Project Status Update Email Sample : Free Templates and Examples

Share:
It is a standard practice to send project status updates using emails. In this article we will look at how a simple project status update email can help you communicate the project status and make the project team and stakeholders aware of the status.

Email Template
Project Status Update Email Sample

Why should you use emails to send status updates?

Ask anyone who sits at a desk for 9 hours a day, and they will tell you that their E-mail (Electronic Mail) app is probably the one they use the most throughout the day. An average worker sends and receives dozens of daily E-mails, and this has become one of the main communication sources in our lives.

It is no surprise that many of the status updates for a project are done via E-mails, either internal or external. In order to focus the target audience on what’s important for the project, the use of templates is common throughout the projects’ lifecycle.

We will look at two samples or examples - first, a brief email about the task status and issues encountered. Second, email with the status and task tracking information for the team. Before we start looking into the samples lets understand some advantages of using project status update using email.

Advantages of project status update using emails - 

  1. Quick and easy to draft so can be sent in few minutes. The first time you set up the email template or format it may take time but after that it should take only a few minutes for every update.
  2. Provides a mechanism of reminding the key dates and timelines to the project team.
  3. Project Status reports are generally sent once a week. Email updates be sent frequently (if required daily). 
  4. Beneficial for tracking tasks as the email report will contain a progress indicator which everyone can see. Example if task remains at 60% for a few days people will know that the task is not moving. 
  5. Often the email status report will contain items which are due so it also acts as reminder to the team. And, in some cases confirm to the team certain items are in scope for the project.
  6. It is very helpful to the team to get a brief update as you cannot send the detailed status report every time. 
  7. Higher possibility that everyone will read their emails and easy for everyone to respond to emails.
  8. If the status update format is consistent it will make it easy for people to find the information they need.
  9. Helps in building confidence with senior management as they can see updates on a daily basis and know how the project is progressing.
  10. Because the updates are more frequent the team and stakeholders will be aware of issues and project status on a daily basis. Generally, with a weekly status report they will be informed only after a few days.
  11. Provides some flexibility when compared to a project status report as you do not have to limit yourself to a template.

Status Update Email Template : A brief update

  1. This kind of update is suitable for senior management or high level executives.
  2. The email update contains 3 sections Key Highlights, Task Update and Other Updates.
  3. The key highlights section should have the key highlights about the project update.
  4. The task update should be for providing details about the project tasks and their status.
  5. Other updates are general updates like team events or upcoming leaves.

Project Status Update Email
Project Status Update : Brief Version

A detailed email status update tracking update

  1. This kind of update is suitable for managers and the project team as it contains task details.
  2. The email update is divided into two sections - Key Highlights and Task Updates.
  3. The key highlights should cover the key updates only. You should be specific and discuss only the key points rather than giving an detailed update. Try and keep this to 3 to 4 bullet points.
  4. The tasks section can be from the project plan or excel sheet task tracker
  5. Display all the key task information like task name, assigned to, start date, end date % compete and comments.

Project Status Update Email Template
Project Status Update : Detailed Version

Click Here To Download the Outlook Templates

Project Status Update email to clients

A part of most communication plans is a periodic E-mail from the PM to the customer. This E-mail should display the overall status of the project, and focus on any specific risks, issues or problems that the project is facing. Refrain from presenting KPI’s or graphs, they require analyzing by the PM and may alarm when there isn’t need for it.



Email Client Status Update Template
Email Client Status Update Template

The E-mail should be addressed to the following –

  • To: The PM on the clients’ side
  • CC: Major stakeholders (internal and external)
  • Subject: Weekly/Monthly/etc. Status Update for 07-Aug-2017
The following message and template should be inside the E-mail –

“Dear ,

Please see the status of the project in the table below. The project looks good, and we are confident that we will complete it on time.

No major issues have come up since the last E-mail was sent on 31-Jul-2017. Please reply to this E-mail if you require any further clarifications, or wish to raise an issue for us to take care of.

Best Regards,
Matan Johnson

Download Client Status Update Template

Status Update Request Email

In order to compile a status update report and E-mail, many team-members need to give their input. In order to facilitate this process, a periodic E-mail with a template should be sent out to the contributing team-members for them to fill in.

Status Update Request Template
Status Update Request Template
The E-mail should be addressed to the following – 
  • To: The team-members which need to fill in the template
  • CC: The TL’s, PM, PMO and COO
  • Subject: Input for the Status Update of 07-Aug-2017
The following message and template should be inside the E-mail –

“Dear ,

As with every week, please update the below template with the updated status. The info needs to be sent to the PM by COB (Close of Business) today (07-Aug), and may be presented to the customer.

