What to Include in a Weekly Project Status Report

Updated on June 11, 2020
Max Dalton profile image

Max earned his project management professional (PMP) certification in 2013. He holds an MA in Communication from U of I.


Writing weekly project status updates can feel like a chore, but they are a critical tool that helps project managers keep a project on track. Weekly project status reports keep senior leadership and the project team up to date on the status of the project, give you a forum to put risks and issues in front of everyone, and give you another avenue to keep pushing milestone dates in front of everyone to ensure people stay focused on them. This article walks through the critical elements you should include in every weekly project status report.

A simple green, yellow, or red stoplight indicator can communicate a lot about the status of a project very quickly.
A simple green, yellow, or red stoplight indicator can communicate a lot about the status of a project very quickly. | Source

Stoplight Status

A stoplight status is a green, yellow, or red indicator. Green indicates that the project is on schedule and there are no issues. Yellow indicates that there are risks looming that, if not address, will have a definite impact on either the project schedule or the project budget. Red indicates that the project is experiencing significant problems and an impact on the scope, timeline or budget is unavoidable. After addressing a project that is in a red status you'll need to re-baseline the project, at which time you can move it out of a red stoplight status.

Status Update

The status update section is a short, written-out summary indicating where the project is currently at. Ideally, this should be limited to a few sentences that hit the high notes. Generally, this will call out where the team is at with regard to reaching the next project milestone. Alternatively, if the project is currently experiencing a major setback, this is a good place to call that out so that it will get on the radar of senior leadership. Additionally, if your project has multiple phases include a brief status update associated with the status of each phase or a key part of the project.

Including the project milestones and their associated dates gives everyone high-level boxes to check to ensure a project is on track.
Including the project milestones and their associated dates gives everyone high-level boxes to check to ensure a project is on track. | Source

Milestone Schedule

Milestones are the important dates that it's critical for the project team to hit during the development of the project. For example, a milestone may be a demo of what you're working on for investors or key stakeholders or the expected date of completion. You need to call the milestone dates out on your weekly project status report to ensure that both the key project stakeholders and the project team don't lose sight of them.

In-Flight and Upcoming Work

Include a section in your weekly project status update that summarizes what project team members are currently working on, and what work they will be moving on to after that. You should be able to glean this information from a combination of the project schedule and the work breakdown structure. This also helps keep the project manager in check, as it forces them to touch base with everyone to validate what they are working on and what tasks they will be moving on to next. It also gives project team members another avenue to put forward any issues they are running into or risks that are on the horizon.

Risks and Issues

The last, but still critical, sections you need to include in a weekly project status report are for risks and issues. The section calling out risks needs to clearly call out all of the potential risks to the project you see on the horizon and the plan you have to mitigate those risks in the event that they become issues. This is not an exact science, and there is no way to be prepared for everything, but you want to ensure that you've identified everything you can and that you have a rough idea of how you would control it in the event it becomes an issue. The issue section should list all of the issues currently being experienced on the project and the actions that are being taken to address them.

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.

© 2017 Max Dalton


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • Max Dalton profile imageAUTHOR

      Max Dalton 

      3 years ago from Greater St. Louis, Missouri

      Weekly status reports are a pain in the butt to do, but theybaee an easy way to keep everyone up to speed and engaged. They also give you a paper trail :-)

    • The Dirt Farmer profile image

      Jill Spencer 

      3 years ago from United States

      A good overview, Max, and you also show why these reports are important to project success. Planning, assessing, goal-setting . . . we all need to do it! Thanks.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, toughnickel.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://maven.io/company/pages/privacy

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)