Keep your project on track with this Executive Status Report Template.
Executive status reports are one of the most effective ways to keep upper management informed of project progress.
Executives need regular updates on your company’s progress toward a final business objective. In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know about writing an executive project status report with high-level insights and lowlights—quickly and effectively.
What is an executive status report?
An executive project status report is a written update on the progress of a project.
They’re typically distributed to upper management—but any stakeholders with a vested interest in the project will likely see the report too. Executive status reports are a key part of both project management and business strategy.
The goal of an executive project status report is to inform upper management of your team’s progress on a project.
Most companies use project status reports to keep track of the following:
- The overall status of a project
- How close it is to completion
- The degree to which a project is on-schedule, over-schedule, or behind
- The degree to which a project is on-budget, over-budget, or behind
- Any risks that a project is facing
- How much work is left until the project is complete
- Any other factors that are important to upper management
Who should write an Executive Status Report?
A project manager or team lead should write an executive status report. They are best positioned to summarize the project’s status, highlight problems, and make recommendations.
The person who writes an executive status report should be involved in the project on a regular basis. Ideally, they should be involved in the project every step of the way and be in the room when important project decisions are made.
Before you write your first project status report
Before you write your first project status report, you should:
- Meet with your team to discuss what’s happening with the project
- Make sure everyone is on the same page about key project decisions and the general direction of the project
- Review the project plan. Make sure that you’re actually following the plan, and that the plan is reasonable
- Review the project budget and make sure you’re spending the allocated funds wisely
- Review the project’s existing risks.
- Make sure that you’ve adequately addressed any risks you’ve identified
- Review the project’s overall goal.
- Make sure that you’re actually pursuing the right business objective
- Practice your writing. Write a few draft reports and get feedback from your team.
How to write an executive project status report
Step 1: Summarize everything that’s happened since your last report
Start your report with a summary of everything that’s happened since your last report. You can’t assume that everyone reading the report has been following your project from the beginning. You need to catch them up to speed.
Here are some items to include in your summary:
- A brief description of your project
- Make sure to include the project’s overall goal — and why it’s important to the organization
- A list of all activities that have occurred since your last report
- A list of any milestones that were met since your last report
- Any issues that have been resolved since your last report
- Any issues that have arisen since your last report
Step 2: Highlight any problems you’re facing currently
Next, highlight any problems you’re currently facing on the project. What issues are keeping your project from progressing smoothly? Keep in mind that you’re not writing to solve these problems. You’re writing to inform upper management that they exist.
Here are some items to include in your problem section:
- A brief description of each issue
- An explanation of how each issue is affecting the project
- An estimate of how long it will take to resolve each issue
- An assessment of how the issue will affect your project’s overall goal
Step 3: Summarize what you expect to happen next with your project
Finally, summarize what you expect to happen with your project next. What are your plans for resolving current issues? What’s your plan for moving forward?
Here are some items to include in your conclusion:
- A brief summary of the project’s overall goal
- A brief summary of the progress you’ve made toward that goal
- A brief summary of the issues that have arisen
- A list of the plans you have for moving forward
- A list of the steps you’ll take to resolve issues and meet your goals
Executive Project Status Report Conclusion
Project status reports are incredibly important. They let upper management know what’s happening with their projects, and they keep stakeholders informed about progress. Without project status reports, people in charge of large projects would have no idea what’s going on.
But project status reports don’t have to be a slog. With the right approach, they can be interesting and easy to read. By following these steps, you’ll be able to write a report that keeps your readers engaged—even if they don’t care about your project.
If you follow these tips and use our template, you’ll be able to write an executive project status report that is concise, interesting, and useful. You’ll be able to keep your readers informed without sacrificing the substance of your reports.
In addition, please also have a look at our How to Write an Effective Executive Summary blog post and template to make your next project a success.
Executive Project Status Report Template
in PowerPoint and Google Slides format
Executive Project Status Report Example:
What should be included in a project status report?
Our Executive Project Stauts Report Example has the following structure:
- Project Description: Introduction, Scope, Project Manager, Timeframe
- Project Overview: Status, Target Dates, Completion Rate, Time, Costs, Risks
- Project team: Steering Committee, Project Organisation
- Status Report: Activities, Achievements, Challenges, Decisions required, Next steps
- Highlights / Lowlights-Reporting
Project status reports provide a consistent view and timely update to all involved stakeholders. Improve your productivity by leveraging our multiple project templates and have more time to deliver a successful project.
This template is ideal for weekly status reports to present a summary of all the activities done during a week and how these activities contributed to the completion of the project. It can be used as a standalone presentation to analyse and present the status of your projects.