take to complete it. Start your report by outlining the purpose of the project and what it seeks to achieve. You’ll then need to list the resources needed to finish the project, including manpower, tools, and products. Provide a projected budget to show how much it will cost and if you need to secure any extra funding. Include a timeline to show how long the project will last and when you’re likely to hit major milestones. You should also detail any challenges the project is likely to face and how you will solve those problems. When you’ve finished drafting your report, ask for feedback from your major team members in case there’s anything significant it’s missing. For more tips, including how to format your project management report, read on! Did this summary help you? Yes No

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What Is a Project Report?

Why are project reports important.

Read more: What is Project Management? Definition, Types & Examples

Examples of Project Reports

Tips for creating useful project reports.

  • Pinpoint the purpose: Understand the purpose of the project report and what you are being asked to convey.
  • Know the audience: Who are you creating the report for, and what they want to know about the project?
  • Choose a report format: Choose whether it will be a presentation, a link to a file, or a printed document.
  • Draft the report: Create a rough draft of what you are preparing and review it carefully. Make sure you are including all of the details you want to share with the team, and reach out to team leads to fill in any gaps before finalizing.
  • Consider layout: Give the report a good structure and effective layout. Make it easy to spot the most important information first at a scan, and list other details as secondary.
  • Highlight key content: If a report is more than a few pages in length, create a table of contents and subheadings for easy review. Readers should be able to quickly find key information.
  • Proofread: Use simple and easy-to-read language that is free of grammatical, spelling, and punctuation errors.

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Project.co

How to Write a Project Report In 5 Easy Steps (Template Included)

Last updated on 31st January 2023

In this article we’re going to teach you how to write a project report in 5 easy steps.

Did you know that only 64% of projects meet their goals ? That means 36% fall short. And when projects don’t meet their goals it can result in a lot of headaches for your company.

The reasons why projects fail are plentiful but it typically comes back to poor planning or a lack of organisation. 

A solid project report can eliminate these issues and ensure you stay on track to complete your goals.

So, let’s take a look at how to write a project report in 5 easy steps…

Article Contents

What is a project report?

A project report is a document that contains helpful information so that teams can ensure their project stays on track, runs successfully, and completes on time. 

There are different types of project reports that are used at different periods throughout a project’s lifespan, but they all contain similar data that covers things like progress, tasks, roadblocks, stakeholders, and financial information. 

Why is a project report important?

Project reports are important for many reasons. A project report gives your project a sense of direction that can help you maintain consistency throughout the project, even as it passes between different people and teams. Your project report will also be a great document to refer back to if things get difficult, so you can stay on track. 

Even in the first instance, before your project kicks off, a project report can help you to manage your budget, workload, and any foreseen risks. It can also give stakeholders insight into the specifics of the project to help manage expectations from the start. 

Types of project report

There are many different types of project reports that will help you manage different aspects of your project. For example, a resource report will help you to understand the resources you’ll need for the project, how much resource you have at your disposal, and will also help you to predict when your resources will need to be replenished. 

Other examples include: risk assessment reports (to identify potential risks), board reports (to update investors/board members on project progress), and cost-benefit analysis reports (to help you measure benefits against the costs associated with them). 

Now, let’s dive into 3 of the biggest, most important types of project reports.

1. General project report

This is your first project report. It should cover predictions and plans for how you expect the project to go, and give you a clear sense of direction when it comes to things like budget, timelines, and everything else you need to keep track of in order for your project to be considered a success. 

2. Progress report

A progress report – as you may have guessed – comes in the middle and helps you document your progress. It’s important to keep reassessing your project to see if you are where you expect to be and to help you make adjustments along the way. 

A progress report is also very useful for managing stakeholder expectations and keeping them informed on how the project’s going.

3. Project completion report

As you wrap up your project, a project completion report can be a great way to reflect on what went well and what went wrong. This can not only help you wrap up the current project neatly, it can also inform future projects and ensure you don’t make the same mistakes twice.

How to write a project report in only 5 steps

There are many different types of project reports. So, of course, the writing of each one will differ slightly depending on who they are aimed at and what the content of the project report is. 

However, there are still some core steps to follow for each. Let’s take a look at how to write a project report in 5 steps. 

1. Start with the basics

At the very top of your project report should be a simple table that includes all of the core information for the project. Here’s an example: 

Project report table

The table for your project will probably vary slightly to this, but hopefully this gives you an idea of the most important top-level information to include. 

Underneath this table you should have a short summary of the project. This can be just a couple of sentences that sum up the objectives and goals. Think of this kind of like an elevator pitch for the project. 

2. Cover your objectives

Now it’s time to go into more detail. List out each objective for the project, including what you need to do to achieve each one. 

For example, let’s pretend our project is to create a brand video. There are many objectives, such as: 

  • Write a script
  • Storyboard the video 
  • Record a voiceover
  • Shoot the video
  • Edit the video
  • Come up with a plan for promotion 

Each objective will need to be completed in order to go on to the next. And each objective requires different resources and skill sets. All of this should be recorded, in detail, in your project report. 

3. List your obstacles

Next, list any predicted obstacles or risks. This may feel like a waste of time because of course you’re going to be avoiding risks and obstacles as often as you can. However, it’s important to be aware of the potential roadblocks that might appear so that you are prepared to handle them without slowing down. 

Some example obstacles for the brand video project could be: 

  • Equipment breaks
  • Weather ruins a shoot
  • Editing takes longer than planned

Next to each obstacle, jot down a quick plan for how you would solve this issue if it happened. For example, for “weather ruins a shoot” your potential solution could be to “choose a backup location”.

4. Create a project timeline

With any project, it’s important to know how long everything’s going to take. This is the best way to estimate how much time, money, and resource is required. 

A project timeline will help plot a path forward. To create a project timeline all you need to do is break down each objective into tasks and add a deadline for each task. It also helps to add an owner to each task, so you know who the point of contact is for each section of the timeline. 

This can be tricky to manage but becomes so much easier with a project management tool, like Project.co . When you create a project on Project.co, all of your clients and team members can see everything that goes on with the project in one centralised place. This includes tasks that can be allocated to team members, assigned a date, and a status – so everyone involved in the project can see how it’s progressing: 

how to write project management report

You can also add comments, attachments, priority tags, and more. 

Plus, it’s easy to keep track of several tasks at once by using the calendar view: 

how to write project management report

Other views available are kanban, list, and scheduler. 

5. Cover project communication

Somewhere on your project report you should include a link to your communication guidelines . This will help everyone involved on the project to understand what’s expected of them when it comes to communication, for example what tools to use and how to communicate. 

This can help your project run more smoothly and create a better result for everyone. According to our Communication Statistics 2022 , 95% of people feel that the businesses they deal with could improve when it comes to communication and project management . 

Writing a project report: 7 top tips 

1. Be clear

The perfect project report is clear and concise. Try your best to leave no room for errors or misunderstandings, and write in short definitive sentences. 

Being clear is especially important when it comes to timelines and targets. It can be helpful to plot out your tasks in a visual way, like a kanban view . This will make your project timeline easy to scan and understand.  

2. Be thorough

While it’s important to be clear and concise, it’s equally important to be thorough. Try to include as much relevant information in your project reports as possible.

One of the main functions of project reports, particularly project status reports, is to inform stakeholders on the progress of the project. So the more thorough you can be, the better. 

3. Be appropriate

A project report is an internal document that’s likely going to be shared between many different departments or teams in your business, so it’s important to make sure your language is appropriate. 

Keep the culture of the business in mind when writing your report. Use the same kind of tone and language that you would in other internal communication documents. This is especially important when you consider more than a third (35%) of businesses have lost an employee because of poor internal communication . 

4. Be honest

Your project report is not the place to sugarcoat anything. You should be honest, and brutally so. This means giving accurate and realistic figures, deliverables and deadlines. 

A project report should be a factual account so that everyone has a clear understanding of the data and knows exactly what to expect from the project. 

5. Be quick

It may seem contradictory to tell you to be thorough and quick with your project reports, but this just means don’t overload people with unnecessary information. Be succinct and to-the-point with every aspect of the report, from points of contact to resources and any potential roadblocks. 

The idea is for your project reports to be as easy to digest as possible, especially if you’re supplying busy stakeholders with a steady stream of ongoing status reports. 

6. Be prepared

No project runs perfectly, so it can be helpful to be prepared for bumps in the road. You might want to leave an ‘other’ or ‘notes’ section at the bottom of your report where you can jot down anything that’s changed along the way. 

It can also help to leave room for slight adjustments in your timeline. Just a couple of buffer days here and there can really reduce stress for your teams, and also help ensure your deadlines are more realistic. 

7. Be proud

When you’re carefully documenting things like risks and problems, your project report can become pretty gloomy. So it’s important to even it out by also celebrating your team’s achievements. 

Every project has ups and downs, and by giving as much attention to the ‘ups’ as you do the ‘downs’ you can boost team morale and this can be reflected back on your project. 

Free project report template

As promised, here is your free project report template ! 

To use this document, make sure to hit File > Make a Copy to save it as your own. This way you can make edits and personalise it to perfectly fit your needs. 

Final thoughts

A solid project report can act almost like a map that clearly directs you towards your end goal, helping you to avoid risks along the way and take the best route to success.

In addition to a project report, a project management platform can also help you to maintain your focus and manage your project with ease, thanks to centralised communication and complete visibility of all your work. Click here to get started for free .

Create your FREE account

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8 steps to write an effective project status report

Jenny Thai contributor headshot

Effective project status reports are the best way to keep your stakeholders aligned and in the loop during your project progress. These high-level updates proactively let your team know if a project is on track, at risk, or off track—so you can course correct if necessary to hit your deadlines every time. Learn how to create project status reports in a few easy steps, plus check out a template you can use right away.

It’s the end of the week and here you are again: having to dig through a variety of spreadsheets, emails, and tools to patch together an update of how your project is doing. 

Instead of manually assembling this information, use a project status report template to streamline this process for you. That way, you spend less time on unnecessary data gathering and more time on work that matters. 

Whether you’re gearing up for your first ever project status report or you’re looking for a better system than the one you currently use, this article will walk you through what a progress report is, how you can build one, and how to use project status reports to hit your project deadlines on time, every time. Here’s how.

What is a project status report?

Project status reports are timely updates on the progress of your projects. Written concisely, project reports offer high-level information about project progress, so team members get at-a-glance insight into what’s happening within the project. With a timely status report, you can ensure your entire project team and cross-functional stakeholders understand what’s on track, what’s blocked, and what’s coming next. 

Regularly sharing project status reports is important because they help you keep all project stakeholders in the loop and aligned on how your project is progressing. They answer the questions everyone has before team members even have a chance to ask them. They show and tell your team that you’re on track, making you (and everyone else) feel confident.

How often you share project status reports depends on your project’s timeline. Some projects benefit from weekly reporting, while others only need to be updated once a month. Schedule your project reports as frequently as is helpful for your stakeholders. These shouldn’t be reactive reports on things going poorly—rather, effective reports keep your team updated on the project’s progress, whether the project is on track, at risk, or off track.

The benefits of effective project reporting

Reporting isn’t just something you should do for the sake of doing it. Effective reporting has a variety of benefits. When you correctly report on project status, you effectively: 

Keep track of project health

The worst thing for a project is when you arrive at the end of the timeline and realize you were off track the whole time. No one likes being blindsided—and as the project manager, you’re empowered to make sure your team is aware of your project health at all times. 

Progress reports are a way to do that without too much manual work. Because these reports mix high-level summaries with some important metrics, everyone has a sense of the project's health. And if the project is off track? You can quickly and proactively fix it—so you still hit your project deadline on time and on budget.

Summarize project progress

Project status reports are not real-time reports. These reports are summaries of what happened during the past week, two weeks, or month of project work. They’re an opportunity for your stakeholders to stay informed on how well you’re sticking to the project plan . 

If you’re looking for tips on how to report on projects in real time, check out our article on universal reporting tools for every team . 

Reduce manual work

As the project manager, you already have enough on your plate. You don’t need to also spend hours every week or month grabbing data from different places. Project reporting tools make it easy to find all of this information in one place, and create a project status report with the click of a button. 

Share next steps and action items

Project status reports should go out to your project team, project sponsor, important stakeholders, and cross-functional team members. Because these are high-level reports, they’re appropriate for anyone who wants to stay informed about project progress. 

This is the optimal way to let everyone know what’s happening without getting into the details. If there are important project next steps or action items, share them here so everyone knows what to expect. 

Proactively identify blockers

If your project isn’t on track, your status report lets others know what the delay is and what you’re doing to resolve any blockers, allowing you to show off your proactive approach to getting things back to where they should be. Similar to the project risk management process , proactive status reporting helps you identify and overcome issues before they impact your project timeline.

Say goodbye to status meetings

The day of the status meeting is over. We now know these aren’t effective ways to spend your time. Unlike face-to-face meetings, project status reports are shared in a central tool that team members can check asynchronously when they want to. They can refer back to the information, or dig deeper into the project if necessary. Save your face-to-face meeting time for valuable meetings like brainstormings or all hands. 

Before you report: Combine reporting with effective project management

The biggest benefit of project status reporting is that it reduces your manual work, centralizes information, and makes it easy to keep everyone up to date. If your information is scattered across multiple tools, you can’t effectively use project reporting templates—you still need to manually open this Excel spreadsheet and that team email to gather your information. 

Instead, make sure you’re using project management software as your central source of truth. With project management software you:

Have a central source of truth so team members can see who’s doing what by when. 

Can easily visualize project information in a Gantt chart , Kanban board , calendar, or spreadsheet-style list view. 

Create status reports with the click of a button. 

Offer a place for team members who read the status report and want more details to look and find the information they need. 

Have access to additional project information, like your project plan, communication plan , project goals, milestones, deliverables , and more.

Naturally, we think Asana is a great option. Asana is a work management tool your entire team can use. Your cross-functional collaborators need a way to view past status reports. Your key stakeholders need a bird’s eye view of the entire program or project portfolio management progress. And your team members need a way to track individual work throughout the project lifecycle.

8 steps to write a great project status report

So, how do you go about doing project status reports? Be sure to create a clear structure you can use consistently for all future status reports. You should also make sure it matches with your project brief to keep your report on topic.

Follow this guide to understand what to include in your project status report, and watch as we put each step into practice with an example of an Employee Satisfaction project.

1. Build your report where work lives

Before you build your report, make sure you’re already tracking your work information in a project management tool. That way, you don’t have to manually grab information from a host of sources—instead, you can reduce manual work and create a report with a few clicks. 

Starting off with a project management tool makes it easy to capture dependencies and note upcoming tasks so you’re never blindsided about your project health.

2. Name your report

A great option is to simply use the project name for clarity. If you’re reporting on this project regularly, you should also include a date or timestamp.

Example project report title: February 2020 - Employee satisfaction initiative

3. Indicate project health

The project health is the current status of the project. Project health may change from report to report, especially if you run into blockers or unblock big project risks. Look for a project management tool that allows you to communicate the project’s status and whether or not it’s on track. One way to do this is to use a color coding system (green = on track, yellow = at risk, red = off track).

Example project health update: Project status is on track.

4. Quickly summarize the status report

Your project status report summary should be brief—about 2-3 sentences. The goal here is to give readers who may not have time to read the entire report a quick TL;DR of the most important facts. 

This is the first section of your report, so it’s the best place to: 

Include highlights

Flag major blockers

Note unexpected project risks

Example status report summary: Our survey results are in and being reviewed. At first glance, we’re seeing 80% employee satisfaction, up 3 points from the last survey. The Engagement Committee is working with the Executive team on what new engagement initiatives to implement in our key target areas, which include career growth and transparency.

5. Add a high-level overview of each key area

Depending on your project, your key areas may vary from report to report, or they may stay consistent. For example, in an Agile project that’s continuously improving, you’d likely use dynamic key areas that cover the things your team worked on during the last sprint. Alternatively, for an event planning project, there are a set number of key areas that you always want to touch on, like promotion, signups, and speakers. 

For each key area in the status report, add a few bullet points that give an update on progress, accomplishments, and upcoming work.

Example high-level overview of a key area: Survey results

70% of employees took the satisfaction survey.

Our overall satisfaction rating is 80%.

Only 57% of employees report having a clear path towards career advancement, down 5% since the last survey. 

41% of employees listed transparency as the number one improvement they’d like to see.

6. Add links to other documents or resources

While you shouldn’t include every little detail about how your project is going, some people will want to know more. For stakeholders who are looking for more in-depth information, provide links to documents or resources. This can include more specific project information, like links to specific project milestones , or the broader impacts of the project, like a reference to the business goals the project is contributing to.

Example: Include a link to the employee satisfaction survey , as well as to the larger company OKR around increasing employee engagement over the course of the fiscal year.

7. Flag any blockers the project has run into

All projects run into roadblocks. These can come in the form of project risks , unexpected increases to the budget , or delays that impact the project timeline . Keeping stakeholders in the loop when issues arise will help everyone adjust accordingly to stay on track. 

Example roadblock: The executive team wants to look at results before the engagement committee meets again, but won’t be able to do so for another three weeks. This will delay our overall project timeline.

8. Highlight next steps

These could include a list of next steps, kudos you want to give someone, or anything else you want to highlight.

Example: Thank you Sarah A. for sending out multiple communications to employees encouraging them to participate in the survey!

Template for creating your project status report

To quickly put everything you learned in the previous section to use, write your next project status report using this easy-to-fill-out template:

Report name:

Name your report. This can be as simple as the project name and the date of the report.

Project health:

Is the project on track, at risk, or delayed?

Include a short description of the most important takeaways from your project status report here. Keep in mind that busy stakeholders may only look at this section, so include any highlights or blockers the entire team needs to know about

Key area 1: High-level overview

Specific details about progress, accomplishments, and upcoming work.

Key area 2: High-level overview

Key area 3: High-level overview

Additional information and links: 

Link to relevant project details or higher-level project information that stakeholders might be curious about. This section is a chance for team members to dig deeper on specifics, or understand how the project initiative fits into your larger strategic goals . 

Are there any challenges you’re facing? How will you resolve them?

Additional notes or highlights:

Are there any additional things your team needs to know? What are the main next steps? 

Example project status report

While a how-to guide on writing project status reports is helpful, sometimes seeing a real-life example allows you to really see what your own update could look like, right? We thought you might agree, so here’s an example you may find useful:

Report name: Ebook launch

Project status: On track

Great progress this week! We are still in the concept phase, but Avery Lomax will be choosing a topic this week. Content and Design teams are standing by and ready to get started once we give the go ahead.

Planning team met to discuss an overall topic

We have three final ideas and will choose one on Friday

A brief is due to the Content team the following Thursday

The Content team is ready to start writing copy as soon as our idea is finalized

They are gathering pertinent company information that should be included

Design reviewed five ebook examples to determine the style they liked

They will be choosing a template by next Tuesday

Jen is out of the office all next week so please direct any content questions to Joy

Thank you to Henry for curating a huge list of topics for us to choose from!

Issues/challenges:

The e-book’s deadline is tight, as we all know. It’s critical that we’re all working in our project management tool to keep everyone organized and on track. Thanks!

Streamline reporting with a work management tool

The above report is clear and easy to follow. By building this report in a work management tool like Asana, you can automatically fill each section but the summary. Here’s what the above report looks like in Asana:

[Product UI] Example Asana project status report for an ebook launch meeting (Status Updates)

Project status reporting best practices

Now you know what to include in your project status report, but you may still have a few additional questions. As you’re creating status reports for your project, these best practices will help you formulate a winning update.

How often should you report out?

The frequency with which you send project updates depends on the type of project you’re running. If your project has a short timeframe, or if things are moving quickly, aim to send weekly project status reports. Alternatively, if the initiative you’re reporting on is a long-term project, you probably only need to send biweekly or even monthly reports. The most important thing is making sure your project stakeholders are up to date. 

When you use a project reporting tool, you can set a task for yourself to always send status reports on a certain day each week. These recurring reminders make it easy to keep stakeholders informed, whether you're sending weekly status updates or monthly progress reports. Either way, stakeholders will begin to expect your updates, which means less frequent check-ins from them (plus they’ll appreciate always being in the loop).

By sending regular reports, you can avoid multiple meetings related to a project (we all know unnecessary meetings have their own reputation ). Skip the check-in meetings and save your time for more important work.

Who should you include?

It depends on the project and who is involved, but typically plan to send an update to any stakeholders working on your project. You should have created a stakeholder analysis—outlining all stakeholders, sponsors, and team members—during the project planning process, but refer to your project plan if you aren’t sure.

Even if that week’s status report doesn’t affect a particular team member, you should still share it with everyone. It’s important for everyone to have a high-level overview. Team members who don’t need to review the report in depth can quickly skim your summary section, while others who are more involved can dive into the details you’ve provided. 

How detailed should you get?

A project status report shouldn’t offer every little detail. Let the work tell the story—you’re simply curating information and adding a little color. Think of a project status report as a top line message—just the most important pieces of your project that affect most of stakeholders should be included.

You should always indicate whether the project is on track, at risk, or off track, give a quick summary of what’s complete and what’s upcoming, then link out to other resources for people who want more details.

Where should you write your project status report?

The best way to draft and share status updates is with a work management tool . Look for a tool that offers an overview of your project, so your team has a central source of truth for all project-related work. That way, instead of managing projects in spreadsheets , you can keep it all—status updates, project briefs, key deliverables, and important project milestones—in one place. Your reports will be easily shareable, and stakeholders can look back on previous reports at any time, avoiding email overload on your end.

[Product UI] Example Asana Project Overview for a product marketing launch project (Project Overview)

Wrapping your project up: summarizing your work

The status reports we’ve been talking about are always sent during a project to keep everyone in the loop. However, once the project is finished, it’s smart to send out a final summary report. Think of this as the executive summary for your project. This is your chance to offer stakeholders a wrap-up to the project. Use it to officially close it out.

Again, it’s a high-level overview, but instead of including updates and statuses, you’ll provide a summary of how the overall project went. Here are a few questions to answer in a project summary report:

What were the goals of this project and were they met?

Was the project completed on time and on budget (if applicable)?

What successes should be highlighted?

What challenges did we run into?

What can we learn from this project to help us on future projects?

Keep every stakeholder on track with status reports that write themselves

If you’re looking to over-deliver on your next project, try sending project status updates. They keep you productive, efficient, and accountable, while giving everyone else a quick (and engaging) look into what’s been happening. 

Use the resources we’ve provided to create reports that give just enough information without diving into too much detail. Find a project management solution like Asana that has features designed specifically to help with status reports. You’ll save time and be as organized as possible.

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Project portfolio management 101

How to Write an Effective Project Report in 7 Steps (+ examples in Microsoft 365)

Shubhangi Pandey

By: Shubhangi Pandey | Published on: Nov 3, 2023 | Categories: BrightWork 365 , Microsoft 365 , Project Reporting | 0 comments

How to Write an Effective Project Report in 7 Steps (+ examples in Microsoft 365)

In an age where remote work is becoming the new every day and data-driven decision-making is more crucial than ever, project reporting has become more than a managerial obligation. It’s an art and a science that combines traditional project tracking with modern metrics and advanced data visualization.

This guide will walk you through seven essential steps to craft a project report that informs and engages your stakeholders. We’ll explore the role of AI in project management, delve into the importance of remote work metrics, and discuss cutting-edge data visualization tools that can make your reports more insightful.

Whether you’re a seasoned project manager or just getting started with project management basics , these steps will help you write a project report that adds value to your organization’s knowledge base for future projects.

Why are Project Management Tools Vital for Report Writing?

The importance of robust project management tools for effective report writing cannot be overstated. Here’s why:

  • Centralization : Project management tools are a central hub for all your project data, streamlining project management and reporting processes.
  • Efficient Tracking : These tools make it easier to monitor work progress during the monitoring phase of project management , helping you stay on top of tasks and milestones.
  • Risk Identification : Advanced features enable you to spot potential risks early, allowing for proactive management.
  • Stakeholder Communication : Keep all stakeholders in the loop with real-time updates and comprehensive reports.
  • Data Visualization : Utilize features like Power BI to transform raw data into insightful visuals, aiding in better decision-making.
  • Custom Reports : Depending on organizational needs, create specialized reports that offer in-depth analysis and recommendations upon project completion.

The Evolution of AI in Project Management Tools for Report Writing

When crafting an impactful project report, your tools can be a game-changer. And let’s talk about the elephant in the room: Artificial Intelligence. AI is no longer just a buzzword – it’s a reality transforming project management and reporting.

According to a systematic literature review published in MDPI , AI’s role in project management is increasingly significant, offering advanced capabilities like predictive analytics and risk assessment.

The Power of Predictive Analytics

These advanced AI tools centralize your project data and offer predictive analytics, risk assessment, and automated insights that can be invaluable for your report. Like Power BI revolutionized data visualization, AI algorithms can sift through massive amounts of data to highlight trends, predict risks, and recommend actions.

Making AI Accessible for Every Project Manager

Imagine reporting on what has happened and providing stakeholders with insights into what could happen. It’s like giving your project report a crystal ball. And don’t worry – embracing AI doesn’t mean you have to be a tech wizard. Many modern project management tools benefit from built-in AI features. 

A thesis from DiVA portal explores the implementation of AI in project management and its impact on working personnel, indicating that AI is becoming more accessible and user-friendly.

The Future of Data-Driven Decision Making

AI’s capabilities equip stakeholders with data-driven insights for strategic decisions. It’s not just about tracking work and identifying risks anymore – it’s about forecasting them and offering actionable solutions. Welcome to the future of project reporting.

Types of Project Reports and Their Formats

Understanding the types of project reports you need to create is crucial. Whether it’s a project summary report, a project health report, or a project completion report, each serves a unique purpose and audience.

Knowing the format, whether a pie chart, bar chart, or complete chart, can also help present the data effectively. Writing a report is a valuable opportunity to evaluate the project, document lessons learned, and add to your organization’s knowledge base for future projects.

Data Visualization: Modern Tools and Techniques

Data visualization has come a long way from simple pie charts and bar graphs. With the advent of AI, we now have tools that can display and interpret data. Think of AI-powered heat maps that can show project bottlenecks or predictive line graphs that forecast project completion based on current trends.

Techniques for Effective Data Presentation

Modern data visualization techniques like interactive dashboards, real-time data streams, and even augmented reality (AR) representations are making it easier than ever to understand complex project metrics. These aren’t just for show; they offer actionable insights that can significantly impact project outcomes.

Making Data Visualization Accessible

The best part? These advanced visualization tools are becoming increasingly user-friendly. You don’t need to be a data scientist to use them. Most project management software now integrates seamlessly with these tools, making it easier than ever to incorporate advanced data visualization into your regular reporting.

The New Normal of Remote Work

In today’s digital age, remote work is becoming the new normal. As project managers, adapting our reporting techniques to this changing landscape is crucial.

Critical Metrics for Remote Teams

When it comes to remote teams, some metrics become even more critical. Think along the lines of ‘Remote Engagement Rate,’ ‘Digital Communication Effectiveness,’ and ‘Virtual Team Collaboration.’ These KPIs offer a more nuanced understanding of how remote teams are performing.

Tools for Tracking Remote Work Metrics

Fortunately, modern project management tools have features specifically designed to track these remote work metrics. From time-tracking software to virtual “water cooler” moments captured for team morale, these tools make remote work measurable in ways we couldn’t have imagined a few years ago.

Project Timeline and Milestones

A well-defined project timeline and key milestones are essential for any project. They not only help in keeping the project on track but also provide a basis for decision-making. 

Project management software can automate this process, ensuring that reports are always up-to-date. Try the steps outlined below for writing better project reports.

Manage Projects and Portfolios with Microsoft 365

how to write project management report

See how you can start any project using templates for Microsoft 365, Power Platform, and Teams.

How to Write an Effective Project Report in 7 Steps

Writing an effective project report is crucial for evaluating the project’s health, keeping stakeholders informed, and setting the stage for future projects. Here are seven steps to guide you through the process.

1. Decide the Objective

Take some time during the project management initiation phase to think about the purpose of the report. Do you need to describe, explain, recommend, or persuade? Having a clear goal from the outset ensures that you stay focused, making engaging your reader easier.

Understanding the objective is the cornerstone of effective project reporting. Whether crafting a project summary report or a detailed project performance report, aligning your content with the aim will make your report more coherent and actionable.

This is also the stage where you decide the key milestones and metrics to highlight in the report.

2. Understand Your Audience

Understanding your audience is crucial for crafting a report that resonates. Whether you’re writing for stakeholders or team members, the language, data, and visuals should be tailored to their preferences and needs.

  • Language & Tone : Consider the communication style of your audience. Is a formal or informal tone more appropriate? Tailoring your language can build rapport and make your message more impactful.
  • Data & Graphics : Choose the types of data and visual aids that will most effectively convey your message to your specific audience.
  • Personal Preferences : Pay attention to how your audience typically communicates, whether in emails or other documents and try to mirror that style.
  • Report Format : Different stakeholders may require different levels of detail. A project manager may want an in-depth analysis, while a sponsor only needs an executive summary.
  • Audience Personas : Utilize audience personas to guide the tone, style, and content, ensuring your report caters to the diverse needs of all project stakeholders.

3. Report Format and Type

Before you start, check the report format and type. Do you need to submit a written report or deliver a presentation? Do you need to craft a formal, informal, financial, annual, technical, fact-finding, or problem-solving report?

You should also confirm if any project management templates are available within the organization.

Checking these details can save time later on!

Different types of project reports serve other purposes. A project status report provides a snapshot of where the project is, while a project health report dives deeper into metrics. 

Make sure to consider the medium – will this report be a PDF, a slideshow, or an interactive dashboard? The format can significantly impact how the information is received.

4. Gather the Facts and Data

Including engaging facts and data will solidify your argument. Start with your collaborative project site and work out as needed. Remember to cite sources such as articles, case studies, and interviews.

To build a compelling case in your report, start mining your collaborative project site for crucial metrics like project milestones, resource utilization, and project health. Supplement this with additional data from external sources like articles and case studies. 

Utilize data visualization tools like pie charts or bar graphs to make complex information easily digestible. Ensure the data is current to maintain the report’s credibility and remember to cite your sources for added reliability.

5. Structure the Report

How you arrange your report is pivotal in how well your audience can digest the material. A logically organized report improves readability and amplifies its impact in delivering the core message.

Your report should have a natural progression, leading the reader from one point to the next until a decisive conclusion is reached. Generally, a report is segmented into four key components:

  • Opening Overview: This is the first thing your reader will see, and it’s usually crafted after the rest of the report is complete. Make this section compelling, as it often influences whether the reader will delve deeper into the report.
  • Introduction: This section sets the stage by offering background information and outlining the report’s cover. Make sure to specify the report’s scope and any methodologies employed.
  • Body: Here’s where your writing prowess comes into play. This is the meat of the report, filled with background, analyses, discussions, and actionable recommendations. Utilize data and visual aids to bolster your arguments.
  • Final Thoughts: This is where you tie all the report’s elements together in a neat bow. Clearly state the following steps and any actions the reader should consider.

6. Readability

Spend some time making the report accessible and enjoyable to read. If working in Word, the Navigation pane is a great way to help your reader work through the document. Use formatting, visuals, and lists to break up long text sections.

Readability is not just about the text but also about the visual elements like pie charts, bar colors, and even the background color of the report. Use these elements to break the monotony and make the report more engaging. Also, consider adding a table of contents for longer reports to improve navigation.

The first draft of the report is rarely perfect, so you will need to edit and revise the content. If possible, set the document aside for a few days before reviewing it or ask a colleague to review it.

Automate and Streamline Project Reporting with Microsoft 365

Project reporting can often be a laborious and time-consuming task. Especially on a project where there are so many moving parts and different people involved, getting a clear picture of what’s going on can be pretty tricky.

That is why we recommend moving to a cloud-based solution for project management and reporting – and you might have guessed it: we recommend Microsoft 365! If you’re considering SharePoint, check out our build vs buy guide.

Why use Microsoft 365 for project reporting?

There are many benefits to using Microsoft 365 as the platform for your project management reporting, including:

  • Centralizing your project management and reporting on Microsoft 365 brings your project information into one place, so you can automate reporting and save time. If you’re still using excel for project management , here’s why you should consider switching.
  • You can access configurable and filterable reports based on the audience by leveraging the available reporting mechanisms in Power Apps, Power BI, and Excel. Everyone can see the information in the way they need.
  • Linked into the Microsoft 365 ecosystem, reports can appear in Power Apps, Power BI, exported to Excel, emailed in Outlook, or seen in MS Teams, so reports are available wherever the audience is working.
  • Having project data maintained in a single platform means that project reports are always up to date. No more chasing up PMs or team members for the latest document version!

5 Ways you can use BrightWork 365 for Project and Portfolio Reporting

BrightWork 365 is a project and portfolio management solution for Microsoft 365 and the Power Platform. Here are five ways you can leverage BrightWork 365 and Microsoft 365 for more efficient project reporting:

1. Capture Project Status Reports in a few minutes

BrightWork project sites have a “Status” tab where the project manager can capture what is happening. This is not a status report but a place for the PM to log the current status.

how to write project management report

2. Track the project schedule with Gantt

how to write project management report

3. Get High-Level Visibility into Programs and Portfolios

BrightWork 365 enables a hierarchy for your project management – with Portfolios being the highest level. For example, a portfolio may house all the projects in a company.

how to write project management report

4. Surface Risks and Issues across all projects

One of the most critical elements for senior executives and project stakeholders is being aware of the project risks, especially understanding any issues that arise quickly.

how to write project management report

5. Leverage Visual and Interactive Reports

The type and format of a report often depends on the audience. For example, senior executives often want the high-level details of a project. That’s where BrightWork 365 Power BI Dashboards come in.

how to write project management report

Spend less time on your project reports with BrightWork 365

Streamline your project reporting process with BrightWork 365, a tool to centralize and automate your project data. Whether you prefer real-time dashboards or scheduled email reports, BrightWork 365 adapts to your needs, eliminating the tedious aspects of project reporting. Consider the following:

  • Centralization : BrightWork 365 consolidates all project information into a single platform, making it easier to manage and report.
  • Real-Time Reporting : As data is updated, reports are generated in real-time, ensuring you always have the most current information.
  • Flexible Access : Reports can be accessed through various methods, including logging in to view customizable dashboards or receiving scheduled email summaries.
  • Efficiency : The tool automates the reporting process, freeing time and reducing manual effort.

Conclusion: The Future of Project Reporting

Project reporting has undergone a significant transformation, thanks partly to technological advancements like Microsoft 365 and BrightWork 365 . As we’ve discussed, it’s not just about tracking tasks and milestones anymore. 

Today’s project reports are data-rich, AI-enhanced documents that offer predictive analytics and actionable insights. They also cater to the unique challenges and KPIs relevant to remote teams.

As we look to the future, we can expect even more advancements in project reporting technology. However, the core principles of clear objectives, a deep understanding of your audience, and a well-structured format will remain constant. 

By adhering to the steps outlined in this guide, you’ll be well-equipped to adapt to new tools and technologies, ensuring that your project reports remain valuable for decision-making and strategic planning.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in September 2016 and has been updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness

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how to write project management report

Use BrightWork 365 to leverage Microsoft Templates, Power Automate, and Power BI for Project Pipeline Management

Shubhangi Pandey

Shubhangi Pandey

Shubhangi is a product marketing enthusiast, who enjoys testing and sharing the BrightWork 365 project portfolio management solution capabilities with Microsoft 365 users. You can see her take on the experience of the template-driven BrightWork 365 solution, its unique project management success approach, and other personalized services across the site and social channels. Beyond BrightWork, Shubhangi loves to hunt for the newest Chai Latte-serving café, where she can read and write for hours.

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April 18, 2022

Writing a Project Management Report – 4 Easy Steps

By Jessica Fender

Introduction – What is a Project Management Report?

A project management report is one of the essential tools in the project manager’s repository. It is a document that summarizes the purpose of a project, validates its need, and provides visibility on the different tasks, points of contact, resources, project budgets, and timeline allocations. A Project Management Report also serves as a tool that keeps track of all records, decisions made, as well as the reasons and circumstances surrounding them.

The importance of a management report

According to the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) Global report of 2015 , 66% of adults view entrepreneurship as a good career option, either for themselves or others. There are more than 582 million entrepreneurs 1 in the world today, and over 71,000 startups 2 registered in the US over the years 2020-2022. In this context, a project management report is one of the most important tools to help enterprises succeed.

You can find 4 easy steps to writing a detailed and well-structured project management report below.

Step 1: Planning and Collecting Information

1.1 define the purpose of the report.

Defining the report’s purpose helps writers align themselves to the subject while writing. It also allows them to know the level of detail that the report needs to reflect. Lastly, it will enable writers to follow a set structure while making their reports.

1.2 Define the audience of the report 

The second step is knowing the audience who will read the report. There are different audiences 3 such as the leadership, mid-level managers, external stakeholders, funders, or the public. Each of these categories will be interested in seeing different aspects of the project’s progress. Knowing the target audience of the report also helps writers keep their writing style and language relatable.

1.3 Look for pre-existing and past reports for reference

Looking at previous reports will give a good understanding of the expected style, level of details, size, and formatting templates. Such an approach makes the process of report writing faster and easier.

1.4 Outline the report

Outlining is putting together a structure in which the report must be written. It includes adding headings and subheadings, placeholders for infographics, and more. Many global firms also require that a project management report is available in multiple languages. Firms can use translation services for this. However, even the best translation websites expect a detailed report outline and the content that needs to be translated to be organized in a structured manner. Thus, creating a comprehensive and well-structured report outline is essential.

1.5 Outline data dependencies

Any report requires collecting and collating data from different departments. Recognizing data dependencies and communicating them with the concerned teams should be done at the beginning of report writing. This ensures that all the data points needed for writing the report are in place before the actual writing begins.

1.6 Create a table of contents 

A table of contents should be created at the beginning of the report, after the outline. By doing this, writers will have a good understanding of gaps in data acquisition, if there are any. They can also use the table of contents to track the progress within each section of the report.

Step 2: Organizing the data

The data in a good project management report is organized 4 as follows.

2.1 Executive Summary

An executive summary is a brief overview of the major points covered in any report. Writing an executive summary helps a report stay professional.

2.2 Introduction

An introduction familiarizes readers with the subject of the report. It can contain any historical information or project objectives and validate its necessity.

2.3 Methodology for problem-solving

In this next section, the writer must go into detail on the methods and processes that the project uses. This is called methodology. A methodology section validates the research being done, the conclusions made and the solutions found. A methodology section contains standard operating procedures, quality control techniques, and improvement methods as applicable.

2.4 Overview of resources, budgets, and project timelines

An overview of resources, budgets, and timelines gives a realistic picture of the project. Resources include humans and machines. Budgets outline the amount of money required for the project and the forecasted expenditures. Timelines 5 talk about milestones in the project roadmap.

2.5 Conclude with a relevant solution

Lastly, a firm conclusion that proposes some solution and adds value to the report should be mentioned at the end.

Step 3: Formatting the report

Once all the information for the report has been organized, the next step is to format the report in the required manner, as follows.

3.1 Automate and use templates as much as possible

Most enterprises have their templates 6 for different reports. Such templates can be created once and then stored and accessed via Microsoft Office, Google Suite, or Overleaf. After that, one can automatically format or edit a particular type of report within said software and save it as the required file type.Check out these  proposal templates  for reference and choose the best one for your report.

3.2 Use style formatting techniques

Using heading styles enhances the readability of a report. Today’s most text editing software comes with a few built-in style templates. Style formatting is built to cascade – this means that editing one heading will automatically update the style of all titles of that level. It also helps writers to maintain consistency in their reports.

Step 4: Refining the report

4.1 add infographics and visual aids.

Infographics and visual aids 7 are excellent tools used to capture readers’ attention. A report that features them will likely be well received. One can easily enhance the quality of reports by using the right visual aids.

Good visual aids help to:

  • Summarize the presented data
  • Put an emphasis on certain statements.
  • Allow the audience to easily grasp the point being made.
  • Stimulate visual memory.
  • Showcase additional data – charts, graphics, surveys, examples, etc.

4.2 Get early feedback on a first draft

Sharing the first draft for early feedback helps writers gauge the target audience’s expectations better. It saves a writer time and energy and helps to avoid unnecessary iterations of a report for minor changes.

4.3 Proofread

Once the project management report is finalized, one must ask a teammate to proofread the whole report. This helps writers avoid spelling or grammatical errors that they might have overlooked.

Final Words

In conclusion, while writing a project management report can seem like a daunting task, it is not. By following the steps outlined in the article, any project manager can quickly write high-quality and accurate reports for any target audience.

Jessica Fender is a freelance writer and consultant. She holds a master’s degree in Project Management and Business Communication and provides management consulting services to many companies. In her free time, she writes blog posts on various topics that can help businesses. Her articles address everything from effective communication strategies for managers to tips to create successful business models. She also works with entrepreneurs and guides them on business strategy planning.

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Status.net

How to Write a Project Report: Step-By-Step Guide [+ 4 Free Templates]

By archtc on December 26, 2017 — 21 minutes to read

  • How to Write a Project Report: Step-By-Step Guide Part 1
  • Project Report Templates: Free Download Part 2
  • Additional Resources Part 3
  • How to Dramatically Reduce Time You Spend Creating Reports Part 4

At some point during the implementation of a project, a project report has to be generated in order to paint a mental image of the whole project. Ultimately, a project report must maximize the insight gained with minimal effort from the reader. Apart from describing its results, it must also explain the implications of those results to the organization and its business operations.

How to Write a Project Status Report:

The most common type of project report, a project status report provides a general state of the project to its stakeholders. It quantifies work performed and completed in measurable terms. It compares this with an established baseline to see if the project is on track or; if adjustments have to be made if the project is behind its schedule. It keeps everyone on the same page and manages each other’s expectations.

Project status reports are accomplished to serve the following purposes;

  • to keep an updated flow of information in relation to the project’s progress
  • to immediately address issues and concerns that may come up at any point of the project’s implementation or duration
  • to document reasons for changes and adjustments made to the original plan for the project
  • to monitor fund utilization and to ensure that the project expenses are still within the budget
  • to serve as a basis for decision-making and addressing problems
  • to keep track of the team’s performance and individual contributions
  • to act as a uniform procedure for communicating project development to the stakeholders.

Status reports are most effective when they follow a standard form with predefined fields that need to be regularly updated. Doing so will save time and provide consistency and predictability of the information the stakeholders will receive about the status of the project.

WHAT TO INCLUDE

For a status report to be comprehensive, it must include the following elements:

Summary/overall health of the project, facts on the project progress, target vs. actual accomplishments, action(s) taken, risks and issues, keys to an effective project status report.

  • Submit the report on time . A status report is time sensitive and sending it late defeats the purpose of such a report.
  • Giving complete but inaccurate information is just as bad as giving accurate but incomplete information . Since stakeholders rely on the status report for a heads-up on the project, and its content is used as the basis for decision-making, it is critical that the report provides both complete and accurate information.
  • Do not cover up bad news or adverse reports as these are all part of the transparency of the status report . Keep in mind that being open with the stakeholders, whether the project is sailing smoothly or not, will benefit both the team and the client, since any problems there are will be immediately given attention and solved.
  • Be proud of the team’s accomplishments, after all, this is what the clients and the stakeholders will want to know about .
  • Anticipate questions from the clients or stakeholders and be prepared to answer them .
  • Be familiar with the culture of the organization and respect the information hierarchy they observe . There are instances when the CEO wants to be the first to know about the contents of these reports before cascading it to his downlines. On the other hand, middle managers will want a head start on these reports so they can also anticipate and prepare for any reaction from the top executives.
  • Craft the status report in such a way that there will be no information overload . It should contain necessary information that the stakeholders need to know. Lengthy reports will consume not only the writer’s time but also that of the reader. Too many details also give an impression of micro management.

Risk Registers

All projects, or any activities of business, face risks. It is just a matter of how an organization identifies, assesses, analyzes, and monitors these risks. With a Risk Register, an organization is equipped with a tool to better respond to problems that may arise because of these risks. It helps in the decision-making process and enables the stakeholders to take care of the threats in the best way possible.

A Risk Register, also called an Issue Log, is iterative because it will be updated periodically depending on how often the team identifies a potential risk. It may also be updated if the characteristics of the existing potential risks change as the project progresses. 

The Risk Register document contains information about the following:

Risk Identification

  • Risk Category:  Grouping these risks under different categories is helpful. Doing so will provide a way to make a plan of action that will address most, if not all of the risks falling under the same category, saving time, effort, and resources.
  • Risk Description:  Provide a brief explanation of the identified potential risk. The description can be done in a variety of ways depending on the level of detail. A general description can be difficult to address while giving too much detail about the risk may entail a significant amount of work. Three factors to consider when making a risk description are: the way these risks are going to be managed, who will handle them, and the reporting requirements of the person receiving the risk register.
  • Risk ID:  Assign a unique identification code to each risk identified to track it in the risk register easily. Create a system of coding in such a way that the category to which the said risk belongs is easily identifiable.

Risk Analysis

  • Project Impact: Indicate the potential effect of the assumed risk on different aspects of the project such as budget, timelines, quality, and performance.
  • Likelihood: Referring to the possibility of the risk occurring, the likelihood can be expressed qualitatively—high, medium, low—or quantitatively, if there is enough information available. Whatever criteria are to be used, assign a number—with the highest value corresponding to that which is most likely to occur.

Risk Evaluation

Using the table above, the identified risk can be ranked this way:

  • Risk Trigger: These are the potential risk events that will trigger the implementation of a contingency plan based on the risk management plan. This plan should have been prepared prior to the development of a risk register.

Risk Treatment

  • Prevention Plan: This enumerates the steps or action to be taken to prevent the risks from occurring.
  • Contingency Plan: On the other hand, the contingency plan determines the steps or action to be taken once the risk events have occurred. This program also contains the measures to be taken to reduce the impact of such risks to the project.
  • Risk Owner: The person responsible for managing risk, and the implementation of the prevention and contingency plans, it can be anyone among the stakeholders—members of the team, a project manager, or project sponsors.
  • Residual Risk: Sometimes, a risk cannot be entirely eliminated after treatment. Part of it may linger throughout the duration of the project, but once it has been treated, it can be considered as a low-level risk.

Keys to an Effective Risk Register

  • The first risk register must be created as soon as the project plan and the risk management plan has been approved . This initial risk register must be integrated into the project plan.
  • Active risks during a particular period must also be included in the project status report .
  • Risk management is an iterative process which is why the risk register must also be updated from time to time . Updates can be made when new risks are identified or there have been changes in the risks already in the register.
  • The numerical value assigned to the likelihood and severity levels must remain constant throughout the duration of the whole project .
  • Likewise, any terms used must be defined, and this definition must be utilized consistently .

Project Closure Report

As the end of a project, a Project Closure Report signals its culmination. Its submission officially concludes a project and implies that funds and resources will no longer be needed, and everything will go back to its status prior to the implementation of the project.

This process is critical as it will officially tie up all loose ends and prevent confusion among stakeholders.

This particular type of project report summarizes information on the project results, the criteria used to measure the effectiveness of the project delivery process, and the feedback from the stakeholders. Each performance metric includes an assessment and a narration of how the team performed on such metrics.

This performance metric describes how the team utilized the budget in carrying out the project effectively. Under this performance metric, the following aspects are measured:

Component Breakdown

Budget variance, explanations for key variances.

Describe how the team implemented the project within the expected time frame and schedule.

Overall Project Duration

Schedule variance, the explanations for key variances, change management.

This metric refers to the team’s ability to handle and manage changes throughout the project’s implementation effectively. It is measured through the following:

Total Number of Changes

The impact of the changes, the highlight of changes, quality management.

This particular metric refers to the team’s ability to observe and comply with quality standards during the project’s implementation.

Total Number of Defects Identified

The explanation for resolved defects, risk and issue management.

This metric deals with how risks and matters that occurred during project implementation were handled and resolved by the team. Key points to include are the following:

The impact of the Risks and Issues to the Project

Human resource management.

This refers to the team’s ability to carry out the project effectively.

Project Organization Structure

This metric looks at how the stakeholders participated in the project.

Decision-makers

Communication management.

Under this metric, communication throughout the duration of the project is assessed.

Communication Management Plan

  • Summarize essential feedback collected . Describe the method by which these comments were gathered and who was solicited for feedback. Also include how they responded to each question and briefly discuss which items received great responses from the participants and which ones got few answers.
  • Take note of common themes or trends of feedback gathered .
  • From the feedback gathered, also take note of any opportunities from this feedback and discuss how these opportunities can be applied to future projects, or in the organization itself .

Lesson Learned

  • Give a brief discussion of what the team learned when carrying out the project . Among these learnings, discuss which ones can be applied to future projects and how it will impact not only those future projects but also the whole organization.

Other Metrics

Other points of interest may not have been captured in the Project Status Report and may be included in the Project Closeout Report. Some of these factors include:

Duration and Effort by Project Phase

Benefits realized, benchmark comparisons, keys to an effective project closure report.

  • The closure report is mostly a summary of all efforts related to the project . It is important to ensure that all highlights of the project have been properly documented so that retrieval of these reports is easier and all efforts will be acknowledged.
  • Emphasize the high points the project delivered, how efficiently it was done, and what has been learned from the process.
  • If there are notable variances during the project implementation, make sure to provide a fact-based explanation on it . In addition, the impact of this difference must also be described.
  • A critical point in a project closure report is establishing the link between the project performance, the lessons learned, and the steps that will be taken by the organization for its continuous improvement . Aside from the project deliverables, another valuable output of a project is the learnings derived from the process and how it will be translated into concrete concepts applicable to the business processes of the organization.

Executive Summary

A little bit different from the types of project reports previously mentioned, an Executive Summary  is a distinct kind of report which uses different language. It is a high-level report which aims to provide a bigger and deeper understanding of the project—how it will benefit the organization and how it will fit into future business strategies. It is written with a busy executive in mind, someone who has a lot of important things to do and may find reading a lengthy piece of prose a waste of precious time. Factual and objective, this particular type of project report must be able to provide a realistic status of the project, as business executives understand that everything may not go according to the plan.

Some may confuse an executive summary with an abstract but, in reality, they are clearly distinct from one another and serve a different purpose.

An abstract is usually written for academic or scientific papers. It is written with a topic sentence which, generally, gives an overview of what the article is about. It is, then, supported by two or three supporting sentences which support the main idea of the topic sentence.

An executive summary, on the other hand, is composed of different sections discussing almost every significant aspect of an undertaking. It consists of sequentially arranged key points supported by conclusions and recommendations. Check our in-depth article on how to write an effective executive summary .

Things to Remember in Writing Project Reports

Here are some of the principles that need to be observed in writing an effective project report;

Write for the reader

The report should have a structure, ensure that the report is evidence-based and is supported by data, make it as objective as possible.

There is a clear distinction between facts and opinions . These should never be used together, especially if the report is dwelling on a failed project. The report becomes subjective if it reflects personal opinions of the writer. Make it objective by eliminating all parts which are not based on facts and real events. If it is really necessary to include a personal view or opinion, make sure to explicitly identify it as such. A separate section of the project report may be devoted to the writer’s personal opinion to keep the rest of the report unbiased.

There are a number of ways project reporting helps an organization, a team, and even the project itself and here are some of them:

It tracks the progress of the project

It helps identify risks, it helps manage project cost, it gives stakeholders an insight on how the project is performing, project report template: free download.

project status report

Click Here to Download Project Status Report XLSX

project update report

Click Here to Download Project Update Report DOC

project updated report 2

Click Here to Download Project Update Report 2 DOCX

general project report

Click Here to Download General Project Report DOCX

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Templates on ProsperForms:

project status report form template

Edit and use this template

monthly status report form template

Additional Sources

  • How to Write an Outstanding Weekly Report + Free Template Download
  • Project Status Dashboard and Project Tracking
  • How to Create a Project Meeting Template + Free Download

What is a CRM Database Software in Customer Relationship Management

How To Write A Project Management Report

Flowlu Team

Regular project management reports are essential because they keep stakeholders up to date on the status of the project. These documents contain the most specific information about the project’s peculiarities and relevant state of development. Do you know how to create such a document correctly?

Any business, large or small, requires effective communication between employees and departments. Regular project management reports enable staff to see the quantity of completed work, the state of individual project components, and the overall project status more effectively.

The presence of various types of communication channels, such as Flowlu and Slack, makes the process easier, but there are times when one needs a simple report, for example, for the stakeholders or commissions. Let’s figure out what goes in the project management report.

What Does a Project Management Report Include?

Reports identify problems, reduce risks, and ensure that you, as a business, follow the right path to achieve project goals. Project management status reports are important for clients as well.

They give them confidence that their money is being properly distributed and that the project will be completed on time. There are several types of project status reports:

  • Weekly report. It includes a variety of statistics and can be completed within an hour if the client requests it;
  • Monthly report . It shows the overall progress and development of the project (budget, costs, status of results and any major risks or obstacles);
  • Quarterly status reports. They cover longer periods (from 3-4 months).

The data content of the report may vary from project to project. Each of them, however, should include the following information:

  • Project milestone demonstrating the completion of activities and the start of new ones;
  • Available budget;
  • The list of tasks;
  • Measures implemented during the project;
  • Decisions and latest project updates.

If something goes wrong with the project, the report will help your colleagues understand what went wrong and eliminate it as soon as possible. As the reviews of companies show, writing services reviews websites can significantly ease data reporting by providing the most accurate reports.

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Herewith, one in four companies, however, prefer using specialized project management software that allows them to keep all data in a secure cloud space. Here are the steps you should take to write a good project management report:

1. Assign a Title to the Report

You can use the project name for the report. If you do several reports on one project, you can mark it with the date.

For example:

Project Management Status Report 02/08.

2. Project Vision

This should be a brief explanation of what your project is about and what its main purpose/vision is. Express your thoughts in a simple manner. This section should include 2-3 sentences. Its goal is to provide information in a condensed form to those who do not have time to read the entire report.

We hope to increase building material sales with the help of this project by implementing an e-mail marketing campaign.

3. Project Status (As Scheduled, Under Threat, or Postponed)

Find a project management tool that allows you to keep your colleagues updated on the status of the project and whether everything is going as planned. One method is to use a colour coding system (green marks – everything goes as planned, yellow – some operations are at risk of being postponed, red – operations are postponed).

The project’s status (highlight with green colour): The drip email design has been approved. Currently, there is no budget issue.

Or, you can add the tags and even create your own custom fields with the statuses specific to your business.

4. Project Budget

Share project planned expenses and compare them against actual numbers. You might also consider including an overall percentage spent on the project.

62% spent ($17,250.00 planned vs. $10,850.00 actual)

5. The Tasks Completed This Week/Month/Quarter

List the tasks that have been completed within the timeframe specified. Use tagged lists. You can also include hyperlinks to required sources, tables, etc.

  • The team received approval for three house room layouts [here you can attach a link to approved layouts];
  • The project has been transferred to the construction team,
  • The delivery dates for the materials have been finally confirmed.

6. Things One Plans to Complete the Next Week

Make a list of the tasks and milestones you intend to complete soon. Use the tagged lists here as well.

  • Consider the development of three models of finishing work for living rooms;
  • Perform internal quality control on the materials provided;
  • Transfer of all materials required for finishing work to the builders.
  • Monday: Approval of room models
  • Tuesday: Launch of room development

7. Project Problems

In this section, you can highlight the issues that are preventing you from progressing.

If we do not receive feedback from the client, we risk missing the determined deadline.

8. Extra Sections (Optional)

Depending on the project, you can also include a few optional but useful items in the report:

  • Links to your project’s schedule;
  • References to project outcomes at a relevant phase;
  • Thanks to the team members;
  • Links to industry trends.

How To Create a Project Status Report In Flowlu

Flowlu business management platform allows you to generate reports based on the indicated project stages and milestones, as well as milestone reports.

  • Go to your project page and navigate to the Work Structure tab.
  • Click on the three-dot button near the project progress bar and select the option to export the report in Microsoft Word format.
  • Open the report in Word or Google Docs. Flowlu automatically adds project name, current date, project manager and client. Plus, you can see all the stages and milestones with reports in your document.
  • The document can be edited and supplemented with any information you want such as links to other resources or important notes.

You do not need to report the status of your project from scratch every time. There is software that allows you to not only create but also share existing templates with the team.

One should note that you should not delay the preparation of a project management report until the last minute. Start working on it and add information as events happen in real-time. If someone asks for an immediate report on the project status, you will always have some material to show.

About the Author

Frank Hamilton is a blogger and translator from Manchester. He is a professional writing expert in such topics as blogging, digital marketing and self-education. He also loves traveling and speaks Spanish, French, German and English.

A Project Management Report is a formal document that provides an overview of the status, progress, and specific aspects of a project. It's used to communicate key information to stakeholders, team members, and clients.

These reports are crucial for tracking the progress of a project, identifying potential issues early on, managing risks, and ensuring that the project is aligned with its goals and deadlines.

A typical report includes an overview, project milestones, budget information, a list of tasks completed and pending, identified risks and issues, and any decisions or updates made during the project.

The frequency can vary depending on the project's needs and stakeholders' requirements but can range from weekly, monthly, to quarterly reports.

How To Become A Project Manager

7 Tips to Write a Project Management Report

project-management-report

Managing projects of any scale is a challenge. Whether you are a startup CEO or a project lead in a large international company, project management represents an essential part of your workflow. However, not all businesses see the value of project management.

According to Finances Online , only 22% of organizations use project management platforms such as Ora in their day-to-day workflow. Likewise, 44% of project managers use no software whatsoever, leading to 9.9% of every resource dollar being wasted due to less-than-optimal management.

One of the things that can improve your performance and subsequently lead to better end-product quality and stakeholder satisfaction lies in project management report writing. Project management reports can effectively inform all stakeholders of the project’s current status and help identify potential bottlenecks before they cause downtime or pipeline issues. But how can we write project management reports, and what value lies in their standardization within your business model? Let’s find out.

  • Structure your Report
  • Standardize your Metrics
  • Keep it Simple & on Point
  • Include Empiric Data
  • Visualize your Results
  • Double-Check before Submission
  • Spark a Discussion

A Standard Affair (Conclusion)

Why project management reports matter.

Let’s start by discussing what the role of project management reports really is. Project management reports serve the role of informing all relevant stakeholders (managers, team members, clients, investors, etc.) of the project’s current status. The complexity and frequency of these reports vary depending on the project.

Likewise, their content should closely resemble the initial project management brief, which was used to start the production process. It’s good practice to create a solid template for your project management reports via academic writing companies and use the same structure throughout different projects.

This will make storage and indexing of reports smoother over extended periods, as you will know how to find relevant data in a streamlined fashion. On top of that, frequent reliance on project management reports in your production pipeline can lead to several crucial advantages:

  • Active tracking of any one project’s current status
  • Early identification of potential production errors
  • Transparency and professionalism among relevant stakeholders
  • Ability to learn from past projects through retroactive data analysis
  • Efficient cost management and minimized margin for project failure

How to Write a Project Management Report

1. structure your report.

As we’ve previously mentioned, it may be smart to structure your project management reports going forward. This will allow every manager or writer to simply fill in the blanks and store the report for future reference easily. Some of the sections you should include in your report’s structure are as follows:

  • Project title and serial number (for indexing)
  • Project manager and team members
  • Project client and investor/sponsor (if there are any)
  • Start and expected end date of the project
  • Date of the report’s publishing
  • Field on KPIs and milestones (more on that below)
  • Field on the project manager’s review
  • Field on current costs against available budget
  • Field on additional comments

Including these fields in your project management report’s structure can significantly improve the writing efficiency and speed for future reports. Likewise, it will make scanning and subsequent analysis of any report easier as each document will follow the same structure.

2. Standardize your Metrics

Every project has metrics associated with its production pipeline. For example, if you work as a design agency, a metric, or Key Performance Indicators (KPI) can be “X of social media posts designed”. Different industries will naturally require various KPIs which will represent the project’s current performance in an objective manner.

It’s pivotal to set measurable KPIs during the planning phase of your project for the sake of better tracking and evaluation. Those same metrics should be used in project management report writing and commented on by the project manager. Having an overview of numeric metrics from report to report will significantly improve the performance of individual teams, given the clear direction they have acquired.

3. Keep it Simple & on Point

Given that project management reports are standard affairs once your project enters production, you should keep its contents simple and on point. Don’t retread initial project briefing information past the first report and focus on new findings and updates for your stakeholders. Make it a habit to use approachable vocabulary and avoid niche terminology so that anyone can understand what you are writing.

If you don’t have anything new to say in a scheduled project management report, you can postpone it until you have sufficient data to share. The report exists to make production easier, not hinder it with bureaucracy – write your reports only when there is something to say.

4. Include Empiric Data

It’s always a good idea to share your findings about customer expectations, industry trends, and other relevant data in your reports. Such information can cause your project to shift focus to more profitable solutions before it is too late to do so.

According to Project Management Works , 30% of projects fail due to poor communication, and 23% do so because of poor resource forecasting. Be on the lookout for changes within your industry and use research and statistics published by reputable sources in your project management reports.

5. Visualize your Results

You should strive to streamline your reports’ readability as much as possible to enable different individuals to comprehend their content. Since some of your stakeholders may not be fully familiar with industry terminology and provided descriptions, you may want to refer to visualization.

Data visualization can significantly improve your project management reports’ approachability for clients, investors, and third-party readers. You can rely on tools such as Canva to create rudimentary graphs and charts for your reports and improve their legibility as a result.

6. Double-Check before Submission

Your project management reports should be free of any statistical, grammatical, or formatting error to avoid confusion or misunderstanding. Even a simple spelling error can cause problems for your report’s legibility, especially if you rely on acronyms and niche terminology.

Pass your reports through a tool such as Hemingway Editor before you call it a day and your reports’ high degree of quality will remain intact. Make it a habit to double-check all of the information contained within a report before you submit it for review by third-party readers.

7. Spark a Discussion

Lastly, use the concluding section of your project management report to spark a discussion with the reader. Anyone with access to the report will likely have an opinion on it, so it is vital that they share it with the team.

This can lead to further improvements in your production or detection of hidden errors that remain undiscovered. Engage your reader and ask them for feedback and opinions on the project’s production so far – you might be surprised by the results.

Consult your coworkers on their performance, comments, and future projections before you write the report. Just like day-to-day workflow, report writing is a team effort, and everyone involved in active development should be asked for an opinion. Even though reports are a type of standardized documentation, their writing is crucial for successful project management.

Author's Bio: Daniela McVicker is a blogger and a freelance writer who works closely with B2B and B2C businesses providing blog writing, copywriting and ghostwriting services. Currently, she blogs for Essayguard . When Daniela isn’t writing, she loves to travel, read romance and science fiction, and try new wines.

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How to Write a Project Report: Components and report types

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Tabel of the content

How to create a project report, components of a report on a project, report types for project management, steps for creating a new project report.

Managing a project is not a simple task. It might be difficult to maintain focus on the tasks and keep stakeholders informed of the project's status when there are ’s trajectory elements. For this reason, project reports are a valuable resource for project managers.

These project report s can be utilised to provide direction to team members, provide status updates to partners or management teams, and effectively manage risk mitigation , to mention a few uses.

Let's examine in greater detail how to write a project report, including its numerous aims, components, and examples.

Your project report will be filled to the brim with essential information. Even though the substance of your report will vary based on the sort of report you're writing, keeping your report structured will make it simple for the reader to follow along and not miss any key aspects. Organize your data and material into categories that enable rapid referencing by all stakeholders.

Following are the most important project report components : 

Executive Synopsis

Your report's introduction will likely contain an executive summary. The quick summary should convey all of the key points from the report, enabling the reader to comprehend the report's content without reading all of the project's specifics.

Project Development

This component contains actual metrics for tracking the development of your project. It provides a review of the project's progress and budget, as well as any newly-emerging risks or difficulties. Assisting project management and other stakeholders in reviewing the project schedule and making necessary adjustments.

Risks and Risk Management

What dangers have emerged that may compromise the project's quality, schedule, or budget? How do you intend to manage these developing elements? It is certain that all projects will encounter hazards; thus, the project team and stakeholders are interested in how you propose to handle these risks. Include a thorough analysis of the risk, your recommended remedies, and the impact these additional aspects will have on the overall project.

Are your finances in accordance with the present state of your project? Will more funds be necessary to properly achieve your objectives? Provide a comprehensive breakdown of your budget allocation, including materials, labour, and operational expenditures.

Consider your project's objectives. Is the project late, early, or on time? How will changes to your schedule impact your budget or resources? Include a summary of accomplished work as well as a full calendar of remaining chores.

Resources may include the necessary supplies, equipment, or funds to finish a job. Provide a thorough overview of your present distribution of resources. What resources that are damaging to your project are running low? Exist any surplus amounts?

Team Efficiency

Is your team effective at completing tasks? Exist any skill or knowledge gaps that need filling? Compare the performance of your team against its original objectives to determine the group's progress.

What is the significance of your project report? Your conclusion should bring together the different components of your report and direct the reader toward any necessary next steps or activities.

The following is a collection of the most crucial project management reports that you may require to monitor and report the progress of your project.

Time monitoring reports

Reports on time tracking indicate which projects team members are working on. This allows you to better project management and effectively communicate with stakeholders on a project's development. Reports on time monitoring give valuable information to enhance scheduling and resource management and increase income, particularly in professional services agencies and businesses.

Project health reports

Project health reports give an overview of a project's status. This helps to communicate the success or failure of a project. The project status report details what has been completed, what is on track, and what is late. They facilitate communication between team members and stakeholders on the overall project status. A project health report reveals if you have remained on track or diverged significantly from the project plan. It highlights the most crucial activities that must be completed to get a project back on track. Different teams and organizations may organize their own project health reports differently.