Thank you for the cooperation,

Shirley Kashi
Project PMO

Download Request Status Update Template

Email Updates to Manager

Since managers’ are often required to represent their subordinates, they must be kept up-to-date regarding the open tasks which they are handling at any given moment. The following E-mail and template should be sent to the managers if an update is available, without a specific request by the manager! The template should only contain the open tasks, and the ones which were completed since the last status E-mail was sent.

Email Updates Template to Manager
Email Update To Manager
The E-mail should be addressed to the following – 
  • To: The manager
  • CC: any colleagues who are a part of this task, the PMO / COO, PM (only if this is a major task)
  • Subject: status update for 07-Aug
The following message and template should be inside the E-mail –

“Dear ,

Please see the updated status of the task below. We were able to come up with an innovative solution which tested well in the QA environment, and we believe that this will be acceptable by the customer (according to their technical specs).

Best Regards,
Tamara Orange
SW BI Team Lead

Daily Status Update Email Template

Many PM’s conduct a short morning session with the key team-members of the project, in order to review what was done so far and agree on the next steps. These sessions may be F2F (Face to Face) or by sending short E-mails with the projects’ KPI’s, risks and open tasks.
Daily Status Update Email Template
Daily Status Update Email Template
In case the chosen medium is E-mails, then it should contain only the open issues or the ones which were closed since yesterdays’ meeting.

The E-mail should be addressed to the following –
  • To: Matan Johnson
  • CC: The relevant team-members, PMO, COO
  • Subject: Daily status Update – 07-Aug-2017
The following message and template should be inside the E-mail –
“Dear Matan,

Please see the updated status of our team below. No major changes since yesterday, we are on track regarding our tasks and all our KPI’s are in the acceptable range.
Best Regards,
Mia Orozco
Industrial Design TL

Email Update to Stakeholders Template

The final approval of the status update E-mail to the customer should be the key stakeholder of the project. The E-mail should contain the PM’s suggestion of what it should contain, and the stakeholder needs to give their input.

Email Update to Stakeholders
Email Update to Stakeholders
The E-mail should be addressed to the following – 
  • To: The internal key stakeholder
  • CC: Other internal stakeholders
  • Subject: Weekly/Monthly/etc. Status Update for 07-Aug-2017
The following message and template should be inside the E-mail –

“Dear ,
Please see the status of the project in the table below. The project looks good, and we are confident that we will complete it on time. No major issues have come up since the last E-mail was sent on 31-Jul-2017.

If you have any updates or comments, please send them by COB today (06-Aug), otherwise I will send it to the customer by COB tomorrow (07-Aug).

Best Regards,
Matan Johnson

13 tips when using emails for status updates

  1. The “To” field should contain only addresses which have a task, need to answer a question or are the main receivers of the message in the E-mail.
  2. The “CC” (Carbon Copy) field should contain addresses which don’t need to perform any tasks or answer any questions as a result of the E-mail. They are generally the FYI (For Your Information) audience of the E-mail.
  3. The “BCC” (Blind CC) should be used when sending out an E-mail to a very large audience, where most of them are FYI only.
  4. The “Subject” field of the E-mail must never be empty, and should succinctly summarize the E-mails’ purpose. Most people skim the subjects while deciding which E-mail they should open first, and this will help them decide to open your E-mail first.
  5. The E-mail itself should follow the basic writing structure rules: Paragraphs, bullets, punctuation, etc. An E-mail isn’t an IM (Instant Message)!
  6. End the E-mail with your signature, which should include your full name, job title, phone number and E-mail address. Most apps allow an automatic signature with every E-mail sent.
  7. Send the email either at end of the day or start of the day as people can arrange their priorities as needed.
  8. Maintain the frequency of the email updates. So, if you send every two days then make sure that you send it after every two days. I generally send it twice a week initially and the project gets closer to the delivery date I increase the frequency to daily.
  9. Limit the content to minimum as possible. People tend to ignore very long emails especially that are more frequent. 
  10. Always include a progress indicator for tasks. It can be % complete and effort remaining. Without a progress indicator task tracking can be meaning less.
  11. Highlight anything needs attention in red as people who just skim the email will be attracted to the items marked in red or some other color.
  12. Take regular feedback from the team and others to make your status updates readable. If after all this effort nobody reads your updates then its better to not send it !!!
  13. We recommend to have a look at Email Templates for Project Managers for other templates. Also see 11 tips for effective email writing

1 comment: