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.
|Project Status Update Email Sample|
Advantages of sending project status update using emails -
- 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.
- Provides a mechanism of reminding the key dates and timelines to the project team.
- Project Status reports are generally sent once a week. Email updates be sent frequently (if required daily).
- 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.
- 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.
- It is very helpful to the team to get a brief update as you cannot send the detailed status report every time.
- Higher possibility that everyone will read their emails and easy for everyone to respond to emails.
- If the status update format is consistent it will make it easy for people to find the information they need.
- Helps in building confidence with senior management as they can see updates on a daily basis and know how the project is progressing.
- 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.
- Provides some flexibility when compared to a project status report as you do not have to limit yourself to a template.
Project Status Update Email Template 1: A brief update
- This kind of update is suitable for senior management or high level executives.
- The email update contains 3 sections Key Highlights, Task Update and Other Updates.
- The key highlights section should have the key highlights about the project update.
- The task update should be for providing details about the project tasks and their status.
- Other updates are general updates like team events or upcoming leaves.
|Project Status Update : Brief Version|
Project Status Update Email Template 2: A detailed tracking update
- This kind of update is suitable for managers and the project team as it contains task details.
- The email update is divided into two sections - Key Highlights and Task Updates.
- 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.
- The tasks section can be from the project plan or excel sheet task tracker.
- Display all the key task information like task name, assigned to, start date, end date % compete and comments.
|Project Status Update : Detailed Version|
Some tips when using the project status email update
- Send the email either at end of the day or start of the day as people can arrange their priorities as needed.
- 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.
- Limit the content to minimum as possible. People tend to ignore very long emails especially that are more frequent.
- Always include a progress indicator for tasks. It can be % complete and effort remaining. Without a progress indicator task tracking can be meaning less.
- 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.
- 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 !!!
- We recommend to have a look at Email Templates for Project Managers for other templates. Also see 11 tips for effective email writing.