Project status reports  

Reports on the status of a project detail its progression throughout a certain time period. This assists in keeping stakeholders informed of the project's progress and any new difficulties with cost, scope, timelines, or hazards. A project status report may be simply compared to the project baseline or project plan to determine its progress. Typical project status updates include the completed work, a description of the project's budget and timeline, a plan for what's next, and any concerns or hazards.

Project risk reports

Project risk reports assess and classify project hazards according to their severity and probability of occurring. This facilitates the prioritisation of concerns and the elimination of hazardous risks prior to irreversible damage or project failure. Project risk reports inform stakeholders of issues so they may take action. The purpose of project risk reports is to anticipate and identify potential project hazards.

Reports on variance

Variance reports illustrate how a project has departed from its baseline or plan. This helps compare the progress of a project to its plan and reduces the likelihood of project failure. With the use of a variance report, project teams may compare actual and planned performance and verify they are on track with respect to the project's scope, budget, and timeline. This assists in mitigating risks and implementing change management processes as required. Additionally, variance reports assist in the planning of future projects.

Resource reports

Reports on available resources are useful for managing and planning a project's success. You may utilise them to change workloads and make choices for a more efficient and productive project process. Costs, timeliness, and remaining work scope are considered in resource reports in order to make the optimal resource allocation choices for the project and team. It is simple to assess the workload of team members and reassign tasks to obtain the required outcomes and conclude the project.

Creating project reports is a vital aspect of assessing the success of a project. Lessons learned that are documented and shared with a broader team in an organized manner can aid future projects. You can use a variety of tools to compose your project report. Here are some fundamental steps that help us create a project report :

Determine Your Objective

Consider your objectives and determine what you intend to discuss, explain, recommend, and prove in your report. Having defined objectives will not only help you go forward with your project report, but will also aid your audience in understanding your perspective.

Recognize Your Audience

Your audience plays a crucial part in the success of your project report. A formal annual report differs from a financial report in terms of language, data presentation, and analysis, depending on the intended audience.

Data Acquisition

The likelihood of a solid report increases when it is supported by statistics. Data is crucial to convincing others to accept your conclusions. Also, substantiate your claims using references to case studies, polls, interviews, etc.

Format the Report

A report on a project is subdivided into several sections. These four sections are the most prevalent in a project report:

The summary provides the reader with an overview of the entire project report. Even though a summary appears at the beginning of a project report, it cannot be written until the entire document has been completed.

Introduction - Describe the report's structure, provide background, and describe the report's scope and methodology.

This is the longest component of the report as it includes background information, analysis, data, and visuals.

This section brings the entire project report to a conclusion.

Revise and Correct

Once your project report is complete, you should reread it many times separated by time. You can request that your coworkers review it.

Creating project reports is fundamental to all businesses. It is vital for analysing the viability of your ideas and objectives and for demonstrating the efficacy of your techniques. As we have seen, writing an accurate project report plays a significant part in project management, and there are several advantages to mastering this skill. It takes time for a person to acquire the necessary abilities and become an inspiration to the team as well as an asset to the organization.

Therefore, if you want a successful career in leadership positions, you need to get started right away. There are several online certificates and courses that can facilitate your travel. You may visit StarAgile to learn about the PMP certification and training that will allow you to grasp the roles and obligations as well as the required skills of project leaders and help you master the ability to write a project report. Then, you will be able to begin your career and ascend to the position of top team leader in huge businesses.

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Project Status Reports

This guide to status reports is presented by projectmanager, the project management software trusted by 35,000+ users. make a status report in minutes.

ProjectManager's project status report page

What Is a Project Status Report?

What is the purpose of a project status report, types of project status reports, status report vs. progress report, how to write a project status report, project status report template, project status report example, what should be included in a project status report, what is project reporting software, benefits of project reporting software, must-have features of project reporting software, how to make project status reports in projectmanager, best practices for presenting project status reports, other types of project management reports, try our project reporting software for 30 days.

A project status report is a document that describes the progress of a project within a specific time period and compares it against the project plan. Project managers use status reports to keep stakeholders informed of progress and monitor costs, risks, time and work. Project status reports allow project managers and stakeholders to visualize project data through charts and graphs.

Project status reports are taken repeatedly throughout every phase of the project’s execution as a means to maintain your schedule and keep everyone on the same page. The status report for a project generally includes the following:

  • The work that’s been completed
  • The plan for what will follow
  • The summary of the project budget and schedule
  • A list of action items
  • Any issues and risks, and what’s being done about them

Related: 12 Essential Project Reports

The true value of a project status report lies beyond its use as a communication channel. It also provides a documented history of the project. This gives you historical data, so the next time you’re planning a similar project, you can avoid any missteps or bottlenecks.

Because project status reports cover so many topics, they were historically time-consuming to create. Fortunately, modern project management software like ProjectManager expedites the all-important status reporting process. Try our automated project reports and simplify your project reporting.

ProjectManager's project status reports page

Create a project status report with just a few clicks with ProjectManager— Learn more.

There are several reasons why project managers create status reports. Here are some of the most important.

  • Help the project management team keep track of costs, tasks and timelines
  • Compare the budget and time forecasts with the actual costs and task duration
  • Improve communications across the organization
  • Simplify the communication process
  • Keep stakeholders informed
  • Deliver key messages to the intended target audience
  • Improve organizational support for your projects or your team

If you’re reporting to stakeholders, you don’t want to bog them down with unnecessary details. Keep your status reporting presentation light and to the point.

how to write project management report

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  • Status Report Template

Use this free Status Report Template for Excel to manage your projects better.

You might create daily, weekly, monthly or quarterly status reports depending on your project management requirements. Here’s a quick overview of when it’s best to use each of them.

Daily Status Report

A daily status report captures what each member of the project team has worked on over the course of that day. It not only highlights what they’re working on currently but addresses any issues that are preventing them from completing their tasks. It includes a summary of today’s work and what was accomplished the day before.

Weekly Status Report

A weekly status report is like the daily status report except it covers a full work week rather than just one day. It includes the name of the project, the date of the status report, a summary outlining what work was done over that time period and the action plan for what to work on for the next week. There will also be a section to list any challenges, risk and mitigation plans to respond to them.

Monthly Status Report

A monthly status report provides a similar update on a project or projects but over a period of a month. It provides leadership with relevant information to better manage the project or projects. As with other frequencies, the team reports on what they’ve accomplished, the month is recapped and the next month’s activities are outlined.

Quarterly Status Report

A quarterly status report is a short and easily digestible snapshot of the project over a period of time, in this case, four months or a quarter of the year. It covers the same territory as the other status reports and is likely to include graphs and other visuals to make all the data easier to grasp.

There are many different types of reports you can generate when managing a project. Some of them are more for the project manager and others for the stakeholders, owners or clients to keep them updated.

We’ve been talking about a status report, but it shouldn’t be confused with a progress report. While a status report has data on the progress over the period of time which is being reported, there’s a wealth of other information beyond the mere progress of the project.

A progress report , on the other hand, details the specific tasks and milestones that have been completed to show that the project is making progress in sync with the project schedule. Like a status report, it’s used to keep managers and stakeholders updated.

Writing a project status report is an essential project management task. Whether you generate one weekly, monthly or quarterly, the steps are essentially the same. Here’s how to write a project status report:

  • Determine the objective
  • Target your audience (Clients, team members, sponsors, etc)
  • Choose the format and type
  • Collect your data
  • Structure the report
  • Make sure it’s clear

Because a project status report follows a basic outline, it can be helpful to use a project status report template. However, a project status report template is only a static document. Using project status reporting software integrates with all your project management tools for greater efficiency.

Free status report template for Excel

ProjectManager’s free status report template for Excel— Download now.

To better understand the process described above, let’s take a look at a project status report example. For this simple example, we’ll create a weekly status report for a home construction project using our free project status report template.

Imagine a construction contractor who is in charge of building wall frames, installing the insulation, electrical wiring, drywall and interior painting of a brand-new house. A status report example, following our free status report template, would begin with basic project planning information, such as the project name, new house, reporting period would be between Jan. 1-7, the report dated Jan. 9, project manager Joe Johnson and project sponsor Jack Dell.

project status report example, general information part

Next is the summary, which highlights the key accomplishments. In this case, it would be the installation of wall frames. The section after zooms into the progress of the project. It starts with smaller action items that are needed to build the wall frames.

These action steps also include the date when they were done and a RAG status. That is a red, amber and green indication of the level of confidence and control over that part of the project. The owner, or team member who did the work is named and any comments not already addressed can be added.

project status report example, showing key accomplishments and action items

Following that is a section on upcoming work. Here you can add the action items related to electrical wiring, such as marking locations for cable boxes, electrical outputs and threading cables through the wall frames. The section following that will list project deliverables , which in this case will be the wall frames, which are the tangible output that’s been completed during the reporting period.

project status report, showing project deliverables part

The next section is on the project’s health. It notes the budget spent over the period and what percentage that is in terms of the overall budget. There’s also an overview of the project schedule , scope and quality control and assurance.

project status report, project health section

The section after that lists the risk management issues. It lists the risk, its severity, response and owner. Maybe there’s a possibility that the materials or equipment required for electric wiring won’t be delivered on time. This risk would likely be high in terms of severity as it’ll impact the project schedule. To mitigate this, another company may be contacted to see if they’ll deliver on time. You’ll also note who on the team is watching over this risk.

You’ll conclude and add any recommendations if needed. This will provide stakeholders with a clear picture of the status of the project.

project status report example, showing risk management overview

How Do You Ask for a Project Status Report?

A project status update is usually distributed on a regular schedule, but sometimes people want to see a status report immediately. You can ask for a project status update via email, but you don’t want to come across as rude. To request a project status report, you should ask in a professional manner and place your request through the proper channels.

A friendly reminder is never a bad idea, as it maintains a connection, especially if you can offer something of value in return. If you’re using project management software , then you can always get an instant status report by checking the project dashboard that tracks various metrics.

The ProjectManager dashboard delivers your project status instantly. Pull from schedules, budgets, resources and more without the possibility of human error. Then, customize your display and filter information to show only what you want to see, such as remaining resources, project health, tasks and costs. A dashboard can be an excellent alternative to the traditional project status report.

ProjectManager's project dashboard is a visual tool to reflect your project status report

Get real-time project dashboards that you can easily share with stakeholders— Learn more.

The different elements of a project status report organize the different parts into a cohesive whole. The objective of a status report, of course, is to keep stakeholders informed and expose areas of the project that need greater organizational support.

To better communicate these things, be sure to touch on all the following when you compose your project status report.

General Project Info

To start with, you’re going to need to just put down the basics. What is the project name? Who is the project manager? What is the number of resources? All this information is essential, if obvious, to track the paperwork. Don’t assume your stakeholder is familiar with all this information. It’s especially useful when you’re doing historical research for future projects. Roll it into your status report template , if you have one.

General Status Info

Again, you’re going to want to stamp the report with data that will distinguish it from the other project management reports . So, here you want to include what date the report was generated, who the author is and so on.

Milestone Review

Milestones are the major phases of your project. They’re a good way to break up the larger project into smaller, more digestible parts. The milestone review lets you note where you are in terms of meeting those milestones (against where you planned to be at this point) in the project’s life cycle.

Project Summary

One of the main purposes of the status report is to compare the project’s progress with the project plan estimates. To do this, include a short summary of the forecasted completion date and costs of the project . This allows project managers to control the project’s execution and measure success. Be sure to include the activities that are facing issues and how those problems might impact the project’s quality, resources, timeline and costs. Explain what you’re planning to do to resolve these issues and what the results will be once you have fixed the problem.

Issues and Risks

Risks are all the internal and external factors that are a threat to your project. They become issues once they affect your project budget , timeline or scope. List the issues that have arisen over the course of the project to date. What are they? How are you resolving them? What impact they’ll have on the overall project? Apply the same questions to the risks that you’re aware of. Have they shown up? If they have, what are you doing to get the project back on track?

Project Metrics

It’s important to back your report up with hard numbers to prove the statements you’re making. You should have established the metrics for status reporting during the project planning phase .

It’s impossible to know if your project is succeeding without measuring its effectiveness. These metrics are a way to show you’re on track and evaluate what, if anything, needs attention.

Project reporting software is used to automatically collect project data, analyze it, and display the results to help project managers make better decisions when managing a project. The software gathers information from different sources within the project and converts them in spreadsheets, graphs and charts.

Depending on the software, reporting data can be filtered to highlight areas of the project that you need to see at that time. Reports can be generated on various aspects of the project’s progress and performance, such as time, cost, workload, etc.

Reports are also used to keep key stakeholders, such as sponsors and clients, updated on how the project is doing, and therefore, should be shareable.

Having a quick and easy to use tool that instantly pulls up important project data, organizes and displays it simply and clearly helps you keep stakeholders updated. With all the information at your fingertips, you can also make better decisions.

Not all reporting software is the same. To get more bang for your buck, make sure that whatever tool you choose has the following features:

  • Converts complicated data into useful reports
  • Filters to show only what information you want
  • Allows you to create reports on specific time periods
  • Share reports and keep stakeholders updated
  • Update instantly for greater accuracy
  • Monitor actual progress against your plan
  • Report on program or portfolio of projects

Project status reports are just one of many reports that are offered by project reporting software, but you’ll also want to make sure the product you choose has the following features as well.

Dashboards icon

Get Instant Status Reports

As important as reporting software is, you also need to regularly check on the progress of your project as it occurs. A dashboard will provide that high-level view, collecting data and displaying it in graphs and charts to show a variety of project metrics.

Dashboards image

See the Most Current Info

Dashboards and reports capture the project at a particular time, and like a snapshot, capture a past point in time. However, if you’re working with an online reporting tool, the data it collects is displayed in real-time—and the decisions you make will be more informed.

Real-Time Data image

Generate Reports on Every Aspect

A status report is a key gauge of how your project is performing, but it’s only one perspective. For the full picture, you need to measure progress and more for many angles. Seek out reporting software that also measures task progress, workload, timesheets and more.

Diverse Reports image

Easy Export With Stakeholders

Creating reports is only the beginning. You need to share them with stakeholders, who need to have a broad strokes picture of where the project currently is. During presentations, you want to be able to easily print out a copy or export a PDF to email them.

Shareable image

Fast and Easy Reports

Making reports shouldn’t be time-consuming. It often means complex equations to figure out progress, variance, workload, etc. The best reporting software automates these functions, so you don’t need a math degree or even a calculator to manage your project.

Automated image

Gain Details for Actionable Insights

Dashboards are great for high-level views of the project, but reports must provide a deeper dive into that data in order for managers to make the critical decisions to steer the project towards a successful end. You want reports that are in depth and cover the entire project.

In Depth image

Project reporting software is a tool to monitor and track project metrics in real time and then collect that data in a report that’s easily shared with project members.

ProjectManager is an award-winning tool that organizes projects and teams by monitoring and reporting on progress and performance. Watch this video to get a better idea of how to create project status and other types of project management reports with ProjectManager.

Project management training video (nu29tru9qg)

Using the reporting feature of ProjectManager allows you to see the status of project milestones and summary tasks if you filter the report to include them. Reports can be previewed before being exported to a PDF, Excel, CSV or printed. Every report can be customized by selecting the data and columns you want to include.

Here are some of the reports you can create once you have the project management software.

Project Status Report

As mentioned above, the project status gives an overview of where your project currently is, and lets you determine if the project is on time and under budget . It shows the tasks that are due on the week it has been generated, and which are overdue.

Here’s a quick rundown of the options when generating a status report in ProjectManager.

Get the key elements of your project condensed in short to capture the high points in your schedule, budget and costs for stakeholders. You can provide project updates at any time for your team, clients and sponsors.

See which tasks are overdue and when their deadline is to never lose track of your progress and stay on schedule. ProjectManager allows you to assign activities to your team members and communicate with them in real time.

Milestones & Summary Tasks

Note which milestones have been completed to better track the project’s progress. View where you are in terms of completing summary tasks or subtasks on your schedule.

Planned vs. Actual

Know your project variance by tracking the actual progress on the status report, which is compared to where you planned to be at that point in your schedule.

Portfolio Status Report

A portfolio is a collection of projects that one manages. They must work together in alignment with the overall strategy of the organization.

See the health of your full portfolio, and if they’re meeting their schedules and budgets. Get lists of your project managers, team and tasks to better determine your portfolio’s overall health.

ProjectManager's portfolio management dashboard, ideal to communicate project status report

Project Plan Report

The project plan is the map that guides your activity when managing a project. This report lets you know whether that plan is being met by your actual progress.

Keep your project on track, within budget and know how far you are from completion. Get an overview of your schedule and a list of all the tasks and when they should be done.

Project Dashboard

Different from the previous reports, which are static documents that are exported as a snapshot of a project, a dashboard can serve as a contemporaneous look into the project.

Get real-time status reports using our project dashboard . Every facet found in a status report is automatically updated across the six metrics of the dashboard for a high view of your project’s performance.

ProjectManager’s dashboard view, which shows six key metrics on a project

Portfolio Dashboard

Much like the project dashboard, the portfolio dashboard serves as a real-time view, except for a collection of projects rather than a single one.

Set up a portfolio dashboard by creating a folder in the overview projects section. Add projects you want to measure and your portfolio dashboard will track their costs, workload and more.

Whether you’re presenting your weekly status report in a meeting, or sending a weekly email update, it’s a good idea to know the best practices when reporting on a project’s progress before jumping into a presentation of your report.

Communicate

Project status reports are only a single facet of your communication plan . Don’t rely on it fully to communicate everything, but use it to deliver the right data to the right party at the right time.

Know Your Audience

Project status reports are vehicles for communication, but if you’re unsure of the destination, then you’re not going to deliver the goods. Stakeholders such as clients and sponsors want to know the big picture, while team members will be more interested in specifics.

Consistency

Use the same format, distribution cycle and method. Don’t mix things up. That only disrupts the effectiveness of the communication aspect of the report.

Establish Metrics

When planning for the project, figure out how you’re going to measure its progress, and then stick to this method as you report on the project throughout its life cycle.

You want the report to be effective, so don’t obscure it with unnecessary details. Stay to the point, and just report on what needs reporting.

Your audience doesn’t want opinions or unsubstantiated facts. Do the due diligence, and make sure that you’re giving only what your audience wants.

Like consistency, keeping standards of a process and a template for reporting makes sure your report is clear.

There are project management tools that incorporate these best practices, streamlining the reporting process thanks to dashboards and automated reporting features.

Status reports are just one of the many reports project managers use to keep updated on the progress of their projects. Status is more general, while others focus on specific aspects of the project. Some of the more common status-reporting alternatives follow.

Tasks Report

Every project is made up of tasks, often lots of them. You need a report to keep track of them all.

Get all your project tasks collected in one place. Filter the report to show the status of each task to see if there are any roadblocks or bottlenecks holding up progress. You need to take care of issues before they affect your project’s timeline.

Timesheets Report

Teams log their hours on timesheets to submit to managers for payroll. Timesheets are also another way to track progress on a project by monitoring the hours logged on tasks.

View the timesheet of selected team members and know the hours they worked over a range of time using online project management software.

ProjectManager's timesheets are a perfect complement to project status reports

Availability Report

Keeping track of when your team can work when they have paid time off or there’s a holiday is critical to scheduling and workload management.

Know instantly who has too much work on your team and if they’re available to work. Team members are listed in this report with utilization rates. This data helps you reallocate tasks.

Workload Report

The workload is the number of tasks your team has been assigned. Keeping their workload balanced, so no one has too much on their plate, is how you increase productivity and morale.

See your entire team with the number of tasks they’ve been assigned. Know if someone has too many or too few tasks and balance their workload to get more done and not burn people out.

ProjectManager's workload management report

Variance Report

The variance is the difference between what you planned for the project and where you actually are in its execution. This is how you know if your project’s on track or not.

Set the baseline on the Gantt chart tool when planning and get data on your current schedule. Then, compare it against where you planned to be at this point in the schedule.

ProjectManager is a cloud-based software with one-click reporting that seamlessly integrates with planning, scheduling and tracking features. Get real-time data that can be filtered and shared across eight different project reports. With us, you can use one software for all your project management needs.

Companies such as the Bank of America, and organizations such as NASA and the US Postal Service, have used us to manage big and small projects. Over 10,000 teams worldwide get more control over their work and become more productive using our software.

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Status Report Resources

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Project Management Reports in 2023: 10 Tips How to Write Yours

What Are Project Management Reports?

The benefits of writing project management reports, 1. create a report in the place where you do work, 2. create an effective report title, 3. indicate the status of the project, 4. include a summary of the report, 5. add a brief overview of the recurring key areas, 6. use links to other sources, 7. be more specific, 8. create charts, 9. demonstrate the challenges faced by the project, 10. outline the next steps, project management reports in 2023: 10 tips how to write yours.

Welcome to the future of project management reporting, where words hold the key to success, and data dances to the rhythm of progress.

In this fast-paced digital age, the art of crafting an exceptional project management report has become more crucial than ever. Whether you're a seasoned project manager or a fresh-faced enthusiast, mastering the art of report writing can set you miles ahead on your journey to conquering project milestones.

With that in mind, in this post we'll go over 10 useful tips on writing PM reports and try to unravel the secrets behind making them both compelling and impactful.

Project management reports are documents or communication materials that provide information on the status and progress of a project. They are intended to provide transparency and timely communication between project participants, stakeholders, and management.

Project management reports can have different formats and content, depending on the project's specifics and the stakeholders' needs. However, they typically include the following information:

  • Project summary . It is an introductory section that provides an overview of the project, its objectives, expected deliverables, and key parameters such as budget and timeline.
  • Progress of implementation . It describes the work done, milestones reached, tasks completed, resources utilized, etc. This allows you to assess how well the project is on track and meeting its objectives.
  • Risks and problems . It identifies possible risks and problems that the project may face and their impact on the project. The reports may also include suggestions for risk management and problem solutions.
  • Budget and resources . This section includes information about project costs, financial status, and resource utilization, including physical, human, and time resources.
  • Graphs and charts . Data visualization is necessary to make project progress more visible. This section primarily includes Gantt charts, risk charts, etc.
  • Future plans . It describes anticipated steps and plans for further project development, including action plans, changes, optimization, and process improvement proposals.

Project management reports are important in controlling and monitoring the project, allowing stakeholders to get information about its status and make appropriate decisions for successful implementation.

Writing project management reports has several advantages:

  • Providing transparency . PM reports provide all stakeholders with useful information about the status and progress of the project. This allows all participants to stay informed and understand current tasks and results achieved.
  • Communication and coordination . They are an essential tool for communication between project participants and stakeholders. They help build effective collaboration, improve coordination, and enable timely resolution of issues and problems.
  • Assessing progress . They allow you to evaluate the current progress of the project against the plan and established objectives. They help identify delays, problems, or risks that may arise and allow appropriate actions to be taken to eliminate or mitigate them.
  • Risk management . PM reports management reports usually contain information about identified risks and suggestions for managing them. This allows project participants to be aware of potential problems and take action to minimize the negative impact of risks on the project.
  • Decision making . The information provided in project management reports helps make informed project management decisions. They provide data on project resources, budget, progress, and deliverables to help make informed decisions for project success.
  • Knowledge archiving . These reports serve as an important repository of project information. They are saved for future use, learning, analysis, and lessons learned to optimize future project management processes and approaches.  

Overall, writing project management reports promotes better management, increases transparency and communication, provides project control, and helps achieve goals. And if you need help with proofreading or editing the report, there are plenty of great editing tools to help you out.

10 Tips on How to Write a Project Management Report

By following these detailed tips, you can create PM reports that are thorough, informative, and effectively communicate the project's progress, challenges, and next steps to stakeholders.

When writing a project management report, being physically present at the project site or in the project environment is beneficial. This allows you to observe the progress, gather accurate information, and capture the most relevant details. By immersing yourself in the project setting, you can provide more context and produce a report that reflects the true state of the project.

The title of your report should clearly convey the purpose and content of the document. It should be concise yet descriptive enough to give stakeholders an idea of what the report is about at a glance. A well-crafted title will help grab readers' attention and ensure they understand the report's focus.

In your report, explicitly state the current status of the project. This includes the progress made, milestones achieved, and deliverables completed. By providing a comprehensive overview of the project's status, you enable stakeholders to assess the project's health and make informed decisions based on its progress.

When writing a PM report, it is natural to want to describe everything done on the report object. However, you should not do this. Such an approach leads to a mere listing of actions performed. It may seem important to you, but it may not be important to the stakeholders.

For example, when launching a new functionality on the website, you have to hold meetings and negotiations with the contractor and solve technical and organizational problems. And no matter how much you would like to tell the stakeholders about it, it is not what they want to hear. It will be a waste of time. Instead, talk about the benefits of the feature and what the effects might be. It is best to provide the PM report with some data and graphs.

At the beginning of your report, include a summary section that highlights the key points covered in the document. This brief overview should capture the most important findings, challenges, and outcomes. It serves as a snapshot of the report's contents, allowing busy stakeholders to quickly grasp the main highlights without reading the entire document.

If the project is carefully planned, the project management plan likely includes start and end dates for specific project activities. These should be included in the report, as well as an indication of how well the project is meeting these deadlines. You can indicate the completion percentage if any tasks are still in progress.

Within your report, dedicate a section to cover the recurring key areas of the project. These may include the project budget, timeline, resource allocation, risks, and stakeholder engagement. Stakeholders can easily track and compare the project's performance over time by providing a consistent overview of these areas in each report.

If there are relevant documents, reports, project dashboards, or external resources that provide additional information related to your report, consider including hyperlinks or references. These links can point stakeholders to supplementary materials that offer more detailed insights or data. By leveraging external sources, you enhance the comprehensiveness of your report and provide stakeholders with avenues for further exploration if needed.

To ensure clarity and avoid misunderstandings, be specific in your report. Clearly articulate the facts, data, and outcomes of the project. Instead of using vague or ambiguous language, provide precise information that leaves no room for misinterpretation. This level of specificity enables stakeholders to understand the exact details of the project's progress, challenges, and achievements.

If company standards do not require a specific length for the report, keep the report as short as possible. Put yourself in the reader's shoes—their goal is to get an idea of the project's progress as quickly as possible.

If additional information is required from you, be prepared. There should be a lot of information about the project behind the summary report. Structure it in advance in case the reader has questions.

Often, PM reports are presented before or directly at meetings. Naturally, you should be prepared for your report to raise questions about the project. Try to understand what might interest the audience and prepare materials and answers in advance. Using a meeting scheduling software will help you schedule your meeting with stakeholders and fully prepare for it.

If the report is sent by email, these additional materials on potentially interesting issues can be attached to the report as a separate file, indicating what information they contain. If there is time and need, the recipient will read it. Or you can simply indicate that you have this information, and the person can ask for it.

Visual representation of project data and metrics through charts, graphs, or tables enhances the readability and understanding of your report . A simple graph can tell more eloquently about the project than several pages of text. In your PM report, you can use:

  • Color indicators . Use the basic colors: red, yellow, and green to mark the status of a project or individual tasks. Without explanation, it is clear that a task marked in red is behind schedule.
  • Bar charts . They simply and clearly show the degree of completion of each task.
  • Gantt chart . This is the most common tool in project management reports, showing the time plan of the project and the degree of completion. When drawing it up, the main thing is not to give too much information on one chart. Information overload makes the diagram unreadable.
  • Problem-solving diagrams . This is not always needed, but sometimes it makes sense to keep a list of problems encountered during the project and note which of them were solved and how.

Use visual elements to display key performance indicators, project milestones, resource allocation, or any other relevant information. Charts can simplify complex information, make trends and patterns more apparent, and facilitate quicker stakeholder comprehension.

Even with good planning, most projects encounter problems along the way. It is tempting to downplay their number or significance, especially if the report is intended for someone with a serious stake in the project's success. But it is essential to be clear about these problems for the following reasons:

  • One of the main tasks of a project manager is to help solve problems during project implementation. The sooner a problem is recognized, the easier it will be to deal with it with the resources available to the person in charge.
  • If the project does not go according to plan, it is better to tell this beforehand. Early on, you can try to find a solution and still meet deadlines or make other adjustments to the project. The last thing any project needs is problems that are learned about at the last minute.

Acknowledge and document the challenges, obstacles, or risks encountered during the project's lifecycle. Explain their impact on the project and how they were addressed or mitigated. Sharing the challenges demonstrates transparency and allows stakeholders to gain insight into the project's resilience, problem-solving strategies, and lessons learned. It also helps stakeholders understand the context behind certain project outcomes.

If your PM report talks about problems, you should try to propose solutions. For each problem mentioned in the project management report, you should describe the steps you plan to take. Even if the report asks for support or assistance, at least offer an outline of a plan.

Conclude your report by outlining the next steps and actions required to move the project forward. Clearly articulate the tasks, milestones, or decisions that need to be addressed in the upcoming phases of the project. This section provides stakeholders with a clear understanding of the project's trajectory and their roles and responsibilities moving forward. It also facilitates alignment and coordination among the project team and stakeholders.

In conclusion, writing effective project management reports is crucial for fostering clear communication, maintaining transparency, and achieving project success. By following these 10 tips, you can create PM reports that provide stakeholders with valuable insights and promote informed decision-making.

Eliza Medley

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Table of Contents

What is a project report, 5 steps to create a project report from scratch, project report objectives, project report components, common project report types, project report use cases, project report examples, opening and viewing reports with microsoft , change data in your report , change the report format , make your report , share your report , choose the right program, train to become a project leader today, how to create a project report: objectives, components, and more.

How to Create a Project Report: Objectives, Components, Use Cases, and Examples

Managing a project is by no means an easy feat. Many moving parts can make it complicated to stay focused on the tasks and keep stakeholders up to date on the project status. This is why project reports are a useful tool for project managers .

These project reports can be used to provide direction for team members, offer status updates for partners or management teams, and successfully manage risk mitigation – to name just a few! 

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Let’s take a closer look at how to create a project report including its many objectives, components, and examples of project reports.

A project report is a comprehensive document that provides detailed information about a specific project. It typically outlines the project's objectives, scope, methodology, progress, findings, and outcomes. A project report often includes details about the project's goals, activities, timelines, resources used, challenges faced, and the results achieved. It serves as a formal record of the project's lifecycle, serving both as a documentation of the work done and as a communication tool to convey the project's status and outcomes to stakeholders, sponsors, or interested parties. Project reports are commonly used in various fields such as business, engineering, research, and academia to assess the effectiveness and success of a project.

Creating project reports is an integral part of evaluating project success. Documenting the lessons learned and sharing them with a larger team in an organized way can help with future projects. You can use different tools to put together your project report. Here are 7 basic steps involved in creating a project report - 

1. Know Your Objective 

Sit down, evaluate your objectives, and understand what you want to describe, explain, recommend, and prove with your report. Having set goals will not only help you proceed with your project report but also help readers understand your point of view. 

2. Recognize Your Audience

Your audience plays an essential role in making your project report a success. A formal annual report differs from a financial report: the language, representation of data, and analysis changes per your target audience . 

3. Data Collection 

The chances of you having a solid report is when data supports it. Data plays an essential role in making people believe in your derivations. Also, support your claims by citing sources such as case studies, surveys, interviews, etc. 

4. Structure the Report

A project report is further divided into certain sections. These 4 are the most common divisions of a project report:

  • Summary: The summary gives the reader a download of all covered in the project report. Even though a summary is placed at the beginning of a project report, you can only write it once your entire report is complete. 
  • Introduction: Mention the outline of the report, give context and mention the scope and methodologies used in the report. 
  • Body: This is the lengthy section of the report as it contains background details, analysis, data, and graphics. 
  • Conclusion: This section brings the entire project report together. 

5. Edit and Proofread 

Once your project report is ready, read it multiple times with some time gap. You can ask your co-workers to review it. 

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Every project report starts with a solid project report objective. Your objective should provide precise direction for the rest of the report. Consider what purpose you want your project report to serve. Are you describing new risks or explaining project delays? Or will your report focus on persuading management teams or stockholders to invest additional funds into the project? 

A thorough understanding of your objective will help guide you in writing the report and make the purpose of the report clear to all stakeholders.

Here are a few examples of project report objectives:

  • Requesting approval for a new project
  • Tracking the progress of the project
  • Identifying and managing risks
  • Managing costs and budgets
  • Requesting financial assistance

Your project report will be bursting with essential information about your project. Although the content of your report will differ depending on the type of report you’re creating, keeping your report organized will make it easy for the reader to follow along without missing any critical points. Organize your data and content into sections that allow all stakeholders to quickly reference.

Consider including some of the following project report components:

Executive Summary 

The first section of your report will likely include an executive summary. The brief overview should provide all the essential takeaways from the report, allowing the reader to understand the report's contents without having to read through all of the project details.

Project Progress

This component includes real metrics that track your project’s progress. It offers an overview of the project's status and budget while identifying risks or issues that may have emerged. Helping project management and other stakeholders reflect on the project schedule and make amendments as needed.

Risks and Risk Management

What risks have developed that may affect the quality, timeline, or budget of your project? How will you control these emerging elements? It’s inevitable that all projects will face risks, so it’s how you intend to manage those risks that’s important to the project team and stakeholders. Include a detailed analysis of the risk, your proposed solutions, and how these new elements will affect the project as a whole. 

Are your financials where they need to be for the current status of your project? Will more capital be required to reach your goals effectively? Provide a detailed overview of the allocation of your budget including materials, labor, and operating costs. 

Reflect on your project goals. Is the project behind, ahead, or on schedule? How will any changes to your timelines affect your budget or resources? Include an overview of tasks that have already been completed and a comprehensive schedule of remaining tasks.

Resources may include materials, machinery, or even funding required to complete your project. Provide a detailed summary of your current resource allocation. What are detrimental resources for your project running low? Are there any excess amounts?  

Team Performance

Is your team completing tasks efficiently? Are there any skill or knowledge gaps that need to be addressed? Compare your team’s performance to your initial goals to identify the group’s progress.

A project report is a simple and detailed description of the essence of the project and its aims and aspirations. The business management team and stakeholders are kept updated on every development regarding the project; based on that, they prepare their strategy. This vital information keeps the communication line open between the management team and the stakeholders, providing them with a complete picture of every action concerning the project. 

A project report includes the necessary recommendations for all types of businesses, established and start-ups. Moreover, organizations use project reports to procure financial help from institutions. Project reports can be of various types that help everyone complete a project successfully. Based on the report, your team can take up any activity that benefits the project. 

Status Reports

It talks about the progress going on with a project. It also states various significant activities associated with the project. This status report organizes the communication medium between the team and the stakeholders. It summarizes the finished tasks on the project at hand. It includes the budgetary details and the timeline of the project. It also helps identify the risks related to the project and measures to tackle them beforehand. The status report also keeps track of the events or actions or any activity taken in the past. Status reports are carried out weekly, daily, monthly, or quarterly. They help collect and distribute information about crucial activities in a project in a smooth manner. 

Progress Report

While executing a project, a progress report is inevitably carried out to update everything about the project. It usually includes things like if the project baseline is fulfilled. It indicates the initial plan you prepared along with your stakeholders about a project regarding the expectations, schedules, cost, deliverables , and scope of it. A progress report informs your stakeholders how much progress has been made in the above directions. 

You should prepare this status report in a specific manner by stating the project title, contact information, a summary of the status, and providing all the information about the budget, timeline, and expected completion date of the project. You can take the help of several such free templates available online to make the status report. 

Risk Reports

This type of report explains the risks associated with the project in a documented form. It covers details about risks that are managed already and the emerging ones. It includes the overall risk profile of the project. Risk reports identify and state potential risks that could alter the duration of the project and tips to manage them. 

Board Executive Reports

An executive report is a summary of the business plan of an organization for lending partners. It enables the team members to collect and combine the results of numerous research studies to help them decide on the project. It is the starting point of arranging a dialogue with the investors. It should be written in such a way that it creates the best impression in the minds of the lenders. It should be short and precise and comprehensively analyze the project. 

Cost Benefit Analysis Report

This kind of report helps organizations know if a particular project is possible or not. It will show you how much the project will benefit your organization against the investment. It will help you decide if a project is worth taking on for your organization and how much business profit it will get you at the end of the day. Alternatively, it will also help your organization better utilize its resources while progressing with the project. You can monitor your project expenses and spending to manage your funds better. 

Resource Reports

This report highlights the distribution of resources according to the project tasks. The team members and the investors get the necessary information by reading this report on how well the resources are distributed in the project. It will give detailed narration about which team is assigned to which task according to the date wise. This type of report is beneficial for an organization to know if there is over allocation of resources as this could harm the project. Overall allocation happens when there are insufficient resources to complete all the crucial activities of the project. 

Variance Reports

This report helps you compare your overall project plan with the project's end result. It uses metrics to inform you if your project is running according to the timeline, ahead of time, or running late. Moreover, it will streamline the data based on the comparisons you have made on the project. With the availability of various project management tools , preparing this kind of report has become easier now. It cuts down your hard work by creating the project activity report and conveying it to the stakeholders. 

Gap Analysis Report

This report will examine the project's current status in the context of schedule, cost, and labor and, subsequently, compare the targeted status. It discovers and examines the gap between these two aspects and prepares a strategy or action plan on how to do the needful to reach the targeted objectives. Every business, whether a budding one or an established one, will need this kind of gap analysis report to perform better in terms of projects. This report will tell you how to take the successful step to graduate to the next level of your business. This will tell you whether you are fulfilling your business objectives and using your resources carefully. 

There are several common use cases for project reports in project management. These include:

Project Status Report 

A project status report is used regularly throughout a project to communicate the project’s progress in conjunction with the original project plan. The status report of a project provides all stakeholders with updates on the project’s development and performance. Your status report may cover issues or risks that have emerged and include your amended project plan.

Project Tracking Report

A project tracking report offers real numbers, metrics, and other key indicators that measure the project’s overarching progress. This comprehensive report covers all aspects of the project, including project status, tasks, project team performance, and how much of the project has been completed.

Project Performance Report

Performance reports provide an overview of the project’s progress, a breakdown of resource allocation, and costs to date. Your performance report will help monitor the project’s current direction and forecast how well it will perform.  

Project Health Report

A health report offers an analysis of any problem areas or risks within your project. Completing a project health report can help identify any potential issues before they occur, saving you time, money, and resources.

Project Summary Report

A project summary report provides a quick snapshot of the project’s status. Along with tasks completed and a summary of financials, the brief report should include any key highlights or milestones and a glance at upcoming scheduled tasks. 

Project Time Tracking Report

Project time tracking reports help the team and all stakeholders better understand the time allocation for each task. It’s a useful tool for project managers to gauge their teams' efficiency and identify what areas need improvement. 

Not sure where to start with your next project report? Consulting the right project report example can help you gain the direction you need.

Click here for a status report example.

Using Project, one can easily create new reports or customize them for various types of project data without relying on any other application or software. MS Project offers dozens that you can use right away. You can also customize any report’s content and look or build a new one from scratch.

  • Click the Report tab and then click the View Reports group. 
  • Select the type of report you need.

For instance, if you have to open the Project Overview report, navigate Report > Dashboards > Project Overview.

Project_Report_1

Reports Dashboard Option

Reports are customizable. So, you choose the data that MS Project will show in any part of a report. Follow the steps below to change the data in your report:

  • Click the chart or table you would like to alter. 
  • Use the Field list pane present on the right side to select fields to filter and show data. 
  • Also, clicking a chart displays three pop-up buttons on the right-hand side of the chart. You can opt for the Chart Elements or Chart Filters button to select elements and filter chart data.

For instance, take the previous Project Overview report as an example. You can change the % Complete chart and display critical subtasks rather than top-level summary tasks using the below-mentioned steps:

  • Click anywhere in the % Complete chart.
  • Now, in the Field List pane, navigate to the Filter box. 
  • Select the Critical option.
  • Next, pick level 2 in the Outline Level box. Let’s suppose that this is the first level of the outline with subtasks rather than summary tasks.
  • The chart will reflect the change as you make your selections.

Project_Report_2.

Changes in the % Complete Chart

Using Project, you can go from monotonous black-white to vivid effects and colors. With the Split view, you will be able to view the real-time report changes while you make the changes. To change the report format, take the following steps:

  • Click the report (you can click anywhere).
  • Now click Report Tools and click the Design tab. It will display options for changing the look of the entire report. 
  • Using this tab, you can alter the color, font, or theme of the entire report. You can also include images, charts, shapes, or tables here.

Project_Report_3.

Report Tools Options

  • Clicking on individual elements such as tables, charts, and others of a report will display new tabs at the top of the screen for formatting that part. 

Project_Report_4

Table Styles

  • Use the Drawing Tools Format tab to change shapes. 
  • The Picture Tools Format tab will help you add picture effects.  
  • You can configure and tweak tables using the Table Tools Design and Table Tools Layout tabs. 
  • The Chart Tools Format and Chart Tools Design tabs help tweak charts. Also, clicking on a chart displays three buttons on the right side of the chart. You can use the Chart Styles button to modify the chart color or style. 

Suppose you plan to change the % Complete chart in the Project Overview report. Click anywhere in the chart and tap on the Chart Tools Design.

Project_Report_5

% Complete Chart

  • From the Chart Styles, pick a new style for your chart. The option selected in the following image adds shadows to the columns and removes the lines.

Project_Report_6

Chart Styles in Chart Tools Design

  • Next, you can click Chart Tools Design > Change Chart Type to add some depth.

Project_Report_7

  • You can change the columns by clicking Column > 3-D Stacked Column.

Project_Report_8.

  • To add a background color, click Chart Tools Format > Shape Fill. Now pick a new color. You can explore more color options by clicking on more fill colors.

Project_Report_9.

Color Options for Chart

  • Alter bar colors by selecting the bars and then click the Chart Tools Format > Shape Fill option. Pick the color you want. 
  • You can drag the numbers upwards to get them off the chart. 

The above-stated changes will be reflected as follows.

Project_Report_10

% Complete Chart on Making the Changes 

Take the following steps to create a new report. 

  • Click the Report tab and then click New Report.
  • Pick from the four options: 
  • Blank: Provides a blank canvas that you can use to add charts, text, tables, and images using the Report Tools Design tab.
  • Chart: It is suitable for comparing Actual Work, Work by default, and Remaining Work. Using the Field List pane, you can pick different fields for comparison or use the controls to alter the format and color of the chart.
  • Table: It displays tabular information. Using the Field List pane, you can select what fields are to be displayed in the table.  
  • Comparison: It gives you two charts side-by-side. Initially, they will have the same data. You can click on the chart and choose the information of your choice in the Field List pane. 

Project_Report_11

Types of New Report Styles

  • Name your report and start adding information to it. All charts are fully customizable. You can easily add or delete elements to meet your needs.
  • You can make your new report available for future projects by using the Organizer to copy this new report into the global template. 
  • Click anywhere in the report.
  • Navigate Report Tools Design > Copy Report.

Project_Report_12

Copy Report Option

  • Now paste the report into any program of your choice. You might have to resize or align the report when you paste it elsewhere. You can also opt for the printing option for sharing hard copies. 

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Program Name PMP® Certification Training Course PMP Plus Post Graduate Program In Project Management glyph Icons All Geos All Geos All Geos University PMI Simplilearn University of Massachusetts Amherst Course Duration 90 Days of Flexible Access to Online Classes 36 Months 6 Months Coding experience reqd No No No Skills you wll learn 8+ PM skills including Work Breakdown Structure, Gantt Charts, Resource Allocation, Leadership and more. 6 courses including Project Management, Agile Scrum Master, Implementing a PMO, and More 9+ skills including Project Management, Quality Management, Agile Management, Design Thinking and More. Additional Benefits -Experiential learning through case studies -Global Teaching Assistance -35PDUs -Learn by working on real-world problems -24x7 Learning support from mentors -Earn 60+ PDU’s -3 year course access Cost $$ $$$$ $$$$ Explore Program Explore Program Explore Program

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1. What is a project report and its significance?

A project report summarizes a project's key aspects, including its goals, timeline, budget, progress, and outcomes. It provides project managers with critical information to monitor and evaluate the project's performance, identify potential risks and challenges, and communicate progress to stakeholders.

2. What is the format of a project report?

A project report format is completely customizable depending on the project requirements and your choices. However, it should focus on the specific objectives of the project, its methodology,  major findings, and progress. 

3. How do you prepare a project report?

Preparing a project report is simple. Click Report > New Report and choose from the four options. Now, give a suitable name to the report and start adding information. 

4. What is a project report with an example?

A project report is a document providing detail on the project’s overall status or specific aspects of its performance. Irrespective of the report type, it contains project data based on economic, financial, technical, managerial or production aspects. For example, a Cost Overview report tells the current cost status of the project. It also reveals planned costs, remaining costs, cumulative costs, actual costs, and percentage of completion to help understand if the project is within budget.

5. How do you write a complete project report?

Writing a complete project report entails a proper start and closure, including

  • Labeling the document and writing the project overview 
  • Including a section for the project’s scope 
  • A well-formulated project performance analysis.
  • Highlighting the project’s accomplishments, results, and outcomes.

Our Project Management Courses Duration And Fees

Project Management Courses typically range from a few weeks to several months, with fees varying based on program and institution.

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How to write a project management report.

Updated on June 14, 2023 by Jeffrey Kagan

Project Management Report

Depending on the size and importance of the project, the project manager must systematically present project management report on its implementation to interested parties – colleagues, clients, and investors.

What are the reports for? Thanks to them, it is possible to quickly and objectively assess the state of work execution, and reschedule certain points related to the project budget, work deadlines, etc. At the same time, according to statistics, 25% of organizations sometimes or never create documents to determine the scope of projects.

Projects are rarely implemented from the first planning without making clarifications and amendments. Adjustments are made to daily tasks, among which unforeseen circumstances may arise through the fault or no fault of the contractors or the project manager .

To solve difficulties at the first stages of their occurrence and not to allow them to significantly affect the overall course of work, reports are written. They can be weekly, monthly, quarterly, summary, forecast, etc.

Plan for drawing up the report

Reports may be different depending on the type of company’s activity, corporate requirements, etc. But several points unite them. In particular, any report should consist of:

  • a list of tasks.
  • the current task.
  • recent achievements.
  • analysis of the general state of the project.

This means that it should be written in such a way that the interested parties, upon receiving it, immediately understand:

  • whether the planned works are going according to plan.
  • whether the sequence of works is maintained.
  • whether the budget is used rationally.
  • are there any difficulties?
  • whether the person who prepared this report has objective information regarding its confirmation.

Remember that the report is the face of the company and based on it, the client can conclude the team is about specialists. Therefore, be sure to avoid mistakes. It will be better to ask your colleague or a professional essay writer to check your writing. It allows you to get quality reports and form a positive image of the company.

It is best when such a report is concise, and its volume does not exceed 1-2 pages.

This allows you to get valid, important information and not waste time, both for team members and interested parties and customers.

Types of reports and their features

If the project is solid, then it can include several types of reports that will sound weekly or monthly. Let’s consider the most popular types of reports:

1. Analysis of time use report

If you systematically analyze the time spent on performing other tasks, you can better plan your hybrid work schedule , and successfully manage your team or resources, and accordingly, your potential income will be higher.

2. Current status of the project report

If you analyze step by step how the work is progressing, and what difficulties arise, you can easily understand whether the initial conditions of its planning are met, and what scale, terms, and risks are associated with it.

3. Analysis of shortcomings report

Deviation reports allow project managers and other stakeholders to reduce the chances of task failure, analyze what factors led to it, and change its management. Such reports will become a kind of hint when planning subsequent projects to avoid similar mistakes.

4. Resource usage report

The ability to competently manage resources allows you to make the work process successful and efficient. If you systematically analyze costs and the amount of work remaining, you can rationally distribute work to all team members and use other resources correctly. At the same time, you can follow up with each employee with a performance management tool and see how the allocated resources are being expended for the work given.

Report submission forms

It is not enough to include all the required information in the report. For better perception, you need to choose the optimal form. So, how to make the report accessible and understandable:

  • Add visibility. Information in the form of tables, graphs, and charts is perceived more quickly. Especially if there are high successes to brag about.
  • Use clear labeling. Each company has internal notations, thanks to which employees quickly analyze the state of affairs of the project. It can be color markings, cool font styles , signs, etc.
  • Do not exaggerate. It is better to report that the work is delayed than to have a double regression in the next project.
  • Conclusion and forecast. Be sure to summarize everything written above.

When can a project management report be considered successful?

You can report to the client and stakeholders every week, but it will not produce the expected result. Therefore, you should make sure that your report is not only competent and objective but also convenient. This is especially important in large companies, where managers receive dozens of reports on various projects every day. So that your report does not get lost among others, prepare it by observing the following points:

  • If there are difficulties, then analyze them from a practical point of view. The manager must know whether funds are needed for their elimination and why, who will be responsible for failure to implement the action plan and why these difficulties arose.
  •  List the stages of work execution – completed, active, and planned.
  • Financial indicator. Indicate what part of the budget has already been implemented in the project, how much is left and whether it will be enough.
  • Enter the time spent.
  • Cost efficiency ratio (The budget of each project is calculated according to the actual cost of the work).
  • Analysis of customer complaints or comments, if any. Don’t be afraid to write about it in the report, especially if you see a way to solve them.
  • Analysis of human resources for the performance of a certain amount of tasks (having a task management software can help).
  • The number of project items that were completed on time.
  • The value of the project.
  • Articles of current expenses.
  • Number of errors (brief analysis of all errors that occurred during work on the project).

How can project managers benefit from Reports?

If you have been assigned a project for which you must report systematically, then you need to understand what project management for individuals is. Its the management of processes, resources, and people. You should clearly understand the current stage of the project and the prospects for its development. To have the necessary information at hand for the project duration report, you need to have an active monitoring dashboard.

What it helps:

  • Track already completed stages of the project.
  • Analyze how many tasks are performed daily.
  • Carry out a general analysis of time expenditure on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis.
  • See overdue tasks that can be adjusted in time to avoid a general delay in the development of the project.
  • Make a list of completed tasks and those remaining. Here you can analyze how to redistribute working time, what factors affect the efficiency of execution, etc.

Tools for drawing up a project management report

To prepare a professional report that will satisfy not only the management and investors but also yourself, you need to master some tools. In particular, this is a centralized monitoring panel, Databox tools that will help track progress and risks, and a Trello reporting tool.

Using these platforms, you can easily display all the necessary information in one report, sorting it by time. In addition, the indicators will be updated automatically, which greatly simplifies your task and allows you to avoid mistakes.

Things to take into account when drawing up a project management report

Writing a report is a complex process where many points and nuances need to be taken into account. For example, among those to whom it is addressed, there may be people who are unfamiliar with the project’s activities. Therefore, information should be as accessible and simple as possible. Remember that the report should not be about your organization, but about what successes it has achieved in a specific time.

Be ready to confirm any information from the report with relevant documents at the request of interested parties.

Why are systematic project management reports so important?

Reports are a tool without which no successful project would be possible. Their formation is mandatory in any IT company.

1. Attracting investors

If you are planning to expand your business, it is thanks to the reports of the successful implementation of projects that have been carried out in the past that you will be able to inspire their trust. After all, an investor will never invest in a business that does not have a stable business model, stability, and consistency in its activities and profits.

2. Communication with company founders or shareholders

A timely report on successful activities will allow Investors to be confident in the stability of the company. And this means that the project is successful and can receive further investment and has prospects for development.

3. Ability to expand the company’s activities

If you are aiming to enter foreign markets, then you should know that corporate reporting is the main point of cooperation with any investors and partners. Thanks to the report, they can assess the company’s activities and threats, analyze the perspective, and understand its social responsibility.

So, summarizing the above, it can be concluded that a successful project management report should include financial and non-financial information, characterize the prospects of the project, scope of the project and risks or issues , and provide several options for their elimination. This is how you can convince a manager, investor, or potential investor that this project has a future.

10 points to remember while writing a project management report

  • Reporting always improves the bottom line.
  • To make the presentation of the material as accessible as possible, the report can be divided into several sub-reports by topic.
  • The use of non-financial information, which will demonstrate the transparency and efficiency of conducting activities.
  • Clear financial schedules with a complete analysis of tasks.
  • The report does not have a stable form and order of content. Therefore, use the form that will be as accessible as possible for your interested persons to understand.
  • Do not miss the reporting deadlines. This will negatively affect the management’s attitude towards you and your professional performance.
  • Always familiarize yourself with the progress of work to avoid misunderstandings later.
  • If this is your first project, don’t be afraid to ask experienced colleagues for advice.
  • Ask yourself questions about the given information and answer them. Be prepared for the supervisor to have questions as well.
  • Do not be afraid of mistakes. If your report does not pass the first time, this will be a good experience for future reports.

What to do if there are force majeure circumstances

We analyzed what a project management report is, what it should be, forms, and methods of submission. However, it is worth considering other situations that may arise during work on the project. In particular, those that do not depend on you as a project manager. So, how to act if there are force majeure circumstances:

  • Certify them immediately with an appropriate document.
  • Make sure that exactly these force majeure circumstances and their validity period were written in the contract in advance.
  • Notify interested parties about it in time, perhaps even with an extraordinary report.

How to properly report in case of difficulties with the performance of work

If you are preparing a report on the current implementation of the project and you know for sure that you have encountered difficulties, then be ready to indicate to management:

  • At what stage did the problems appear and what provoked them?
  • How did it affect financial costs?
  • How did the difficulties affect the deadline for the project as a whole and specifically at this stage?
  • Who caused this situation and will bear responsibility?
  • What solutions do you offer and at what cost?
  • How do you plan to adjust the work to complete the planned work on time?
  • How will you insure in the future so that similar situations do not arise?

So, now you know what a professional project management report should look like, what information it should contain, and what it should convey to stakeholders. Therefore, easily apply the acquired knowledge in practice and achieve professional success.

Nifty can ease up your work of creating and managing a project management report thanks to it’s interactive dashboards and Gantt charts. Sign up now to see it in action!

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How to Create a Project Status Report

Browse topics.

The end of the week is here, so it’s time to sift through spreadsheets, emails, and tools to compile an update on your project's progress. Reporting on your work's status helps maintain team alignment, identify risks early, and ensure the project remains on schedule and within budget. 

Switching to a project status report template will streamline this process. Creating a project status report will minimize your time on redundant data collection, freeing more time for meaningful work. Whether preparing your first project status report or seeking a more efficient method, this article will guide you through creating an effective report, helping you consistently meet your project deadlines.

What is a status report?

A project status report is a concise, timely update on your project's progress. It provides essential high-level information, allowing team members and key stakeholders to grasp the project's current state quickly. These reports maintain alignment among all involved parties, highlighting what's on schedule, identifying obstacles, and outlining the next steps.

The frequency of your status reports should align with your project's timeline, varying from weekly to monthly updates depending on the project's nature and stakeholder needs. Far from mere reactions to setbacks, these reports proactively keep your team apprised of the project's health, whether on track, facing risks, or behind schedule. These reports are integral throughout all project phases , ensuring schedule adherence and consistent communication.

Types of project status reports

When you create status reports, the frequency and level of detail depend on your project management requirements. Here's a rundown of different types of status reports and the times they're most effective:

  • Daily status report : This status report outlines the daily activities of each team member. It focuses on their current tasks and any issues hindering progress. Typically, it includes a summary of the day's work and achievements from the previous day. These reports are essential for projects that require close monitoring and real-time updates.
  • Weekly status report : This report details the project's progress, including the name of the project, the report date, and a summary of the week's work. It also outlines the upcoming week's action plan, challenges, risks, and mitigation strategies. Weekly reports are crucial for tracking short-term project milestones within the broader project plan .
  • Monthly status report : The monthly status report provides monthly updates, offering a broader view. It's beneficial for leadership to gauge progress and make informed decisions about the project budget and future activities. The report includes accomplishments, a recap of the month, and plans for the next month.
  • Quarterly status report : This report is valuable for a high-level overview, providing a snapshot over four months. It covers the same areas as other reports but often includes graphs and visuals for clearer understanding. Quarterly reports align long-term project milestones with the overall project plan.

Each report type serves a distinct purpose, from detailed, granular updates to comprehensive summaries. The choice depends on the project's complexity, stakeholder information needs, and specific project management software capabilities.

Benefits of project reporting

Project reporting is more than a procedural task. It's also an integral part of effective project management . An accurate project status report offers several key benefits:

  • Increased transparency : Project status reports ensure that every team member and stakeholder has a clear view of the project's current status, upcoming tasks, and potential issues. The level of transparency is essential for trust and clarity within the project.
  • Track project health : Discovering at the end of the project timeline that things were off course is something you should avoid. Regular progress reports offer high-level summaries and critical metrics, informing everyone about the project's health. If the project is off track, these insights allow quick, proactive adjustments to meet deadlines and stay within budget.
  • Effective communication : Status reports enhance communication efficiency. They compile essential details into an easily digestible format, ensuring that everyone involved is on the same page.
  • Risk management : Regular reporting is vital in early identification and mitigation of potential risks, preventing them from escalating into major issues.
  • Accountability : Team members can access information asynchronously by replacing status meetings with a project status report you share via a central tool. This approach saves valuable time and allows for more focused, productive discussions during meetings.

Project reporting is vital for project managers, as it ensures effective project tracking , clear communication, and a consistent path toward project objectives.

Key elements of a status report

An effective project status report involves several key elements that enhance readability and usefulness. Here's what a robust status report template should include:

  • Executive summary : This is where you provide a concise, high-level overview of the project. Aim for no more than six sentences, offering just enough detail to intrigue readers to read the rest of the content.
  • Visual progress of the project : A status report should visually represent the project's progress. Use Gantt charts or graphics to showcase completed project milestones and deliverables.
  • Overall project schedule : The project schedule is vital, as it outlines deadlines and progress. Opt for visual tools such as dashboards and calendars for clarity and ease of understanding.
  • Insights into the project budget : Budget analysis is a core responsibility in project management. The status report should visually represent the budget. For example, you could include pie charts showing expenditures. 
  • Common challenges and blockers : Be transparent about current obstacles. It allows you to address any issues affecting project execution , from client communication to resource availability.
  • Well-communicated next steps : Clearly outline the upcoming tasks and milestones, assigning responsibilities and due dates to specific team members. This approach fosters accountability and sets a clear path for project continuation.
  • All project KPIs and metrics : Incorporate a dedicated section for metrics, possibly using graphical elements to make data more engaging. Track and compare KPIs such as cost performance, logged time, customer satisfaction, and productivity to past reports for a comprehensive view of the project's health.

A weekly status report template or any other frequency-specific template should integrate these elements to streamline the reporting process, ensuring that each report is informative and engaging for the entire project team.

Recommended templates

The correct project management template is vital when creating a vision for your project status report. Here are some top recommendations:

  • Project status template : Atlassian, in partnership with ASU, has developed a comprehensive project status template. It's adaptable to suit any company's needs. Customize it in Jira by creating issue types or fields relevant to your status report and save it as a new template for ongoing use.
  • Weekly status report template : Ideal for encapsulating weekly progress, this template focuses on results rather than hours spent. It's concise, fostering consistent communication with team members and managers.
  • Project plan : Handling projects with multiple teams can be challenging. The project plan template simplifies the management of projects of varying sizes and complexities, ensuring stakeholders are always informed.

Steps to writing an effective project status report

Here are some simple steps to follow to write an effective project status report:

Identify the objective

Start by determining the primary goal of your status report. Is it to inform stakeholders of progress, address potential issues, or provide an overview of project health? Clarifying this sets the tone for your report.

Define your target audience

Tailor the content and depth of your report based on who will read it. Different stakeholders might have varying interests, such as project timelines for team members and budget details for financial stakeholders.

Gather the necessary data

Essential for a well-rounded report, this step involves compiling information from multiple sources, including the budget, project timeline details, recent events, and upcoming deadlines. Your project timeline should list key events or actions with dates to provide a chronological view, aiding in creating your status report.

Organize the report

Logically structure your report. Use a status report template to ensure consistency and cover all vital areas, such as progress, budget, and upcoming milestones.

Ensure clarity

Strive for clear, concise language. Avoid jargon unless necessary and explain any complex terms. Clarity ensures that all key stakeholders understand the report’s contents regardless of their familiarity with the project's specifics.

Edit and send

Ensuring your project status report is clear and proofread is essential for maintaining its integrity and effectiveness. The report must be rigorously reviewed for errors and ensure the language conveys the intended message. This aligns with the best practices for creating impactful project status reports and provides the audience with an understanding of the information.

Status report best practices

With an understanding of what a project status report entails and how to craft one, here are some best practices to ensure its effectiveness:

  • Accommodate different learning styles : Not everyone absorbs information from text alone. Enhance your status report with visuals such as Gantt charts and graphs, and include external links to emphasize key points. Additionally, consider having synchronous discussions with clients during the review process, as real-time conversations can be more impactful.
  • Stay accountable with recurring meetings : Establishing a routine is crucial post- project kickoff . Schedule effective team meetings regularly from the start, making report preparation and sharing a habitual part of your process.
  • Keep an ongoing draft : Avoid last-minute rushes by maintaining a draft of your status report. Update it as events unfold, as it will prepare you for unexpected inquiries. This approach ensures you’re ready to present a well-informed status report, especially when juggling multiple projects.

Create effective status reports with Jira

Jira redefines project management efficiency by offering a dynamic suite of features for simple and complex projects. Jira's about more than just planning and tracking, it sets teams up for rapid progress and enables them to stay aligned with broader objectives, critical deadlines, and essential outcomes. 

Teams can plan and visualize workflows seamlessly with its intuitive boards. Managing dependencies and aligning with overarching goals is easier with timelines. 

Moreover, Jira provides actionable reports that help you make informed decisions, giving you a holistic view of projects. Together, these tools ensure every phase of your project is transparent, coherent, and on schedule. Ready to elevate your status-reporting process? Get Jira for free and experience a seamless transition from planning to execution.

Status report: Frequently asked questions

How often should you create a status report.

The frequency of status reports depends on the project's complexity and stakeholders' needs. Whether weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly, choose a cadence that keeps everyone adequately informed without causing information fatigue. A weekly status report might be a good starting point.

What makes an effective status report?

An effective status report is clear, concise, and focused. It provides valuable insights into the project scope , progress, challenges, and future steps, facilitating informed decision-making .

What’s the difference between a status report and a progress report?

A status report provides a comprehensive overview of a project's current state, including data on progress and other aspects. In contrast, a progress report focuses on the completed tasks and project milestones, aligning with the schedule to demonstrate advancement. Both keep project managers and key stakeholders informed.

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    Tasks Latest project update Current project health The aim is to provide a high-level snapshot of where things are at. Project stakeholders want to be able to see at a glance the project's status. Make sure your project report clearly identifies the following:

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    1. Define the purpose and scope: Clearly establish the goals, objectives, target audience, and information needs of your project report. 2. Gather and organize data: Collect and organize all relevant data, ensuring its accuracy and reliability. 3.

  3. How to Write a Project Management Report (+ Templates)

    Sep 02, 2022 Managing a project is tough work. With lots of tasks to oversee, it can be daunting for you to keep up and provide updates on project status. That's where project management reports come in handy. They provide clear direction, help you make the right decisions and increase your chances of success.

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    Project Management Report: Examples and Writing Tips FAQ | Project Management Guide Try Wrike for free See Wrike for PMO A marketing project manager could provide a regular project status report to the entire organization so they can keep tabs on how the company rebrand is progressing

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    A project management report is an organized, often detailed description of a project containing information regarding the current status of that project and plans for the project's future. Project management reports can serve several functions, including: Updating managers and stakeholders on projects

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    On-Time Completion Percentage. A quick, at-a-glance progress bar showing how much of the project is complete. Time Spent. The time you've already spent on completing the project. Budget Variance. A measure of how well the project is on track with its decided budget. If it's not, by how much is it going under or over budget.

  7. How to Write a Project Report (With Steps & Templates)

    How to Write a Project Report (With Steps & Templates) Sarah Burner ClickUp Contributor June 22, 2023 12min read Table of Contents Juggling all the different components of a project can be quite a challenge. If that weren't enough, you also have to write a project status report to update key stakeholders on the project's progress.

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    1 Define the project's purpose. A project management report should outline the project's scope and end goal. Understanding the objective is key to comprehending the needs that this project hopes to meet. It is important for you and your audience to have a clear notion of the project's purpose to maximize the effectiveness of your report.

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    Draft the report: Create a rough draft of what you are preparing and review it carefully. Make sure you are including all of the details you want to share with the team, and reach out to team leads to fill in any gaps before finalizing. Consider layout: Give the report a good structure and effective layout.

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    How to Write a Project Report In 5 Easy Steps (Template Included) Last updated on 31st January 2023 In this article we're going to teach you how to write a project report in 5 easy steps. Did you know that only 64% of projects meet their goals? That means 36% fall short.

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    How to Write an Effective Project Report in 7 Steps (+ examples in Microsoft 365) By Shubhangi Pandey | Updated November 3, 2023 | 22 min read In an age where remote work is becoming the new every day and data-driven decision-making is more crucial than ever, project reporting has become more than a managerial obligation.

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    Step 1: Planning and Collecting Information 1.1 Define the purpose of the report Defining the report's purpose helps writers align themselves to the subject while writing. It also allows them to know the level of detail that the report needs to reflect. Lastly, it will enable writers to follow a set structure while making their reports.

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    Here are the steps you should take to write a good project management report: 1. Assign a Title to the Report. You can use the project name for the report. If you do several reports on one project, you can mark it with the date. For example: Project Management Status Report 02/08. 2.

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    Enter the time spent. Cost efficiency ratio (The budget of each project is calculated according to the actual cost of the work). Analysis of customer complaints or comments, if any. Don't be afraid to write about it in the report, especially if you see a way to solve them.

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